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, in railway operations, involves the process of sorting items of rolling stock
Rolling stock comprises all the vehicles that move on a railway. It usually includes both powered and unpowered vehicles, for example locomotives, railroad cars, coaches and wagons...
into complete train
A train is a connected series of vehicles for rail transport that move along a track to transport cargo or passengers from one place to another place. The track usually consists of two rails, but might also be a monorail or maglev guideway.Propulsion for the train is provided by a separate...
sets or consists. The United States
The United States of America is a federal constitutional republic comprising fifty states and a federal district...
terminology is "switching".
The occupation of shunter is particularly dangerous as there is a risk of being run over and on some rail systems, the shunters had to get between the wagons/carriages to complete the coupling process, especially where hook-and-chain coupling systems are in use. This was particularly so in the past (e.g. the Midland Railway used to have an ambulance wagon used at Toton Yard for injured shunters). In the past the main tool was a shunting pole, which allowed the shunter to reach between wagons to fasten couplings, without having to physically go between the vehicles.
- Marshalling (UK) or classification (US) yard
A classification yard or marshalling yard is a railroad yard found at some freight train stations, used to separate railroad cars on to one of several tracks. First the cars are taken to a track, sometimes called a lead or a drill...
- Shunter (UK) or switcher (US)
- Switching and terminal railroad
A switching and terminal railroad is a freight railroad company whose primary purpose is to perform local switching services or to own and operate a terminal facility. Switching is a type of operation done within the limits of a yard...