Active discussions
WikiProject Trains / Locomotives (Rated Start-class, Mid-importance)
This article is within the scope of WikiProject Trains, an attempt to build a comprehensive and detailed guide to rail transport on Wikipedia. If you would like to participate, you can visit the project page, where you can join the project and/or contribute to the discussion. See also: WikiProject Trains to do list
Start-Class article Start  This article has been rated as Start-Class on the project's quality scale.
 Mid  This article has been rated as Mid-importance on the project's importance scale.
Note icon
This article lacks references.

Separate Page needed for (UK) Shunting Engine?Edit

This article is very US-centric. Most of the terminology used, and the locomotive descriptions themselves, are alien to a UK audience (eg there is no concept of a 'slug' in the UK, and tender locos were never designed as shunting engines, even if they were occasionally used as such). I cannot comment for non- UK/US readers.

I think it would be worthwhile to create a separate Shunter page, to describe shunting (US - switching) using UK terminology and the locomotive designs from a UK-perspective. This would be clearer than attempting to describe both on the one page.

There is also the concept that in the UK a 'shunter' was also the railway employee whose job it was to couple/uncouple wagons in a shunting yard. (The locomotive should more correctly be called a 'shunting engine', but obviously 'shunter' is rather easier to say!)

Thoughts? EdJogg 01:11, 15 August 2006 (UTC)

I don't like the Idea of having a separate page for every country... if you look at swiss shunters, there different again from the british and american ones, so we need yet another page and so forth. I would rather see a better structure in this article: Maybe a general paragraph about "shunters of the world", then sections that are specific to certain parts of the world. See Control Car (rail) for an example how this could look. If one of these sections grows too big (not likely to happen in the near future, I guess), we can still replace it by a short summary and put it on its own page. --Kabelleger 07:10, 15 August 2006 (UTC)
Seems like a very good approach to me. (I'll put it on my 'ToDo' list, although this is rather long, so someone else might beat me to it!!) Will be much easier to highlight suitable examples. (Perhaps there's a need for a category of UK shunting engine types? Many were designed for the purpose. Anyone?).
For both pages it is very important to avoid country-specific terminology in the introductory section. I'm sure that most non-US readers can cope with the use of railroad instead of railway, for example, but reference to cars, switching, and (especially) classification yards means nothing to readers from countries where railways developed from British practice. Not trying to be antagonistic - just highlighting a need for careful choice of words. (Which is a Wikipedia guideline, although I can't quote which!)
EdJogg 09:14, 15 August 2006 (UTC)
We still need coverage, somewhere in Wp, of Shunter (railway employee). -- Picapica (talk) 17:44, 27 October 2012 (UTC)

re the statement "eg there is no concept of a 'slug' in the UK" - that's not quite true - Ok there aren't any now but previously the Class 13 0-6-0 + 0-6-0 master and slave units (essentially two Class 08s permanently coupled) used to shunt the hump at Tinsley Marshalling Yard nr Sheffield might be a case in point? I agree about the careful choice of words but this would work with the 'Shunters of the World' idea as you could use the appropriate terminology as appropriate to each country mentioned.

Andywebby 19:23, 31 October 2006 (UTC)

You know I'm not sure I actually read slug (railroad) before writing that first paragraph, but a genuine thank you for making me do so now – it has proved me right! Agreed, the British Rail Class 13 was a master-slave arrangement, and was (AFAIK) unique in Britain. But having read the relevant articles, the Class 13 was definitely NOT a 'slug'. Both units retained their engines, and thus the pairing was much nearer the American cow-calf arrangement. Interestingly, on that page, the Class 13 is the ONLY entry in the list of cow-calf types!
EdJogg 00:53, 1 November 2006 (UTC)
ah - thanks for adding this Ed - I'd missed the point about slugs not actually having their own engine/generator combination although they do have traction motors; so you are correct that the 'Master and Slave' Class 13s do appear to technically be 'Cow and Calf' units (in non UK parlance anyway!). I live and learn... Andywebby 00:57, 15 November 2006 (UTC)

Disambiguation page requiredEdit

Hi, I came here looking for an article about "Switcher" which was a pivotal early Apple Macintosh software program, as well as another program that allowed multiple System Folders on the same hard drive. However, I can't write the article stub because I don't know how to create a disambiguation page. Connectionfailure (talk) 09:38, 20 May 2008 (UTC)

