Functions of a Marshalling Yard and Activities involved

Functions of a Marshalling Yard

  • Reception of goods trains
  • Pass through trains after changing engine, C& W examination, detaching sick wagons if any, adjusting load of trains if any.
  • Breakup and sorting of terminating trains and local loads originating in yard direction or destination wise.
  • To form originating through trains for the farthest possible destination in accordance with marshalling orders.
  • Reformation of goods trains
  • Despatch of trains
  • Placement and removal of goods wagons into and from various sidings and sub yards eg. Sick lines, Transhipment yard, repacking sheds, Goods shed, sidings served by the yard.
  • Recption and despatch of through Block loads.
  • To form shunting and van trains for different sections served by Yard.
  • To move Train engine and Pilots between Yard, Loco shed and sidings.
  • Keep wagon detentions minimum.
  • Placement and removal of sick/fit wagons from Sick Line.
  • Assessment of room by nominated shunting Trains from roadside stations.
  • Supply of stock as per Indent register.
  • Weighment of Wagons in nominated Yards.
  • Maintenance of correct tally of daily output of yard.
  • Maintenance of record of detentions to other kind of stock such as local loaded, sick wagons, empties, special stock etc.

Objectives of Marshalling yards

1. Quick transit

  • Acceptance of trains without detention
  • Minimising average detention to wagons
  • Forming block load to farthest destination
  • Ensuring correct marshalling. Right time start of outgoing trains.
  • Timely supply and placement of wagons to goods shed, Transhipment shed, repacking shed, sidings, C&W depots served by the yard.

2. Economy

  • Maximising productivity of resources viz, shunting locos, track including humps.
  • Optimise trailing load of wagons.

3. Safety

  • Minimum damage to wagons and consignments during shunting movements.
  • Safe marshalling.
  • Elimination of yard accidents.

Activities involved

  • Reception of trains – Co-ordination between AYM(Asst Yard Master) – nomination of road, Cabin ASM, Shunnting Master etc.
  • Release of incoming loco without any detention – Detention may take place due to faulty layout, uncoupling porter not attending in time etc.
  • Inward number taking – TNCs note down wagon numbers in handbooks and note down in wagon exchange books. No inward number taking is necessary if reliable teleprinter is available. Automatic Car identification, CCTV are modern methods of number taking.
  • Inward Train examination – Adequate TxR staff to be employed on Reception lines to carry out Intensive C&W examination of Incoming trains. This ensures that the sick marking on outgoing trains are minimised. Minor repairs should be done on Reception lines themselves as placement on sick lines cause considerable detention to wagons. For this adequate facilities to be provided on Reception lines. Lighting, proper pathways, storage of C&W materials, portable welding sets etc.
  • Sorting of Trains 
  • Preparation of cut-lists
  • Uncoupling of cuts – In Hump yards this is being done while the load is being pushed over the hump.
  • Controlling the speed of humping loco – by proper signalling which is repeated at reception lines. Switching or operation of points – from hump cabin power operated or manual points.
  • Wagon speed control – Height of the hump has to be sufficient that the worst rolling wagon clear at least Facing Point and Fouling mark.
  • Speed control is necessary as rollability of wagons vary. It leads to : Successive cuts catch with each other before being separated, Wagons stop before clearing Facing Point or Fouling Mark, Wagons colliding with other wagons.
  • Speed is controlled by: Handbrakes(manual), Skids, Mechanical retarders, Dressing up of sorting lines: For making up gaps between wagons and coupling up loads for giving final formation of trains.
  • Despatch
  • If there is no separate despatch yard, trains are despatched from sorting lines themselves.
  • Outgoing Train examination
  • Safe to run examination.
  • Apart from checking wagons for defect, ensure continuity and effective Brake power. Load is certified fit if minimum 85% effective cylinders are available on a train.
  • Outgoing number taking - VG is prepared based on this.
  • Attaching outgoing engine and taking over by GDR.
  • Guard has to report 30” before the departure of a through Goods train.
  • Check up load with VG and check that seal cards and pocket labels are intact.
  • Seal defective wagon has to be sealed in presence of RPF and checked at next station where facilities are available.
  • Ensure couplings are tight, load in open wagons properly secured, ensure proper marshalling as per extant instructions.
  • Ensure minimum prescribed vaccum/air in Brake Van.
  • Conduct continuity test.
  • Placement and removal of local wagons
  • Various sidings, sick lines at nominated times
  • Reception and despatch of through Block loads.
  • Separate bypass yards deal trains that do not require shunting. If not provided, it is dealt in Reception Yard or Despatch yard. A short line shall be provided in bypass yard to detach sick wagons if any.
  • Section and Transhipment Trains.
  • To be marshalled in geographical order of stations to be served.
  • Such formation is generally done in a separate grid yard or at the tail end of sorting lines.