HOW TO CLASSIFY RAILWAY YARDS? [4 DIFFERENT TYPES]

A system of tracks placed on an appropriate level of ground, generally for receiving, storing, sorting, making trains and dispatching vehicles, is known as a railway yard.

Railway yards are broadly classified as follows:


  1. passenger yard
  2. goods yard
  3. marshalling yard
  4. locomotive yard

1. passenger yard

The main function of the passenger yard is to provide facilities for the safe movement of passengers and passenger bogies. Passenger platforms are used as passenger yards. At terminal stations and station junctions, separate sidings are provided for passenger trains during their idle periods and for the washing, cleaning and storage of vehicles.

2. goods yard

The yards which are provided for receiving, loading and unloading goods and movement of goods vehicles are called goods yards. Goods platforms are treated as goods yards. Separate goods sidings are generally provided for storage and distribution of goods at important stations. Goods sidings are located and designed in such a way that goods trains can be placed and wagons can be attached with equal convenience from up and down directions.

3. marshalling yard

The arrangement made with elaborate set of siding for sorting of wagons as per traffic requirements at important stations is called marshalling yard. The Goods Tarin is marshaled so that the wagons are placed in the order of the stations where they are to be disassembled. Marshalling yards are provided only at important junction stations which act as distribution centers for various destinations. The functions of the marshalling yard can be compared with the functions of the heart in the human body. The important functions of a marshalling yard are: reception, sorting and departure.

For efficient operation of marshalling yard, the following points should be considered.


  1. The marshalling yard should be located in such a way that shunting operations do not disturb the timetable of regular trains.
  2. The design of the marshalling yard should be such that maximum number of wagons can be sorted and dispatched in the given period.
  3. While designing the marshalling yard, its future expansion should be taken into account for increasing the freight traffic.
  4. The marshalling yard should be designed in such a way that the wagons move in only one direction so as to avoid economic and delay.
  5. The marshalling yard should be placed parallel to the running lines.
  6. The marshalling yard should be properly illuminated.
  7. Transship platforms for the exchange of goods shall be provided at one or more sidings of the marshalling yard.

4. locomotive yard

The yards in which locomotives are kept for running and for coal, water filling, re-airing, oiling, cleaning etc. are called locomotive yards. Loco yards are generally built on the same lines as marshalling yards.

The essential requirements of an ideal loco yard are:


  1. The line from the traffic yard to the turn table should be clear.
  2. An additional emergency entrance from the traffic yard should be provided for emergency cases.
  3. The turn table should be located at its farthest corner so that it does not obstruct the movement of locomotives from the yard.
  4. A sufficient number of sidings should be provided to accommodate the maximum number of locomotives at the same time.
  5. Easy access from loco yard to sick siding should be provided.
  6. The overhead tank should be near the loco yard.
  7. Adequate space required for the yard should be provided for further expansion if required.

Er. Mukesh Kumar

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Er. Mukesh Kumar is Editor in Chief and Co-Funder at ProCivilEngineer.com Civil Engineering Website. Mukesh Kumar is a Bachelor in Civil Engineering From MIT. He has work experience in Highway Construction, Bridge Construction, Railway Steel Girder work, Under box culvert construction, Retaining wall construction. He was a lecturer in a Engineering college for more than 6 years.