Top and tail
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A top-and-tail railway train has locomotives at both ends, for ease of changing direction. This is a British term. It is normal for only the leading locomotive to power the train when in top-and-tail mode, cf push pull operation with both locomotives powering.
It is properly distinct from a push-pull train, which has a locomotive at one end and a control cab at the other end.
In Japan, the term "push-pull" is confusingly used to describe trains top-and-tailed with a locomotive at either end. (True push-pull operation with a locomotive at one end is not seen on Japanese mainline railways.)
Stations and Yards serviceable by Top-and-Tail
- Amtrak's Vermonter - train reverses direction at Palmer, Massachusetts
- Atlantic City Express Service - uses a diesel locomotive for part of the route and electric for the remainder with the switch taking place at Frankford Junction, Pennsylvania
- Amtrak Acela - has power cars at both ends. Only the seats are flipped for the reverse direction.
- Minto Inland Port - no run round
- Tahmoor colliery - balloon loop now faces wrong way.
- Macquarie Generation - operates coal trains on spot market where balloon loops and sidings often face the wrong way.
- Grain trains loading at the Brabhams loader just west of Temora now usually work top and tail between Temora yard and the loader.
- Rail Transport Museum of New South Wales operates trains between Sydney and Thirlmere with a steam engine at one end and a diesel engine at the other. The steam engine is at the front whenever passengers are on board.
- EA class used in a six-carriage train to supplement Wellington electric multiple units until arrival of the Matangi electric multiple units.
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