Siding (rail)

A siding, in rail terminology, is a low-speed track section distinct from a running line or through route such as a main line or branch line or spur. It may connect to through track or to other sidings at either end. Sidings often have lighter rails, meant for lower speed or less heavy traffic, and few, if any, signals. Sidings connected at both ends to a running line are commonly known as loops;[1][2] those not so connected may be referred to as single-ended or dead-end sidings,[3] or (if short) stubs.[4]

Railway sidings, Kingswear - - 1507928
Railway sidings (left) beside the main running-lines (right) at Kingswear in Devon, England
Old Rail Siding (8248419565)
Old rail siding
Loading platform
Derelict industrial rail siding showing old platform and warehouse at the disused Galong railway station, Australia (circa 2016)


Sidings may be used for marshalling (classifying), stabling, storing, loading, and unloading vehicles.[5]

Common sidings store stationary rolling stock, especially for loading and unloading. Industrial sidings (also known as spurs) go to factories, mines, quarries, wharves, warehouses, some of them are essentially links to industrial railways. Such sidings can sometimes be found at stations for public use; in American usage these are referred to as team tracks (after the use of teams of horses to pull wagons to and from them). Sidings may also hold maintenance of way equipment or other equipment, allowing trains to pass, or store helper engines between runs.

Some sidings have very occasional use, having been built, for example, to service an industry, a railway yard or a stub of a disused railway that has since closed. It is not uncommon for an infrequently-used siding to fall into disrepair.

Passing siding

A particular form of siding is the passing siding (U.S. and international) or passing loop (U.K.). This is a section of track parallel to a through line and connected to it at both ends by switches (U.S.) (points in international usage). Passing sidings allow trains travelling in opposite directions to pass, and for fast, high priority trains to pass slower or lower priority trains going the same direction. They are important for efficiency on single track lines, and add to the capacity of other lines.

Refuge siding

Single-ended (or dead-end) siding with similar purpose to passing loop.

Team track

Example of multiple team tracks

A team track is a small siding or spur track intended for the use of area merchants, manufacturers, farmers and other small businesses to personally load and unload products and merchandise, usually in smaller quantities.[6] The term "team" refers to the teams of horses or oxen delivering wagon-loads of freight transferred to or from railway cars.[7] Team tracks may be owned by the railroad company[8] or by customers served by the railroad, or by industrial parks or freight terminals that encompass many customers.[9] In some jurisdictions, the operation and construction of team tracks is regulated by legal authorities.[10][11]


Earliest rail service to an area often provided a team track on railroad-owned property adjacent to the railroad agent's train station.[12] As rail traffic became more established, large-volume shippers extended privately owned spur tracks into mines, factories, and warehouses. Small-volume shippers and shippers with facilities distant from the rail line continued using team tracks into the early part of the 20th century.

Throughout the mid to latter portion of the 20th century, improved highway systems and abandonment of low-volume rail lines made full-distance truck shipments more practical in North America and avoided delays and damage associated with freight handling during transfer operations.[13] However, as a result of higher fuel costs, greater traffic jams on Interstate Highways, and the growing movement towards sustainable development, there has been recent upward trend towards moving long-distance freight traffic off highways and onto rail lines. This has resulted in local communities and rail lines seeking construction of new team track and intermodal facilities.[14][15]


Some railroads publish detailed specifications for the design and construction of many elements of team tracks. For example, the Union Pacific Railroad has standards and guidelines for many aspects of spur track construction including track layout, clearance standards and turnout and switch stand designs.[16]

Generally, team tracks do not have road or pedestrian crossings across them.[11]

