Railway station layout
A railway station is a place where trains make scheduled stops. Stations usually have one or more platforms constructed alongside a line of railway. However, railway stations come in many different configurations – influenced by such factors as the geographical nature of the site, or the need to serve more than one route, which may or may not be connected, and the level of the tracks. Examples include:
- stations in tunnels;
- stations with platforms on more than one level; and
- stations with other unusual layouts (e.g. with staggered, non-parallel, or severely curved platforms).
This page presents some examples of these more unusual station layouts.
- 1 Location-specific
- 2 Geometry-specific
- 3 Multiple lines
- 4 Platform numbering
- 5 Road stations
- 6 Platforms high and low
- 7 Longest platforms
- 8 Large stations
- 9 Freight stations
- 10 See also
- 11 References
In a tunnel
The particular geography of a line may lead to the station being built below the level of the adjoining terrain (in a cutting) or inside a tunnel. If a station is in a tunnel, it is usually because the station has been constructed beneath the city to serve the city centre, or that the station was originally in a cutting which has subsequently been built over. Examples of individual tunnel stations (i.e. not forming part of a complete metro, suburban railway or underground railway, system) are:
- Brisbane – Central, Fortitude Valley, Ipswich and Toowong were once in the open air but have subsequently been built over.
- Perth – the underground platforms at Perth Underground & Esplanade were opened on 15 October 2007.
- Brussels Central is in tunnel under Brussels city centre.
- Antwerp – The lowest level (−2) of Antwerpen-Centraal railway station could be considered a tunnel station, as it serves two tracks passing through a tunnel under the city centre. The upper parts of the station, including the original tracks (Level +1) are a terminus.
- Montreal Central Station is located underground, at the south end of the tunnel under Mount Royal. Since the station is on a hill, the southern approach tracks are elevated.
- Potsdamer Platz station, Berlin is located in a tunnel running under Berlin which also includes the lower level of Berlin Hauptbahnhof.
- train stations under the airport terminals in Hamburg, Hanover, Düsseldorf, Cologne, Dresden, Frankfurt, Stuttgart and Munich
- Modi'in Central Railway Station is the only completely underground station in Israel.
- in Milan, the station of the passerby railway (passante)
- San Remo station – in a tunnel under the city
- in Turin, the Porta Susa railway station
- Tappi-Kaitei and Yoshioka-Kaitei Stations – these stations in the Seikan Tunnel were the first to be built under the sea.
- Doai and Yubiso stations – one track in the 13,490 m long Shin-Shimizu tunnel. Yoshioka is closed; Tappi remains open.
- Schiphol railway station – the railway station is in a tunnel under the airport.
- Rotterdam Blaak railway station – in the tunnel under the Nieuwe Maas waterway (the station is on the north bank).
- Barendrecht railway station station near Rotterdam (not below the surface but in a roofed structure)
- Rijswijk railway station near The Hague.
- Best railway station near Eindhoven.
- Auckland's Britomart Transport Centre is located underground adjacent to the downtown harbour edge. It is one of the few underground stations for diesel trains in the world.
- Hamilton Central (now closed)
- Warszawa Centralna and Warszawa Śródmieście PKP stations – in a tunnel under the city center of Warsaw.
- Vukov spomenik station in Belgrade
- Zürich Hauptbahnhof has six tracks built in a tunnel, four of them connecting to Zürich Stadelhofen railway station, which is also partially underground. The station at Zürich Airport is also built in a tunnel, below terminal 2. See also Geneva Airport
- Stockholm South Station is an overbuilt station in Södermalm, Stockholm.
- Stockholm-Arlanda Airport has three separate underground stations.
- Helsingborg has a mass-transit hub, Knutpunkten, with the railway station underground.
- Liseberg station in Gothenburg.
- Malmö Central Station is partly a subterrain station since the completion of the City Tunnel
- Triangeln railway station in central Malmö.
A couple of future underground stations is planned as a part new underground railway lines in both Stockholm (Citybanan) and Gothenburg (Västlänken). A station under Landvetter Airport is also planned as a part of a new high-speed line between Gothenburg and Borås.
- Taipei Main Station is in an underground tunnel
- City Thameslink is located under the City of London on the cross-city Thameslink line
- London St Pancras International – Thameslink platforms are Underground.
- Moorgate, Old Street, Essex Road and Highbury & Islington are all located on the underground section of the Northern City Line in London.
- Stansted Airport station is located under the main terminal building.
