Gillman Yard:  The Main Marshalling Yard


Gillman Yard was built to handle the increase in traffic in 1957 and took over as the main marshalling yard in the Port Adelaide area from the Port Dock Station.

The Bank (for receiving and departure of trains / shunt movements) was the western entrance to Gillman yard (it was actually a hump yard) where once the train was admitted, the locomotives were uncoupled and the shunt engine attached. The train was then bled of air to release all train brakes, the train was then hauled back up the bank and then ‘kicked out’ in bites according to the ‘kick list’, which was compiled by the yardmaster.

The leading shunter would indicate by hand signal by day and hand lamp by night to the driver of the locomotive to push in, the leading shunter would then uncouple the wagon(s) and then signal the driver to stop, the vehicles would then continue rolling onto their respective roads. The assistant shunter would then set the road / switches for the next ‘kick’.

Bank porters where utilised in conjunction with the leading shunter and assistant shunter whilst trains where being remarshalled from the ‘Bank’. The Bank porter was responsible for the setting of roads as directed and the slowing of wagons by applying handbrakes when necessary as to avoid impact with other wagons.

Once these bites of the train were kicked out to their correct roads, the various shunt engines would attach to their respective portions and deliver the loading to their sidings.

Kicking-Off: Before kicking off a vehicle, the employee making the shunt movement must satisfy himself that the brake equipment of the vehicle is in effective condition. The speed of loosely propelled vehicles must be regulated to avoid colliding heavily. Full use of the hand brakes must be made to regulate the speed of vehicles. Vehicles must not be loosely shunted against carriages containing passengers or vans containing livestock or explosives.

Vehicles must not be kicked off towards other stationary vehicles unless a competent person is available to apply the hand brakes as required.  

Fly Shunting: To perform a fly shunt, the engine is attached to the vehicles which require to be shunted or diverted to an adjacent line. The vehicles are hauled towards the switches controlling the siding at a speed not in excess of that at which the vehicles can be uncoupled. When the vehicles to be diverted are uncoupled, the engine is accelerated clear of the switches with such vehicles as may remain attached, thereby enabling the switches to be safely thrown in front of the following vehicles, diverting them to adjacent line. The shunter must accompany the diverted vehicles so that the handbrakes can be applied to bring the vehicles to rest where required.

Fly shunting is not permitted with passenger carriages or loaded vans containing livestock or explosives.


Gillman Yard consisted of:


The arrival / departure rds

The Hawkesbury weighbridge road 

Pit road (for stabling / fuelling locos)

Repair road (for Repairs)

17 marshalling roads

The Butts siding / Pivots

Clyde’s Engineering siding 

Austainers siding & Spur

Sims Metal siding

Talc Siding

Bennet fisher (Wool Stores)

Lysaght's siding Wingfield

Finsbury Junction / Hendon Spur Line



Port Adelaide had four distinct shunt areas:

The Old Yard (Port Dock Station)

The Wharf Access Area & The Port Flat

Birkenhead-Osborne-Outer Harbour (Pelican Point)


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