there shunting yards where engines detach one end and move to other end - simllar found in isle of man railway at end of line also points at stations between end of lines
There are two ways of "reversing" a loco hauled train. One is where the arriving train stops short of a connection to a loop track next to the train. The loco uncouples from the train, draws forward, reverses over the points, proceeds along the loop track, rejoins the platform track at the other end and reverses back onto the train, couples up, brake test and there you go! If it's winter, don't forget the heater bag.
The other method doesn't need a loop. You just need a little loco siding at the exit end of the terminus, where you leave a loco. When the train arrives, the arriving loco uncouples, the loco in the siding at the other end of the platform backs onto the train and couples etc. When the train leaves, the loco left behind follows it out of the platform and goes into the siding. That's what they did on the Met with the electric locos at Liverpool St and Aldgate.
"Rules are for the guidance of wise men and the observance of fools"
In answer to the original post. Tank locomotives were used as they could run in either direction negating the need for turntables. The biggest problem was replacing the hot water in the side tanks with cold to keep the loco condensing properly.
When the Metropolitan Railway extended to Aldgate, they installed drains in the four foot where the locos stopped to allow the hot condensing water to drain away quickly before refilling with cold. These drains joined the common sewer that led down to the Thames, which had the unfortunate side effect of when 1000 gallons of boiling hot water passed down, the sewage tended to well up in the lavatories of the houses that used that sewer. This didn't go down at all well, and the Metropolitan Railway was obliged to pay for its own sewer to the Thames! (London's Metropolitan Railway by Alan A Jackson p.72)
I think everyone learns new things on here, Tony, and it's great to see LUL has fans so far from our shores. The only thing I know about Kentucky - aside from the obvious - is it is where Lexmark operate from. Thanks for the great answers, gentlemen.
No turntables needed, the steam locos were all what we call tank engines, designed to run well in either direction.
The last use on LT of the loco release spur mentioned above at Moorgate on the widened Lines. This was last used when the connection from Kings Cross closed circa 1977. LT employed a shunter (person) there to couple and uncouple locos from the trains. Kings Cross secondmen did not undertake this task in the London area.
Just in case anyone doesn't know what a tank engine is, it is one which carries its coal in a bunker, and its water in tanks, mounted on the locomotive itself rather than a separate vehicle ("tender"). Tender engines are more suited for long distances (as the tender can carry more) and tend to ride better at high speeds (several derailments of express tank engines were blamed on sloshing of the water in the tanks). However tender engines are longer, and ride badly when going backwards, hence the need for turntables.