Pocket track

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A pocket track embedded between two main lines on the Washington Metro.

A pocket track, tail track, or reversing siding (UK: centre siding) is a rail track layout which allows trains to park off the main line. This type of track layout differs from a passing loop in that the pocket track is usually located between two main lines, rather than off to the side.[1][2][3]

Pocket tracks also allow for the short-lining of trains, truncating services at an intermediate station to control train frequency.[4] They are also used at terminal stations to allow for the construction of future extension of a rail track without disrupting existing service.[5]


  1. ^ Railway Technical Web Pages, UK. "Glossary: Centre Siding." Updated 2011-08-29.
  2. ^ Railway Technical Web Pages, UK. "US-UK Railway Terminology." Updated 2011-08-29.
  3. ^ TriMet MAX (Metropolitan Area Express), Portland, Oregon."Types of track layouts." Max FAQs. 2010-12-17.
  4. ^ "Pocket Tracks" (PDF). Metro 2025: Strategic Plan, 2013-2025 (Report). Washington Metropolitan Area Transit Authority. p. 67. Retrieved August 8, 2016. 
  5. ^ "Northgate Station" (PDF). Sound Transit. July 2012. Archived from the original (PDF) on October 2, 2015. Retrieved August 8, 2016.