- Heathrow Airport Terminals 1, 2 and 3, Terminal 4 and Heathrow Terminal 5 are all underground railway stations.
- Sunderland station is in a tunnel under the city centre.
- Glasgow Queen Street and Glasgow Central low level stations on the North Clyde Line and Argyle Line respectively are both in a tunnel system.
- The elevated Liverpool Overhead Railway (now largely demolished) rather paradoxically terminated in a half-mile (800 m) tunnel and ended at the underground Dingle station.
- The city loop on the Merseyrail network (incorporating Liverpool Central, Moorfields, Liverpool James Street, Lime Street Low Level and Hamilton Square in Birkenhead) is in tunnel.
- Birmingham New Street station is underneath the Palisades shopping centre in the city centre.
United States of America:
- The Center City Commuter Connection tunnel in Philadelphia has two underground stations: Market East Station which is under The Gallery at Market East shopping mall, and Suburban Station which is underneath the 21-story One Penn Center office building
- The three major New York City terminals are each situated underground. While Grand Central Terminal and Atlantic Terminal have underground track levels with above-ground station buildings, Pennsylvania Station is entirely beneath Madison Square Garden.
- Millennium Station in Chicago
- Union Station in Chicago
On a viaduct
In the similar way, many stations have elevated platforms which are usually one level above the street, with trains entering on viaducts or embankments, which is normally due to the geography of the region. Some more interesting examples include (not including elevated rapid transit systems):
- Circular Quay in Sydney, New South Wales
- Port Adelaide in Adelaide, South Australia
- Brisbane Airport, Brisbane Queensland has two elevated stations on a pre-stressed concrete viaduct. The stations themselves are connected to the International and Domestic terminals by a series of elevated pedestrian walkways over a car park.
- Bath Spa in Bath Somerset. The railway crosses the river Avon on both sides of the station.
- Chelmsford in Essex
- Leeds City is located on a series of viaducts above the River Aire as well as two roads
- Blackfriars in London had some platforms extending across the bridge over the River Thames. Recent developments have resulted the station actually spanning the whole river, with separate entrances planned on either side.
- Worcester Foregate Street in Worcestershire
- Greenford on the London Underground Central line at a junction for a branch line. The station's platforms are accessed by escalators.
- Shrewsbury in Shropshire, platforms extend over the River Severn.
- Nørrebro Station on S-train line F
- Prato Porta al Serraglio train station (built above the city walls!)
- Skopje station
- Bijlmer/ArenA station in the southern suburbs of Amsterdam
- Amsterdam Sloterdijk. Station partially built on viaducts.
- Girona station on the Barcelona – Portbou line.
- New York City
- Salt Lake City
At a rail-rail crossing
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Some stations have platforms serving two rail routes which cross at different levels. This is particularly common with Metro systems, but with surface-level railways it is often common to have separate stations on each line, or no connection at all. Examples of stations at a rail-rail crossing include:
- Amsterdam Sloterdijk – at ground level is the railway from Amsterdam to Haarlem and Zaandam, with branches to Alkmaar and Purmerend/Hoorn; at elevated level is the railway from Amsterdam to Schiphol Airport, thence to Leiden and The Hague. Booking hall and station square are at an intermediate level. On the south-west side of the crossing and beside the station square runs the Hemboog chord, connecting Schiphol and Amsterdam-Lelylaan to Zaandam, which also has a set of platforms and raised above the street.
- Duivendrecht station (near Amsterdam)
- Zoetermeer Voorweg Randstadrail station – at the ground level is the railway to The Hague in the west, and into Zoetermeer Centrum-West and further into Zoetermeer in the east, and to the north and south parts of the Zoetermeer circuit, both running further to the Zoetermeer Centrum-West RandstadRail station.
- Berlin Hauptbahnhof – on the elevated "Stadtbahn" a new central station has been built, above a new underground railway line. Several other examples exist on the Berlin S-Bahn, at Westkreuz, Ostkreuz, Südkreuz and Schöneberg, and with one of the lines in tunnel at Friedrichstraße.
- Osnabrück Hbf – at ground level is the railway from Amsterdam to Berlin, at elevated level the railway from Dortmund to Bremen.
