A headshunt (or escape track in the United States) is a short length of track provided to release locomotives at terminal platforms, or to allow shunting to take place clear of main lines.
A 'terminal headshunt' is a short length of track that allows a locomotive to uncouple from its train, move forward, and then run back past it on a parallel track. Such headshunts are typically installed at a terminal station to allow the locomotive of an arriving train to move to the opposite end of (in railway parlance, 'run around') its train, so that it can then haul the same train out of the station in the other direction (assuming, of course, that it is a locomotive equipped to run in either direction; for older, one-way equipment such as steam locomotives and cab unit locomotives, a wye or turntable needs to be provided to physically turn the engine around, as well as a run-around track).
Found primarily on metro systems, rapid transit light rail networks, and tramways, a 'reversing headshunt' allows certain trains or trams to change direction, even on lines with high traffic flow, whilst others continue through the station. Typically there will be two running lines, one for each direction of travel, and the headshunt will be positioned between the two running lines, linked to both by points. Although most trains will pass through the station and continue in the same direction, an individual train may be directed into the reversing headshunt, before exiting onto the other running line, in the opposite direction of travel. This procedure allows a greater frequency of trains on a city-centre section of the line, and reduced frequency on the suburban sections, by allowing certain trains to shuttle back and forth only on the city centre part, using the reversing headshunts to change direction within the flow of trains.
The term headshunt may also refer to shunting neck or 'shunt spur': a short length of track laid parallel to the main line for the purpose of allowing a train to shunt back into a siding or rail yard without occupying the main running-line.
A run-round loop (or run-around loop) is a track arrangement that enables a locomotive to attach to the opposite end of the train. It is commonly used to haul wagons onto a siding, or at a terminal station to prepare for a return journey.This process is known as "running round a train".
Although a common procedure for passenger trains when the majority of them were locomotive-hauled, the maneuver is now becoming rarer on public service railways.[ citation needed ] Increased use of multiple unit and push-pull passenger services avoids the requirement for dedicated track and the need for railway staff to detach and reattach the locomotive at track level.[ citation needed ] However, on heritage railways run-round loops are still usually more or less necessary at each end of the running line, partly because train services are usually locomotive-hauled, and partly because the run-round operation gives added interest to visitors. This practice is still very common on Intercity services in Victoria, Australia.
Stations which used to have run-rounds include:
Stations which still have run-rounds include:
If a terminal station has or no longer has a run-round loop, trains are restricted to multiple units or Top and Tail trains.
Sometimes a terminal station has no run-round loops, the absence of which is overcome by coupling a relay engine to the rear to power the next out bound trip. The original engine of the arriving train shunts to the relay engine siding where it awaits the arrival of the second train, and so on. Examples in steam days include Fenchurch Street and Kingsgrove.
A switcher or shunter is a small railroad locomotive intended not for moving trains over long distances but rather for assembling trains ready for a road locomotive to take over, disassembling a train that has been brought in, and generally moving railroad cars around – a process usually known as switching (USA) or shunting (UK). They do this in classification yards. Switchers may also make short transfer runs and even be the only motive power on branch lines and switching and terminal railroads. The term can also be used to describe the workers operating these engines or engaged in directing shunting operations.
A tank locomotive or tank engine is a steam locomotive that carries its water in one or more on-board water tanks, instead of a more traditional tender. A tank engine may also have a bunker to hold fuel. There are several different types of tank locomotive, distinguished by the position and style of the water tanks and fuel bunkers. The most common type has tanks mounted either side of the boiler. This type originated about 1840 and quickly became popular for industrial tasks, and later for shunting and shorter distance main line duties. Tank locomotives have advantages and disadvantages compared to traditional tender locomotives.
In railroad structures, and rail terminology, a wye or triangular junction is a triangular joining arrangement of three rail lines with a railroad switch at each corner connecting to each incoming line. A turning wye is a specific case.
The Battlefield Line Railway is a heritage railway in Leicestershire, England. It runs from Shackerstone to Shenton, via Market Bosworth, a total of 5 miles (8.0 km). Shenton is near Bosworth Field,, giving the railway its name.
The Ribble Steam Railway is a standard gauge preserved railway in Lancashire, in the United Kingdom. It was opened to the public on 17 September 2005, running along Preston Docks. The railway began by housing much of the collection from the previously closed Southport Railway Museum (Steamport), which was based in the old Lancashire and Yorkshire Railway engine shed at Southport.