See also


  1. ^ Jackson (2006), p. 192.
  2. ^ Ellis (2006), p. 207.
  3. ^ Jackson (2006), p. 87.
  4. ^ Jackson (2006), p. 337.
  5. ^ Ellis (2006), p 324.
  6. ^ Plant, Jeremy F.; Melvin, George F. (1999). Maine Central in Color, Volume 2. Scotch Plains, New Jersey: Morning Sun Books. p. 55. ISBN 1-58248-030-3.
  7. ^ Raymond, William G. (1937). The Elements of Railroad Engineering (5 ed.). New York, New York: John Wiley and Sons. p. 180.
  8. ^ Union Pacific Railroad Company. Union Pacific Railroad Company Team Track Agreement (PDF). Retrieved 8 December 2011.
  9. ^ "About Us". Port of Tucson. Port of Tucson. Retrieved 9 December 2011.
  10. ^ Chapter 49-10.1. Railroad Regulation by Public Service Commission (PDF). North Dakota Legislative Branch. Retrieved 8 December 2011.
  11. ^ a b Texas Department of Transport (May 1998). "Chapter 5: Spur Tracks". Railroad Operations Volume. Retrieved 8 December 2011.
  12. ^ de Vos, Jerry; Kohler, Gary; McChesney, Chris (2003). Narrow Gauge in the Sheepscot Valley: A Comprehensive Guide to the Wiscasset, Waterville & Farmington Railway. 2. Washingtonville, Ohio: M2FQ Publications. pp. 8, 24, 27, 76.
  13. ^ U.S. Department of Transportation (1974). "Chapter 1: Introduction". Rail Service in the Midwest and Northeast Region (Report). Washington, D.C.: U.S. Government Printing Office.
  14. ^ New Jersey Department of Transportation (1 July 2008). FY 2009 Update Report of the New Jersey State Rail Plan (PDF) (Report). New Jersey Department of Transportation. Retrieved 7 December 2011.
  15. ^ Hackbarth, Paul (9 November 2011). "Council Approves Contract for Team Track Rail Siding". The Missourian. Washington, Missouri. Retrieved 7 December 2011.
  16. ^ Union Pacific Railroad. "Technical Specifications for Construction of Industrial Tracks". Union Pacific Engineering Projects. Union Pacific Railroad. Retrieved 11 December 2011.


  • Jackson, Alan A. (2006). The Railway Dictionary, 4th ed., Sutton Publishing, Stroud. ISBN 0-7509-4218-5.
  • Ellis, Iain (2006). Ellis' British Railway Engineering Encyclopaedia. ISBN 978-1-8472-8643-7.
  • Riley, Joseph E. and Strong, James C., "Basic Track", AREMA, 2003
  • Solomon, Brian, "Railway Signalling", 1st Edition, Voyageur Press.
Allandale, Austin, Texas

Allandale, Austin, Texas is a neighborhood in North Central Austin, in the U.S. State of Texas.The neighborhood is known for its large lots, mature trees and central location.

The Allandale neighborhood boundaries are Burnet Road, Brentwood and Crestview neighborhoods to the East. Mopac Expressway and the Northwest Hills neighborhood make up the Western Boundary. Hancock Drive and the Rosedale neighborhood border to the South, and to the North, West Anderson Lane North Shoal Creek neighborhood. The neighborhood is bisected by Shoal Creek Blvd, and its namesake the perennial Shoal Creek.

Catch points

Catch points and trap points are types of turnout which act as railway safety devices. Both work by guiding railway carriages and trucks from a dangerous route onto a separate, safer track. Catch points are used to derail vehicles which are out of control on steep slopes (known as runaways). Trap points are used to protect main railway lines from unauthorised vehicles moving onto them from sidings or branch lines. Either of these track arrangements may lead the vehicles into a sand drag or safety siding, track arrangements which are used to safely stop them after they have left the main tracks.

A derail is another device used for the same purposes as catch and trap points.

Classification yard

A classification yard (American and Canadian English) or marshalling yard (British, Hong Kong, Indian, Australian and Canadian English) is a railway yard found at some freight train stations, used to separate railway cars onto one of several tracks. First the cars are taken to a track, sometimes called a lead or a drill. From there the cars are sent through a series of switches called a ladder onto the classification tracks. Larger yards tend to put the lead on an artificially built hill called a hump to use the force of gravity to propel the cars through the ladder.

Freight trains that consist of isolated cars must be made into trains and divided according to their destinations. Thus the cars must be shunted several times along their route in contrast to a unit train, which carries, for example, cars from the plant to a port, or coal from a mine to the power plant. This shunting is done partly at the starting and final destinations and partly (for long-distance-hauling) in classification yards.