- Cesano Maderno railway station
- Domodossola railway station FS railway station (Simplon line) and SSIF railway station (line to Locarno)
- Genova Piazza Principe railway station has an underground section
- Milano Porta Garibaldi railway station has an underground section on the Milan Passerby Railway
- Napoli Centrale railway station has an underground section called Piazza Garibaldi
- Torino Porta Susa railway station has an underground section
- Sydney Wolli Creek station – two side platforms are below ground level (but open air) and serve the Airport and East Hills line, and one island platform is above ground, serving the Illawarra line, which crosses at approximately right angles at this point. There are also some tracks from the Illawarra to the East Hills line not served by any platform.
- Rhodesfield in Kempton Park, Gauteng – the platforms of the Gautrain rapid rail service are elevated on a viaduct over the Metrorail platforms at ground level.
- In the UK, stations with this layout are frequently distinguished by adding the designations "High Level" or "Low Level" to the platforms. An example is Tamworth, where the low-level platforms are on the West Coast Main Line from London to Glasgow, and the high-level platforms are on the cross-country route from Birmingham to Derby. Other examples include:
- Lichfield Trent Valley
- Liverpool South Parkway: four high-level platforms are for long haul and regional rail services with two lower for local rapid-transit urban rail.
- Portsmouth and Southsea: two low-level bay platforms for terminating services and a high-level island platform for services to Portsmouth Harbour railway station.
- Smethwick Galton Bridge
- Stratford (London)
- Willesden Junction
- Builth Road: "Low Level" closed in early 1960s.
- Miami, Florida – at Tri-Rail/Metrorail Station, the elevated Metrorail runs on elevated track perpendicular Tri-Rail commuter rail system, which runs at ground level.
- Norristown Transportation Center in Norristown, Pennsylvania – Norristown High Speed Line has its station above the Manayunk/Norristown regional rail station.
- The Secaucus Junction transfer station in New Jersey connects the two main lines of the New Jersey Transit Rail Operations system.
- In New York City, the 61st Street – Woodside station of the New York City Subway's IRT Flushing Line lies directly above the Woodside station of the Long Island Rail Road, sharing a mezzanine level.
- The North Temple Bridge/Guadalupe Station in Salt Lake City has a passenger platform at grade for Utah Transit Authority's FrontRunner commuter rail below and the TRAX (light rail) Green Line passenger platform on top of the West North Temple Street viaduct that crosses over the FrontRunner and Union Pacific Railroad tracks below.
- Gare de Valence TGV is at the crossing of LGV Méditerranée and the Valence–Moirans railway: the top level is used for regional trains while the bottom level is used for high speed trains.
It was and still is common in the United States for stations to be located where two line cross at the same level, often without a connection between them.
Rare examples in the United Kingdom include:
- Newark North Gate railway station is just south-east of the Newark flat crossing, where the East Coast Main Line, and the Nottingham to Lincoln Line cross. The other line is served by Newark Castle railway station. It is the fastest such crossing in the UK, with East Coast services allowed to travel over it at 100 mph (160 km/h). A number of passenger trains in both directions between Lincoln and Nottingham serve both stations by means of a short north-east to south-east curve connecting the two lines: trains from Lincoln reverse out of North Gate station before using the crossing; those from Nottingham reverse into the station after crossing the main line.
- Retford, on the East Coast Main Line north of Newark, also had a flat crossing until the 1960s. Trains crossing the main line had to use curves to reverse in and out of the station. This flat crossing was later replaced by a dive-under with two new low-level platforms.
On a public road
In Oakland's Jack London Square, the Amtrak and Capitol Corridor rail services, as well as through freight trains, actually operate along the street, with tracks embedded in the pavement (much the same way a tram would be expected to operate). The station itself is in a structure some yards away from the platforms.
It is not unknown for a station to have platforms on all three sides of a triangular junction.
- Shipley, the junction for the branch to Bradford on the Airedale and Wharfdale lines.
- Earlestown on the original Liverpool to Manchester Line at a junction for the branch to Warrington.
- Queensbury in West Yorkshire (closed).
- Ambergate, Derbyshire on the Midland Main Line. One set of platforms survives.
- Bishop Auckland. Durham platform demolished 1986, leaving only 1 platform.
- Ludwigshafen Hbf was changed from a Vee to a triangle by adding two elevated platforms on the third side of the triangle.
Vee (open triangle)
Sometimes, a station may be built at a junction with a pair of platforms on each branch, resulting in a V-shaped station. Usually, either one or both sets of platforms are curved. This layout provides an additional safety measure for working on single track lines. In Germany, this is referred to as a Keilbahnhof.
