Freight Railroads
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North America's hump yards

Published: July 8, 2006
Norfolk Southern's Linwood, N.C., classification yard
Photo by Matt Van Hattem
More than half of the hump yards in North America have closed in the past 25 years. From 152 operating classification yards in 1975, the number dropped to 122 in 1985, and 72 by 1993. In 2002, there were 59 active hump yards.

The reasons for this decline are many, and touch on some of the major themes of railroading in the past quarter-century: new technology, mergers and consolidations, and the shift in traffic from boxcars to containers, to name a few. In a special 2-part feature (June and July 2002), TRAINS Magazine looked at the operation and evolution of the North American classification yard, and showed how today's hump yards, while fewer in number, are the railroad industry's most efficient tool for keeping an enormous volume of cars moving across the country every day.

A list of operating hump yards in 2002 appears below, arranged by railroad.

Alton & Southern
Gateway Yard, East St. Louis, Ill.

Belt Railway of Chicago
Clearing Yard, Chicago, Ill.

BNSF Railway
Argentine Yard, Kansas City, Kan.
Balmer Yard, Seattle, Wash.
Barstow, Calif.
Cherokee Yard, Tulsa, Okla.
Galesburg, Ill.
Northtown Yard, Minneapolis, Minn.
Pasco, Wash.
Tennessee Yard, Memphis, Tenn.

Canadian National
MacMillan Yard, Toronto, Ont.
Symington Yard, Winnipeg, Man.
Walker Yard, Edmonton, Alberta

Canadian Pacific
Alyth Yard, Calgary, Alberta
Bensenville, Ill.
St. Paul Yard, St. Paul, Minn.
Toronto Yard, Ont.
Weston Yard, Winnipeg, Man.

Conrail
Oak Island Yard, Newark, N.J.
Pavonia Yard, Camden, N.J.

CSX Transportation
Avon, Ind.
Boyles Yard, Birmingham, Ala.
Cumberland, Md.
Frontier Yard, Buffalo, N.Y.
Hamlet, N.C.
Osborn Yard, Louisville, Ky.
Queensgate Yard, Cincinnati, Ohio
Radnor Yard, Nashville, Tenn.
Selkirk, N.Y.
Stanley Yard, Toledo, Ohio
Tilford Yard, Atlanta, Ga.
Waycross, Ga.
Willard, Ohio

Elgin, Joliet & Eastern
Kirk Yard, Gary, Ind.

Indiana Harbor Belt
Blue Island, Ill.

Norfolk Southern
Allentown, Pa.
Bellevue, Ohio
Brosnan Yard, Macon, Ga.
Buckeye Yard, Columbus, Ohio
Conway, Pa.
DeButts Yard, Chattanooga, Tenn.
Elkhart, Ind.
Enola, Pa.
Norfolk, Va.
Norris Yard, Birmingham, Ala.
Shaffers Crossing Yard, Roanoke, Va.
Sheffield, Ala.
Spencer Yard, Linwood, N.C.

Terminal Railroad Association of St. Louis
Madison Yard, Ill.

Union Pacific
Bailey Yard, North Platte, Neb.
Centennial Yard, Fort Worth, Texas
Englewood Yard, Houston, Texas
Hinkle, Ore.
Livonia, La.
Neff Yard, Kansas City, Mo.
North Little Rock, Ark.
Pine Bluff, Ark.
Proviso Yard, Ill.
Davis Yard, Roseville, Calif.
West Colton, Calif.
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