Corio railway station

Corio railway station is located on the Port Fairy line in Victoria, Australia, and serves the northern Geelong suburb of Corio, although the station is situated about a kilometre from the nearest residential developments in the area.

The station opened on 15 September 1890 as Cowie's Creek, being renamed Cowie on 9 May 1904 and Corio on 1 December 1913.A siding just north of the School Road level crossing was opened in April 1912, and a tramway was constructed from there to the new Corio site of Geelong Grammar School, to facilitate the carting of building materials. At the end of 1913, the station was moved 400 metres down the line in conjunction with the establishment of a crossing loop on the single track. The relocation of Geelong Grammar School to its new site on 8 January 1914 helped to further increase the station's importance. A station-master's residence was constructed, and a station-master and assistant station-master were appointed.In the early 1950s, Corio's role was boosted by the construction of the Shell Refinery, with its associated sidings, immediately adjacent to the station. In February 1959 the line from North Geelong to Corio was duplicated. When duplication was extended to Lara on 9 September 1981, a new island platform and station building were provided.The Western standard gauge line passes to the west of the station.

Freight railways in Melbourne

The city of Melbourne, Australia, has an extensive network of railway lines and yards to serve freight traffic. The lines are of two gauges—5 ft 3 in (1,600 mm) broad gauge and 4 ft 8 1⁄2 in (1,435 mm) standard gauge—and are unelectrified. In the inner western suburbs of the city, freight trains have their own lines to operate upon, but in other areas trains are required to share the tracks with Metro Trains Melbourne and V/Line passenger services.

Fruitvale, Tennessee

Fruitvale is an unincorporated rural community in Crockett County, Tennessee, United States. As of 2012, there were about 65 people living in Fruitvale. The village was listed on the National Register of Historic Places in 2012 as the Fruitvale Historic District.

North Shore, Victoria

North Shore is an industrial and residential suburb of Geelong, Victoria, Australia. The suburb overlooks Corio Bay. A small residential area is east of the North Shore railway station with a few neighbourhood shops.

The suburb is bounded by the Geelong to Melbourne railway line to the west, St Georges Road to the north, Corio Bay to the east, and Cowies Creek to the south.

Port of Melbourne

The Port of Melbourne is the largest port for containerised and general cargo in Australia. It is located in Melbourne, Victoria, and covers an area at the mouth of the Yarra River, downstream of Bolte Bridge, which is at the head of Port Phillip, as well as several piers on the bay itself. Since 1 July 2003, the Port of Melbourne has been managed by the Port of Melbourne Corporation, a statutory corporation created by the State of Victoria.

Most of the port is in the suburb of West Melbourne and should not be confused with the Melbourne suburb of Port Melbourne although Webb Dock and Station Pier, parts of the Port of Melbourne, are in Port Melbourne.

Port Melbourne (or Sandridge as it was known until 1884) was a busy port early in the history of Melbourne, but declined as a cargo port with the development of the Port of Melbourne in the late 19th century. It retains Melbourne's passenger terminal however, with cruise ships and ferries using Station Pier.

In 2011, the port was projected to reach its full capacity in 2015.In September 2016, the port’s commercial operations were leased to the Lonsdale Consortium, comprising the Australian Government Future Fund, Queensland Investment Corporation, GIP and OMERS, for a term of 50 years for more than $9.7 billion.

Quadruple track

A quadruple-track railway (also known as a four-track railway) is a railway line consisting of four parallel tracks, with two tracks used in each direction. Quadruple-track railways can handle large amounts of traffic, and so are used on very busy routes.

Some tracks are only tripled, having only one extra track to relieve congestion, while some tracks are sextupled, i.e., six parallel tracks with three tracks in each direction.

Rail yard

A rail yard, railway yard or railroad yard is a complex series of railroad tracks for storing, sorting, or loading and unloading, railroad cars and locomotives. Railroad yards have many tracks in parallel for keeping rolling stock stored off the mainline, so that they do not obstruct the flow of traffic. Railroad cars are moved around by specially designed yard switchers, a type of locomotive. Cars in a railroad yard may be sorted by numerous categories, including railroad company, loaded or unloaded, destination, car type, or whether they need repairs. Railroad yards are normally built where there is a need to store cars while they are not being loaded or unloaded, or are waiting to be assembled into trains. Large yards may have a tower to control operations.Many railway yards are located at strategic points on a main line. Main-line yards are often composed of an up yard and a down yard, linked to the associated railroad direction. There are different types of yards, and different parts within a yard, depending on how they are built.

