- Major rail users have railway sidings in factory premises so as to have door to door services and to avoid double handling from factory to Railway goods shed and vice-versa.
- More than 75% of freight traffic is handled in sidings.
Different types of Sidings
- Public sidings : Owned and operated by Railways and are available to rail users just like goods shed lines.
- Assisted sidings : For the exclusive use of owners of the sidings . The cost is borne jointly by Railways and owners of the siding. This has been discontinued.
- Private sidings : For the use of owners of the sidings. The cost is borne by owner of the siding.
- Departmental (Railway) siding – For departmental use.
- Military siding
- Private sidings save expenditure on provision, maintenance and operation of Goods shed. It is therefore desirable for Railways to encourage Private sidings especially for those users whose traffic is amenable to be handled in full train loads such as collieries, thermal power houses, steel, cement and fertilizer plants , iron ore mines, refineries, FCI godowns, POL depts. Etc.
- A siding may be served through an exchange yard or train engine may place/remove the inward/outward rake directly into/from siding.
- Concept of exchange yard is getting outdated and for better utilization of Rolling stock it is preferable to place and remove rakes into and out of siding by train engine itself.