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1. a storehouse or warehouse
2. Chiefly Brit a building used for the storage and servicing of buses or railway engines
3. US and Canadian
a. a bus or railway station
b. (as modifier): a depot manager
4. (of a drug or drug dose) designed for gradual release from the site of an injection so as to act over a long period



an enterprise that operates and repairs rolling stock: railroad cars, locomotives, motorcar sections of railroads and subways, trolley cars, and fire vehicles.

There are two types of depots: the type that is specialized by kind and type of rolling stock (locomotive, railroad car, motorcar) and the mixed type, designed to operate different types of rolling stock simultaneously, such as electric locomotives, diesel locomotives, motorcar trains, and rail-mounted cranes. The primary functions of depots are operating rolling stock in accordance with the traffic schedule and making repairs to ensure traffic safety. Depots include production buildings with technical equipment (machine tools, accessories, and tools), power equipment, and hoisting and transporting devices; warehouses for spare parts and materials; structures for cleaning and washing rolling stock; depot (traction) lines; units for turning rolling stock around; and units for supplying rolling stock with fuel, sand, water, and other materials. The largest enterprises that serve rolling stock are locomotive and railroad car depots.

There are two types of locomotive depots: primary depots and turnaround depots (or turnaround points). The primary depots have an allocated fleet of rolling stock, keep track of its condition on a planned basis, and perform various types of repair. With operation sections up to 1,000-2,000 km long the locomotives are run by shift brigades of different depots. The productive activity of the depots is measured by the amount of rolling stock, the total annual distance traveled, and the number of periodic repairs. The volume of shipping and its prime cost are important indexes of depot operational work. A system of planned preventive maintenance has been adopted in railroad transportation. The condition of rolling stock is checked, and various types of repair are performed depending on distance traveled or after set time intervals. The primary method of repair is the aggregate-assembly method, which is based on the use of compatible junctions and interchangeable assemblies. For this purpose the depots have inventories of new subassemblies and assemblies or ones that have been repaired beforehand.

Locomotive depots are built with rectangular, stepped, and fan-shaped buildings. The stepped type of depot is most promising. It is not as wide as the rectangular arrangement but has more tracks, with two or more stalls on one track, workshops located close to repair points, and better natural illumination of all buildings. Depots of the stepped type are easily expanded by building on new sections. Fan-shaped depots [roundhouses] were built for steam locomotives and do not meet requirements for maintaining modern rolling stock.

Turnaround depots are designated for supplying and inspecting locomotives and repairing them where necessary. The turnaround points have rooms where locomotive brigades can rest between trains. Skilled workers with the necessary tools, spare parts, and materials work in shifts to inspect and carry out repairs on rolling stock.

Subway depots have a large number of tracks for parking rolling stock and carrying out all types of repair (primary depots) and for inspections and other types of operations except for major planned overhaul (parking depots). Each subway line usually builds its own depot. Trolley-car and trolleybus depots also have large parking areas and repair trolley cars and trolleybuses. Depots are built according to standard plans.


Obshchii kurs zheleznykh dorog, 3rd ed. Edited by I. V. Modzolevskii. Moscow, 1960.



An establishment for storing supplies or for maintaining equipment.
The installation for this establishment.


1. A place of deposit; a storehouse or warehouse.
2. A railroad station; a building for the accommodation and shelter of passengers and the receipt and transfer of freight by the railroad.
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