Inglenook Sidings Shunting Puzzle

The challenge of fulfilling the Inglenook Sidings Shunting Puzzle is linked to the fact that some advanced thinking is required – because there is limited space available to juggle around the rolling stock, as determined by the lengths of the individual sidings and the headshunt on the layout.

What looks like a simple task can thus provoke quite a bit of head-scratching. And since the number of possible combinations regarding the positions of these 8 items of rolling stock amounts to about 40,320, it should take a while before a feeling of “oh yes, I know this one” grabs the operator.

Inglenook Sidings Shunting Puzzle – Rules & Operation

The full rules can be found here, however the gist is:

  1. Form a departing train consisting of five (5) out of the eight (8) wagons sitting in the sidings.
  2. The five wagons are selected at random.
  3. The train must comprise the five wagons in the order in which they are selected.

The layout has a specific number of pieces of rolling stock that can be placed on each siding.

Diagram showing the arrangement of the Inglenook Sidings Shunting Puzzle track and initial rollingstock arrangement,
Diagram showing the arrangement of the Inglenook Sidings Shunting Puzzle layout and initial rollingstock arrangement,
  • A shall be one locomotive and three rolling stock items long
  • B shall be five rolling stock items long
  • C and D shall both be three rolling stock items long.

There is an online discussion about a solver here.

32 mm gauge Layout