Sunday, 4 June 2006

Branch goods operation

Found a very useful little snippet of information while reading an article by Ian Rice in Model Railway Journal issue 39:

"On branches, the intermediate goods yards are, perforce, laid out to be shunted in one direction only - indeed, a great many branches have all the goods sidings liad out for shunting from the same end, very often the juntion end. The corrrect modus operandi was to run the branch goods direct to the terminus, run round there, shunt the terminus, and then shunt the intermediate stations on the way back to the junction."
The reason I find that so interesting is because it casts a little more light on prototypical goods operations. Goods trains entering the terminus, according to this procedure, would consist of all the wagons destined for all the stations along the branch, not just those left over after all the intermediate stations have been served. After shunting the yard, the departing train would include both empties from the terminus and loaded wagons for the other stations.

Also, it is feasible that if there were an industrial facility (or more than one) served by the railway somewhere beyond the scenic break of the layout, trains destined for there might well run into the terminus first in order for the loco to run round so that the train is the 'right' way for accessing/shunting the sidings. This provides an excuse to run more than just those trains destined for the terminus itself. Some thought of course needs to go into what rail-served facilities there might be in the vicinity that would necessitate such workings...

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