Railway platform height

Railway platform height is the built height – above top of rail (ATR) – of passenger platforms at stations. A connected term is train floor height, which refers to the ATR height of the floor of rail vehicles. Worldwide, there are many, frequently incompatible, standards for platform heights and train floor heights. Where raised platforms are in use, train widths must also be compatible, in order to avoid both large gaps between platform and trains and mechanical interference liable to cause equipment damage.

Differences in platform height (and platform gap) can pose a risk for passenger safety. Platform ramps, steps, and platform gap fillers together with hazard warnings such as "mind the gap" are used to reduce risk and facilitate access. Platform height affects the loading gauge (the maximum size of train cars), and must conform to the structure gauge physical clearance specifications for the system. Tracks which are shared between freight and passenger service must have platforms which do not obstruct either type of railroad car.

To reduce construction costs, the platforms at stations on many railway systems are of low height, making it necessary for passenger cars to be equipped with external steps or internal stairs allowing passengers access to and from car floor levels.

Siding (disambiguation)

Siding is the outer covering or cladding of a house meant to shed water and protect from the effects of weather.

Siding may also refer to:

Siding (rail), a track section

A number of place names do or did incorporate the word "Siding", see All pages with titles containing siding

Wodonga railway station

Wodonga railway station is located on the North East line in Victoria, Australia. It serves the city of Wodonga opening on 25 June 2011 as part of the Wodonga Rail Bypass project.It replaced the original station that opened on 21 November 1873 and closed on 9 November 2008. Disused station Barnawartha is located between Wodonga and Chiltern.

Yucca Mountain nuclear waste repository

The Yucca Mountain Nuclear Waste Repository, as designated by the Nuclear Waste Policy Act amendments of 1987, is to be a deep geological repository storage facility within Yucca Mountain for spent nuclear fuel and other high-level radioactive waste in the United States. The site is located on federal land adjacent to the Nevada Test Site in Nye County, Nevada, about 80 mi (130 km) northwest of the Las Vegas Valley.

The project was approved in 2002 by the 107th United States Congress, but federal funding for the site ended in 2011 under the Obama Administration via amendment to the Department of Defense and Full-Year Continuing Appropriations Act, passed on April 14, 2011. The project has encountered many difficulties and was highly contested by the non-local public, the Western Shoshone peoples, and many politicians. The project also faces strong state and regional opposition. The Government Accountability Office stated that the closure was for political, not technical or safety reasons.This leaves American utilities and the United States government, which currently disposes of its transuranic waste 2,150 feet (660 m) below the surface at the Waste Isolation Pilot Plant in New Mexico, without any designated long-term storage site for the high-level radioactive waste stored on site at various nuclear facilities around the country.

Under President Barack Obama the Department of Energy (DOE) was reviewing options other than Yucca Mountain for a high-level waste repository. The Blue Ribbon Commission on America's Nuclear Future, established by the Secretary of Energy, released its final report in January 2012. It detailed an urgent need to find a site suitable for constructing a consolidated, geological repository, stating that any future facility should be developed by a new independent organization with direct access to the Nuclear Waste Fund, which is not subject to political and financial control as the Cabinet-level Department of Energy is.Under President Donald Trump, the DOE has ceased deep borehole and other non-Yucca Mountain waste disposition research activities. For FY18, DOE had requested $120 million and the NRC $30 million from Congress to continue licensing activities for the Yucca Mountain Repository. For FY19, DOE has again requested $120 million but the NRC has increased their request to $47.7 million. Congress has decided to provide no funding for the remainder of FY18.In the meantime, most nuclear power plants in the United States have resorted to the indefinite on-site dry cask storage of waste in steel and concrete casks.

Railway track layouts
Running lines
Rail sidings
Track geometry
and track
and safety
and structures

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