Stations located in the V of a junction include:
- Werris Creek
- Mangalore (station now closed; junction remains)
- Cootamundra West until 2008
- Fassifern (branch closed 1990, main platform still in service)
- Asnières-sur-Seine, on the Paris – Caen and Paris – Versailles Réseau Saint-Lazare suburban lines.
- Bellegarde-sur-Valserine, new station opening end 2010, located between the traditional Genève – Lyon line and the newly refurbished Bellegarde – Bourg-en-Bresse single track known as Ligne des Carpates, a shortcut for TGVs between Genève and Paris.
- Cannes La Bocca, on the Marseille – Ventimiglia and Grasse – Ventimiglia TER PACA lines.
- Lisieux, on the Paris – Caen and Paris – Trouville-Deauville lines.
- Serquigny, on the Paris – Caen and Caen – Rouen RD lines.
- Augsburg-Hochzoll, at the junction of the Munich-Mering-Augsburg permanent way and the Ingolstadt-Dasing-Augsburg permanent way.
- Genoa Sampierdarena railway station (lines to Turin/Milan and Ventimiglia
- Mondovì railway station (lines to Bastia Mondovì – now closed – and Savona)
- Monza railway station (lines to Chiasso and Lecco)
- Palazzolo sull'Oglio railway station (lines to Bergamo and Paratico)
- Pisa San Rossore railway station (lines to Genoa and Lucca)
- Sesto Calende railway station (lines to Luino and Milan)
- Juso station of Hankyu Railway in a double vee shaped station, being the branching junction for the Hankyu Kobe Line, Kyoto Line and Takarazuka Line.
- Suzumeda Station(JR West)
- Amsterdam Muiderpoort station – serves the line from Amsterdam to Utrecht and the line from Amsterdam to Weesp, and is situated just after the junction with the platforms at different angles.
- Hamilton Station, where one of the platforms is used, and the other one is not used. The platform that is in use is on the line south to Wellington, and the unused platform is on the line to Tauranga via the disused Hamilton Central Station.
- Virginia Water, where the Weybridge branch splits off from the Waterloo to Reading main line.
- Cheadle Hulme, where the Manchester-Crewe and the Manchester-Stafford lines split.
- Lewisham, where the Bexleyheath and North Kent lines divide from the South Eastern Main Line and Hayes Line. The DLR also terminates in a cutting between the two sets of platforms.
- Crystal Palace on the triangular junction where the line from Clapham Junction meets the London Bridge to Brighton line.
- Duffield Originally on the North Midland Railway, then the Midland Railway. A platform was built for the branch to Wirksworth. Currently out of use but will be opened with the restoration of the Ecclesbourne Valley Railway.
- Sutton (London) where the Epsom Downs Branch splits from the Mole Valley Line and the Thameslink
- Pitsea where the c2c line between Shoeburyness and London Fenchurch Street splits into two branches.
- Lewes on the East Coastway Line, where the line to London leaves it
- Barnt Green on the Birmingham Cross City Line where the lines to Worcester and Redditch split.
- Hither Green in London has four main line platforms and a curved platform for the Dartford Loop Line.
- Marks Tey has two main line platforms and a single short platform at an angle to the north for the Gainsborough Line. Normally these branch line trains terminate here rather than proceeding to join the main line.
- Penistone, on the Penistone line. One pair survives
- Kidsgrove railway station in Staffordshire, where the line north from Stoke-on-Trent splits to Manchester and to Crewe.
- Dinting on the Manchester to Glossop line where the branch to Glossop split from the Woodhead line.
- Dovey Junction
- Moat Lane Junction
- Morfa Mawddach
- Colbren Junction
- Three Cocks
- Canton Junction station in Canton, Massachusetts — at junction of MBTA's Providence/Stoughton Line and Stoughton Branch
- Clybourn station in Chicago – at junction of Metra's Union Pacific/North Line and Union Pacific/Northwest Line
- Denville station in New Jersey – at junction of New Jersey Transit's Morristown Line and Montclair-Boonton Line
- Floral Park on the Long Island Rail Road.
- Princeton Junction station in New Jersey – at junction of Northeast Corridor and Princeton Branch
- Vancouver, Washington — at the junction of Amtrak's Coast Starlight and Cascades with the Empire Builder
Unusual platform or track
- Central railway station, Sydney Platforms 1 to 15 are terminal (dock) platforms used by long distance and interurban services. Platforms 16 to 23 are above ground through platforms (4 x islands). Platforms 24 and 25 are below in underground tunnels. There are also 2 never used underground platforms above platforms 24 and 25.
