These included a water tower and a water crane, also known as a water column. A large locomotive station could also have workshops of various kinds, such as a machine shop, forge, copper smithy, foundry, wagon workshop, paint shop, carpenter's workshop and tube repair shop. Adjacent to the round house there was also a coal dock, a place where the coal for the steam locomotives was stored. The round house also had what were known as inspection trenches, which made it possible to carry out repairs under the locomotive.

The round houses were based on two different models – either a parallel stable or a round stable, also known as a roundhouse. The parallel stables were built parallel to the tracks out of the stable building, with or without a turntable. Round houses were built in a semi-circle around a turntable.