Inglenook Shunting Puzzles

  • Simon R. Blackburn


An inglenook puzzle is a classic shunting (switching) puzzle often found on model railway layouts. A collection of wagons sits in a fan of sidings with a limited length headshunt (lead track). The aim of the puzzle is to rearrange the wagons into a desired order (often a randomly chosen order). This article answers the question: When can you be sure this can always be done? The problem of finding a solution in a minimum number of moves is also addressed.

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