- Belmont, New South Wales. The terminal platform was on the single line, while the run round and sidings were located beyond the platform. Later when the run round and sidings were abolished, the single dead-end platform was relocated on the other side of the level crossing.
- Cronulla now consists of two platforms end to end, but with no connection between platforms.
- Gosford railway station, New South Wales – because the track centres between platform 1 and 2 (dating from 1890) are still so narrow, signals are now interlocked to prevent trains to use both platforms at the same time.
- In Charleroi's light subway system, the Waterloo station has a two platform tracks, which diverge in two directions on both sides of the station, but two of those lines come together to form a single link, so trains can go from any direction to any direction without reversing.
- Latour-de-Carol is unusual in being a "junction" for lines of three different gauges: metre gauge of the Yellow Train (Train Jaune/Tren Groc), the standard gauge of SNCF and the 1,668 mm (5 ft 5 21⁄32 in) Iberian gauge of RENFE.
Ireland (see rail transport in Ireland):
- Cork's Kent Station is curved, due to the lines entering the station at right angles to the River Lee, but having to connect to a line running parallel to the river.
- Limerick Junction, County Tipperary (formerly Tipperary Junction) is the only place in Ireland where two lines cross at near-90 degrees. It serves several destinations, mainly connections to/from Limerick and the Cork–Dublin main line. The other line served is Limerick–Waterford. The platform layout is not particularly unusual, but track diagrams are complex, resulting in trains needing to reverse behind the station building into one of the platforms on occasion. Until 1967, reversing into platforms was a required manoeuvre for all trains stopping at the station.
- Dresden Hauptbahnhof is a terminus station with through tracks on either sides of the station building.
- At Anyang, where both subway and passenger train stops, rapid subway train platforms (high level platforms) are connected with passenger train platforms (low level platforms). Passenger can move from subway platform to passenger train platform without stairs and vice versa. Deokso Station have similar platform layouts.
- At Kowloon Station, two side platforms are built atop an island platform, with the middle of the station reserved for escalators.
- At Liskeard, the platform for the branch line to Looe is on the same level as, but at right angles to, those on the Plymouth – Penzance main line.
- At Templecombe the LSWR and S&DJR lines crossed at right angles with a link between them. S&D trains reversed into the LSWR station.
- Edinburgh Waverley is laid out as two back-to-back terminus station (although only a few east-facing bay platforms remain). The station building is located between banks of east and west facing bay platforms, with several through tracks on the north and south sides.
- At Inverness, the platforms to the south are at angle to the platforms to the north, with a triangular connection. Through trains reverse into the station (in some cases, twice in succession, as only one platform is available to both north and south routes).
- Manchester Victoria and Manchester Exchange (now closed) were adjacent and connected by a single common platform which was the longest railway platform in Europe. Trains would pass through one station on through lines and then stop at the other station, rather than stopping at both stations.
- Clapham Junction in Wandsworth, London spans several lines that diverge either side of the station, and is made up of two separate sets of island platforms linked by a footbridge and a subway.
- Raynes Park in London is located within a flying junction. It has two staggered main line platforms. Westbound trains on the Mole Valley Line (a branch line) arrive at a separate westbound platform which is at 30 degrees to the main line westbound platform. Trains joining the main line from the Mole Valley Line pass under the main line and curve around and arrive at another platform which is 30 degrees to the main line platforms, but not parallel to the westbound Mole Valley Line platform.
- St Ives, Cornwall. Reduced to a single dead end platform, suitable only for DMUs or push–pull trains.
- Looe, Cornwall. Reduced to a single dead end platform, suitable only for DMUs or push–pull trains.
- Ormskirk. Reduced to two single platforms, end to end, each half like a St Ives. One half electric, the other half diesel.
- Felixstowe now reduced to a single dead end platform.
- Ely to avoid an extra river/canal bridge necessary for a triangle, a balloon loop was provided.
- Coombe Junction Halt
- Mpika railway station – 180 degree shunting neck.
With platforms on either side of level crossing
Staggered platforms at level crossings prevent road traffic from having to wait whilst the train is in the platform. Australia:
- Nurlutta, Adelaide
- Seacliff, Adelaide
- Beckenham, Perth
- Kenwick, Perth
- Formerly St Albans, Melbourne
- Newtown railway station, Sydney, first station (1855–1892); double track.
- Mitcham Eastfields, London
- Sturry, Kent
- Several stations on the Marston Vale Line.