The Felixstowe branch line is a railway branch line in Suffolk, England, that connects the Great Eastern Main Line to Felixstowe and its port.
Ipswich railway station is on the Great Eastern Main Line in the East of England, serving the town of Ipswich, Suffolk. It is 68 miles 59 chains (110.6 km) down the line from London Liverpool Street and on the main line it is situated between Manningtree to the south and Needham Market to the north.
A balloon loop, turning loop or reversing loop allows a rail vehicle or train to reverse direction without having to shunt or even stop. Balloon loops can be useful for passenger trains and unit freight trains such as coal trains.
Taunton railway station is a junction station on the route from London to Penzance, 143 miles (230 km) west of London Paddington station. It is situated in Taunton, Somerset, and is operated by Great Western Railway. It is also served by CrossCountry trains and by the West Somerset Railway on special event days and by mainline steam excursions.
Newton Abbot railway station serves the town of Newton Abbot in Devon, England. It is 20 miles 13 chains (32.4 km) down the line from Exeter St Davids and 214 miles 5 chains (344.5 km) measured from London Paddington via Bristol Temple Meads, at the junction for the branch to Paignton. The station today is managed by Great Western Railway, who provide the train service along with CrossCountry.
The Belmont railway line is an abandoned coal haulage and passenger rail line from Adamstown, New South Wales to Belmont, New South Wales. This was a private railway, being the property of the New Redhead Estate and Coal Company and was generally known as the Belmont Branch. The line closed in December 1991. It has since been converted into a cycleway or rail trail - The Fernleigh Track.
Arkleston Junction is a railway junction east of the town of Paisley, Renfrewshire, Scotland. The junction is one mile from Paisley Gilmour Street railway station and is heavily used by both passenger and freight traffic.
Killarney railway station is a station on the Mallow to Tralee line serving the town of Killarney in County Kerry.
Barnoldswick railway station was the only railway station on the Midland Railway's 1-mile-64-chain (2.9 km) long Barnoldswick Branch in the West Riding of Yorkshire in England. The line left the Leeds and Bradford Extension Railway at Barnoldswick Junction 55 chains from Earby railway station. The line through the junction was on a 20-chain radius after which it converged to a single track and ran in a straight but undulating line to Barnoldswick. The passenger train that ran back and forth between Barnoldswick and Earby was known locally as the 'Barlick Spud' or 'Spudroaster'. The real reason for the name is lost in time, but the two versions that were commonly recited are that the original branch locomotive was so small it looked like a portable potato roaster used by a local vendor or that the journey time was the same as that taken to roast a potato in the locomotive's firebox.
The Gracefield Branch is a 1.6 km long, 3 ft 6 in gauge industrial line from its junction with the Wairarapa Line at Woburn in the Wellington region of New Zealand's North Island to its terminus at the southern end of the Hutt Workshops yard. The line formerly included an additional kilometre of track to Gracefield Freight Terminal, where it connected to a network of industrial sidings in nearby Seaview. Currently its only function is to provide access to the Hutt Workshops.
Wolverhampton Steel Terminal is a small intermodal depot in the city of Wolverhampton, England. The depot is served by a spur of the Rugby-Birmingham-Stafford Line - the main line through the West Midlands. It can also be accessed by road, which makes it a useful point for transferring steel between road and rail transport.
The East Maitland–Morpeth railway is a closed branch railway in New South Wales, Australia.
The Forest of Dean Railway was a railway company operating in Gloucestershire, England. It was formed in 1826 when the moribund Bullo Pill Railway and a connected private railway failed, and they were purchased by the new company. At this stage it was a horse-drawn plateway, charging a toll for private hauliers to use it with horse traction. The traffic was chiefly minerals from the Forest of Dean, in the Whimsey and Churchway areas, near modern-day Cinderford, for onward conveyance from Bullo Pill at first, and later by the Great Western Railway.
The Amberley Museum and Heritage Centre Railway is a 2 ft narrow gauge railway based at the Amberley Museum & Heritage Centre, Amberley, West Sussex. It has a varied collection of engines and rolling stock ranging from 18 in gauge to 5 ft 3 in gauge. It operates passenger trains at the museum using a mixture of steam, internal combustion and battery-electric locomotives.
The Gilling and Pickering line (G&P) was a railway line that ran from Gilling to Pickering in North Yorkshire, England.