Goods Station - Equipment

Equipment

A goods station is usually equipped with a large number of storage and loading sidings in order to fulfil its task. On the loading sidings there may be fixed facilities, such as cranes or conveyor belts, or temporary equipment, such as wheeled ramps for the loading of sugar beet.

Stations where the primary purpose of the station is the handling of containers are also known as container terminals (CT). They are equipped with special cranes and fork-lift vehicles for loading containers from lorries or ships onto the railway vehicles, or vice-versa.

If only a small section of a station is used for the loading and unloading of goods, it may be referred to as the "loading area" or "loading dock" and has its own access and signposting. Often there are no facilities for loading and the individual firm has to organise its own loading equipment such as conveyor belts or lorry cranes.

Such loading areas were mainly to be found on branch lines, narrow gauge railways and at smaller stations.

Medium-sized and larger goods stations usually have marshalling or shunting sidings to enable trains to be divided amongst the various local loading and sorting sidings and industrial branches, at the same time performing the function of a small railway hub. In many European countries they are also equipped with a hump yard.

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