- Tutbury and Hatton, Derbyshire
- Arram, East Yorkshire
- Howden, East Yorkshire
- Habrough, North Lincolnshire
- Hykeham, Lincolnshire
- Roydon, Essex
With or on balloon loop
A balloon loop is a track arrangement that allows a train to reverse direction without shunting or having to stop. In some cases, multiple stations lie on a balloon loop.
- City Hall station on the IRT Lexington Avenue Line was one of the first balloon loop stations. Now closed, the loop track continues to be used to turn trains. These trains discharge and take on passengers at Brooklyn Bridge – City Hall, one station to the north.
- South Ferry (see diagram) was a two-track loop station, with a sharply curved side platform for each track. Due to problems with train length and platform clearance, this station was replaced by a standard stub terminus with two tracks and an island platform (South Ferry), although the original trackage remains in use for turning trains when necessary.
- Terminal 4 station at Heathrow Airport on the London Underground Piccadilly line
- Barrow-in-Furness and Roose on the Furness Line
- Dungeness on the preserved Romney, Hythe and Dymchurch Railway
- Olympic Park, Sydney, Australia is on a balloon loop. Platforms 1 and 4 are for boarding; platforms 2 and 3 are for alighting.
- Outer Harbor, Adelaide, Australia is on a balloon loop but not all of the balloon loop remains in place. All trains now enter the station from the south, driver changes ends and railcar reverses to Adelaide.
- Penfield 3, Adelaide (now closed)
- Woodville Railway Station, New Zealand
On two or more levels
Stations are sometimes built at two levels so as to provide level access to a township that is located on one side only. One level is for trains going one way, and the other level for the other way. Metro system as general practice have multilevel stations where lines intersect, usually without any connection for the trains, and these are too numerous to list here. Some unusual examples include:
- Rødovre station
- Airport MTR Station, Hong Kong – arriving trains arrive at the level of the Departure lounge while departing trains leave at the level of the Arrival lounge.
- München Marienplatz, Germany
- Berlin Hauptbahnhof (Berlin Central Railway Station) (Germany)
- Grand Central Terminal in New York City
- Tamworth in the United Kingdom
Terminus and reversal
A reversal station is where a continuing train has to change direction, because the station is or has become a terminal of two lines.
- Daylesford – lines from Ballarat and Woodend both enter from same end.
- Bere Alston as a result of closure.
- Dorchester South. Originally this was built as an east-facing terminus with the intent of extending the line westwards. This never happened, and trains instead had to reverse to continue to Weymouth. In the 1980s, it was closed and a new through platforms was built to the south.
- Chennai Central – trains arriving from the north and departing to the west or vice versa have to reverse.
- Adelaide Parklands Terminal – Indian Pacific requires reversal when proceeding to Perth or Sydney.
- Tsumeb railway station, Namibia – is a dead end junction, with a triangle providing a direct connection between the two main lines.
- Dévaványa, Hungary – it was a through station, but the line to Kisújszállás is gone, trains from Gyoma to Vésztő and back need change ends.
- Drégelypalánk, Hungary – it was a through station too, but the cross border line from Drégelypalánk to Šahy (SK, Hungarian name: Ipolyság) is gone, trains from Vác to Balassagyarmat need reversal.
- Kilkenny, Killarney and Birr stations in Ireland.
- On the East Coastway Line in East Sussex, the former direct line between Polegate and Pevensey & Westham was taken out of use, meaning trains have to reverse at Eastbourne and double-run at Hampden Park.
- Beech Forest, Victoria – would have been a reversal station, but the narrow gauge made it possible to reverse in a small radius balloon loop with a tennis court inside the balloon.
- Mount Gambier – when break of gauge, the narrow gauge lines were a reversal station on the west side, with broad gauge on the east side.
- Maldon – extension to Shelbourne required reversal.
- Sale – extension to Bairnsdale required reversal; through station later built.
- St Kilda – all trains required reversal when proceeding towards Windsor.
- Balaklava – trains from Adelaide towards Gladstone and vice versa required reversal. All these lines are now closed.
- At Bourne End, the lines to Marlow and Maidenhead both enter the same end of the station, meaning trains have to reverse.
- Bradford Interchange and Bradford Forster Square on either side of Bradford, United Kingdom
- Cambrian Line services at Shrewsbury where the train goes into a bay platform and then reverses all the way to its destination.
- At Morecambe, trains continuing to Heysham Port must reverse, because there is no longer a chord connecting the two lines.
- Swansea – Continuing trains in both directions which stop at Swansea must reverse, however there is a section of track to bypass the station.
