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The occupation of shunter/switcher is particularly dangerous because not only is there the risk of being run over, but on some railway systems — particularly ones that use hook-and-chain coupling systems — the shunters have to get between the wagons/carriages in order to complete the coupling and uncoupling. This was particularly so in the past. The Midland Railway company, for example, kept an ambulance wagon permanently stationed at Toton Yard to give treatment to injured shunters.
The main tool of shunters working with hook-and-chain couplings was a shunting pole, which allowed the shunter to reach between wagons to fasten and unfasten couplings without having to physically go between the vehicles.
- Marshalling (UK) or classification (US) yard
- Shunter (UK) or switcher (US)
- Switching and terminal railroad
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