I thought about moving the present switcher page, but it is linked from hundreds of articles, so this is not a sensible course of action. Instead, you need to consult WP:DAB#Disambiguation pages and do the following:
  1. Click on this redlink: Switcher (disambiguation) to create your DAB page
  2. Write your list of terms (including the rail usage, and the video-related use currently linked at the top of the article)
    -- follow the formatting guidance in the WP:DAB page (also see road locomotive for ideas)
  3. Include {{disambig}} at the bottom of your new page, preview and adjust, then save
  4. In switcher, replace the first ('dab') line with {{Otheruses}}, to link to the new dab page.
And that's about it! -- EdJogg (talk) 12:26, 20 May 2008 (UTC)


The caption accompanying the photo of a very tired looking switcher states: "A modern US switcher, an EMD MP15DC" As the last MP15DC was produced in 1980, some 30+ years ago, it is hard to imagine this is that "modern" of a locomotive, especially given its dilapidated appearance. —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 00:17, 5 February 2011 (UTC)

Working lifeEdit

Quote: "Switching is hard work, and heavily used switch engines wear out quickly from the abuse of constant hard contacts with cars and frequent starting and stopping". What is the evidence for this? The British Class 08s have had very long working lives. Biscuittin (talk) 08:09, 11 June 2011 (UTC)

There is no evidence as yet, but I'd say that any switcher that wore out quickly was badly designed. Some railways might buy cheap models, or use regular locomotives rather than specially designed models, but many regular locomotives, especially for freight, will take a lot of knocks.
I nearly took it out, but decided to just add a {{citation needed}} tag instead. Tim PF (talk) 14:52, 11 June 2011 (UTC)


Stepho-wrs (talk · contribs) asked in a recent edit summary: Should these new images be in the gallery?

I actually thought that galleries were deprecated (WP:NOTGALLERY), and that it's better to sprinkle images at appropriate places throughout the article (as per electro-diesel locomotive). I've made a first stab at this, but unless the text is greatly expanded, there are too many different US styles to illustrate without a gallery, and this may be appropriate for those. Tim PF (talk) 15:05, 11 June 2011 (UTC)

I'm not particulary concerned whether we used galleries or not, it just looked like those new images were a bit inconsistant with the other images. I'm happy with your solution.  Stepho  talk  23:31, 11 June 2011 (UTC)

Super shunterEdit

I think Super shunter is a UK term for a main line engine used as a shunter. Can anyone supply a reference? Biscuittin (talk) 19:59, 11 April 2015 (UTC)

External links modifiedEdit

Hello fellow Wikipedians,

I have just modified one external link on Switcher. Please take a moment to review my edit. If you have any questions, or need the bot to ignore the links, or the page altogether, please visit this simple FaQ for additional information. I made the following changes:

When you have finished reviewing my changes, please set the checked parameter below to true or failed to let others know (documentation at {{Sourcecheck}}).

As of February 2018, "External links modified" talk page sections are no longer generated or monitored by InternetArchiveBot. No special action is required regarding these talk page notices, other than regular verification using the archive tool instructions below. Editors have permission to delete these "External links modified" talk page sections if they want to de-clutter talk pages, but see the RfC before doing mass systematic removals. This message is updated dynamically through the template {{sourcecheck}} (last update: 15 July 2018).

  • If you have discovered URLs which were erroneously considered dead by the bot, you can report them with this tool.
  • If you found an error with any archives or the URLs themselves, you can fix them with this tool.

Cheers.—cyberbot IITalk to my owner:Online 22:34, 26 May 2016 (UTC)

Cultural referencesEdit

I believe a section on cultural references would be fitting. Two come to mind:

Thomas the Tank Engine was a shunting engine appearing in W.L. Awdry's books, The Railway Series, and the subsequent, enormously popular TV series, Thomas and Friends and Shining Time Station. Behind Sesame Street, these are probably the most enduring children's series throughout the English-speaking world and beyond. Although Thomas was quickly put to work as a branch-line train, he and his best friend continue to be regularly shown as shunting trains. The most recent Thomas special, for instance, is about his victory in a shunting contest.

The Hartford,-Connecticut professional baseball team is named, "the Yard Goats." Although their logo features an actual goats, it's a safe presumption this refers to shunting engines.

There are probably others, but I believe these two alone merit a section. — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 20:35, 1 October 2016 (UTC)

Return to "Switcher" page.