- Carmarthen – Continuing trains in both directions which stop at Carmarthen must reverse, however there is a section of track to bypass the station.
- Otjiwarongo – the Outjo branch would easily join the main line in the wrong direction for through trains, but to avoid a reversal, the branch makes a series of curves to join the main line in the right direction. A second smaller triangle is for turning engines.
- At Engaru, Hokkaidō, the Nayoro Main Line came from one direction and continued to two directions as the Sekihoku Main Line. The Nayoro Line was closed in 1989 while the Sekihoku Line is active.
- San Francisco International Airport BART station
- Norwich in East Anglia.
- Pialba terminus at sea shore, so reversal needed for extension to Urangan Pier.
- Hakone Tozan Line signal stations on zigzags.
- At The Hague Centraal trains from Leiden, Utrecht and Rotterdam arrive at the same side, because The Hague is a coastal city and one end of the station faces the North Sea.
- Galle railway station, Sri Lanka
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Since passenger interchange between different lines can be important, independent companies often but not always build joint stations so that all activities are concentrated at the one location.
- Carlisle is a good example: It was built by London and North Western Railway and later expanded when Midland Railway built their own line to it.
- Derby TriJunct Station was the first such station, where three proposed companies met in 1840. Largely because of intervention by the town council, the three lines shared one long platform.
- At both Birmingham New Street and Buxton, rival companies (the MR and the LNWR) built stations next door to each other, separated by no more than a narrow roadway. The same occurred at Evesham, the companies there being the GWR and the MR.
- London Victoria was built as two separate stations on the same site by London and Brighton Railway and London, Chatham and Dover Railway. In 1924, the division between the two stations was removed.
- Leeds City and Aberdeen were built to replace earlier stations.
- Basel SBB in Switzerland.
- Melbourne originally had two separate termini (Flinders Street Station and Princes Bridge), which were eventually connected. Today, Flinders St is used as the commuter terminus and Southern Cross Station as the regional terminus; most commuter trains also stop at Southern Cross.
- Howrah Station in Kolkata is a joint station serving the Eastern and South Eastern Railway.
- Dadar railway station in Mumbai is a joint station serving the Central and Western Railway.
- Salt Lake City Intermodal Hub is a joint station serving Amtrak's California Zephyr as well as Utah Transit Authority's FrontRunner (communter rail) and the TRAX Blue Line.
- Numerous Union stations in the United States are joint stations.
- Nam Cheong Station in New Kowloon, Hong Kong
- Mülheim (Ruhr) Hauptbahnhof two separate stations eventually merged
Examples abound in the UK, where it was normal for the many different companies that built the rail network to each build their own main station in a town. Indeed the possibility of different companies sharing assets caused a number of legal headaches. In some cases settlements with populations of a few thousand would have three railway stations. Examples include:
- The city centre of Manchester has two major stations, Manchester Piccadilly and Manchester Victoria, with no practicable rail connection between them.
- Bradford has two railway stations at opposite ends of the city centre, Bradford Interchange and Bradford Forster Square.
- Lincoln used to have two separate stations, Lincoln Central and Lincoln St Marks. Eventually tracks were rationalised with a few new links, and Lincoln St Marks closed in 1985.
- Glasgow has two main termini, Glasgow Central and Glasgow Queen Street.
- The building of the London Extension of the Great Central Railway led to duplicate stations at Leicester and Rugby
- London has always had more railway lines and companies than could ever have been served by a single station, though sometimes stations are side by side (for example St Pancras International and King's Cross stations. Liverpool Street was formerly next to Broad Street until the latter was closed in 1986 and demolished to make way for the Broadgate development). Also London Victoria was run separately by the LB&SCR on one side and the LC&DR on the other, the stations not being joined until the 1920s. Clapham Junction has no physical connection between the Brighton line and the LSWR lines despite running parallel, but provides interchange between the two.
- Windsor in Berkshire has two separate stations on two separate lines, resulting from a race between two separate companies to provide a rail service with which Queen Victoria could travel into London.
- Wath-upon-Dearne, South Yorkshire once had three railway stations, originally built by the North Midland Railway, South Yorkshire Railway and Hull and Barnsley Railway railway respectively, despite only having a population of a few thousand (2006 population 7,500).
- Practically all the stations between Buxton and Manchester on the rival LNWR and Midland lines. Buxton, Derbyshire, consisted of two separate stations, built in 1863, one backed by the London and North Western Railway the other by the Midland Railway. The stations were built side-by-side, and had matching frontages designed by the same architect, J Smith.
