Dale Valve Solutions: Hump Yard


Hump yards or sorting yards are used to separate incoming boxcars and direct them onto various tracks, depending on their final destination. This is accomplished by pushing boxcars onto a “hump” or a hill, and allowing them to roll down the other side by gravity, which directs them onto the correct track.

Depending on the weight and the selected track, as the boxcar rolls down the hills, brakes are applied to adjust its final speed. The boxcar itself has no braking capability, so track is used to slow the train by squeezing on the wheel as it passes. Generally, there are three methods for providing force to squeeze the track: pneumatic, hydraulic, and mechanical.


The pneumatic system features a series of valves that are used to provide varying pressures to air bellows that squeeze the track on to the passing wheel, which slow the train. Although this is a heavy duty application, precise control is the difference between successful operation and damaging thousands of dollars of cargo.



The Problem

A major train sorting yard in the Midwest was experiencing critical downtime due to complex repair of the existing train braking system.

Repair on the old valve system meant the maintenance person had to shut down the yard for an extended period of time to remove all the piping, in order to replace the valve.


The Solution

ROSS Controls provided the solution – a Dale Valve Manifold.



  • Eliminated the need for additional custom welded manifolds & extensive piping
  • Improved response time for better speed control
  • Enabled future maintenance to be completed without removing piping
  • Enabled complete valve rebuild at installation site within minutes





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