Since July 2018 the new, fully-automatic train formation yard in Halle (Saale) is in operation, after a four-and-a-half-year construction period. On the site of the former Halle goods yard near Halle main station on an area of 250,000 square metres one of the most state-of-the-art facilities in Europe was built. The purpose of a train formation facility is to marshal goods wagons from incoming trains into new rakes so that they and other wagons can form a new train which is as long as possible. It ranks among the top five marshalling yards in Germany and is an important rail junction for the transport axises West and East, North/Baltic Sea and Southeast Europe as well as Scandinavia and the Mediterranean Sea. The marshalling yard has taken over the operations of Leipzig-Engelsdorf and Dresden-Friedrichstadt which were closed in December 2018.