Apart from collisions and derailments, a large proportion of all accidents is found to be due primarily to want of care on the part of the victims. Accidents to workmen in marshalling, shunting, distributing and running trains, engines and cars, may be taken as the most important class, after train accidents, because this work is necessary and important and yet involves considerable hazard.
By other accidents Item By accidents occurring during shunting operations, viz.
In shunting yards the points are commonly set in the required direction by means of hand levers placed close beside the lines, but those at junctions and those which give access from the main lines to sidings at wayside stations are worked by a system of rods from the signal cabin, or by electric or pneumatic power controlled from it and interlocked with the signals (see Signal: § Railway).
In order to keep down the expense of shunting the empty trains and engines to and from the platforms the carriage and locomotive depots should be as near the passenger station as possible; but often the price of land renders it impracticable to locate them in the immediate vicinity and they are to be found at a distance of several miles.
- Diagram to illustrate use of Shunting Yards.
However, varies with the amount and character of the work that has to be done, with the configuration of the ground, and also with the mode of shunting adopted.
The oldest and commonest method of shunting is that known as " push-and-pull," or in America as " link-and-pin " or " tail " shunting.
Push-and-pull shunting is simple, but it is also slow, and therefore efforts have been made at busy yards where great numbers of trains are dealt with to introduce more expeditious methods.
Alongside the tracks on which stand the trains that are to be broken up and from which the sidings diverge subsidiary tracks are provided for the use of the shunting engines.
A classification may also be made, according to the work for which engines are designed, into passenger engines, goods engines, and shunting or switching engines.