- The village of Crianlarich used to have two stations on different lines, Crianlarich Lower and Crianlarich Upper separated by a walk of 300 yards. Later one of the stations and part of one of the lines were closed. However one stop away (on both lines) the village of Tyndrum still has two stations on separate lines.
- Hong Kong
- United States
- Baltimore, Maryland has two stations: Penn Station and Camden Station.
- Boston has two stations: South and North.
- Chicago has four major stations in its city center: La Salle Street Station, Millennium Station, Ogilvie Transportation Center and Union Station.
- Hammond, Indiana has two stations: the Hammond–Whiting Amtrak station and the Hammond station for the South Shore Line commuter rail.
- New York City has two stations: Pennsylvania Station and Grand Central Terminal. They are indirectly connected by New York City Subway.
- Newark, New Jersey has two stations: Penn Station and Broad Street Station. They are connected by the Newark Light Rail and New Jersey Transit bus service, however all NJT commuter rail lines serve one station or the other, never both. This effectively gives Newark two major stations.
- Stockton, California hosts an Amtrak station, as well as a station for the Altamont Corridor Express (ACE), located some blocks north and east—and connected by the San Joaquin "trolley", taxi, or walking.
- Kolkata (formerly Calcutta) has two main stations: Howrah Station and Sealdah Station.And three stations which are termini for a small number of trains- 1. Kolkata railway station 2. Shalimar Station and 3. Santragachi railway station
- Mumbai (formerly Bombay) has two main stations: Chhatrapati Shivaji Terminus (formerly Victoria Terminus) and Mumbai Central and many other stations having termini for some express trains: Dadar, Bandra Terminus, Churchgate and Lokmanya Tilak Terminus. However, many 'Mumbai'-bound trains on the Konkan Railway do not actually enter Mumbai; they pass through Panvel instead.
- Delhi has five main stations: Delhi Junction, New Delhi, Hazrat Nizamuddin Railway Station, Sarai Rohilla and Anand Vihar Terminal.
- Thiruvananthapuram (formerly Trivandrum) has three main stations: Trivandrum Central, Kochuveli Vikram Sarabhai Terminus and Nemom-Trivandrum City South. Trivandrum Pettah Railway station, Varkala Sivagiri Railway station and Kazhakootam Technopark Station caters to the need of the larger urban area.
- Hyderabad has three main stations: Secunderabad Railway Station, Hyderabad Railway Station and Kachiguda Railway Station
- Chennai (formerly Madras) has two main stations: Chennai Central and Chennai Egmore which are actually very close to each other. Tambaram is being formed as another main station in Chennai.
- Bangalore has two main stations: Bangalore City Railway station and Yeshvantpur railway station.
- Patna has two main stations: Patna Junction and Rajendranagar Terminal.
- Warangal has two main stations: Kazipet#Railway Junction and Warangal#Rail.
- Various other cities such as Varanasi, Indore, Kanpur have multiple stations.
- Paris has six main stations, each serving one part of France. The stations are linked by the Paris metro network.
|This section does not cite any references or sources. (May 2011)|
||The examples and perspective in this section may not represent a worldwide view of the subject. (May 2011)|
In order to aid both passengers and railway staff, platforms are normally identified using numbers, letters or a mixture of both. These are allocated according to principles that may differ from country to country (or even from railway to railway). These designations are usually displayed on signs and departure displays to aid navigation.
In Taipei Station, long platforms that host two trains on the same platform use letters after the numbers. E.g. 3A meaning platform number 3 on the front end, and 3B meaning the other end.
In Victoria, Australia platforms are numbered. Stations with only one platform are numbered only within the (Metlink). Stations with two platforms are usually numbered so that platform 1 is the Melbourne inbound ("up") service and platform 2 is the Melbourne outbound ("down") service. In the suburban network of Melbourne, a third platform is usually reserved for local services during the peak hours and the second platform used by express services. Stations with four platforms are usually at stations with two or more lines passing through. In the off-peak platforms 1 and 3 would be inbound "up" services and platforms 2 and 4 would be for the outbound "down" services. Two inner city stations, North Melbourne and Richmond, have several platforms. Again, odd number platforms are for the "up" trains and the even number platforms are for the "down" trains, often with a platform serving one line each or a group of lines.
In the Czech Republic, especially at through stations and stops with multiple platforms, platforms are assigned a roman numeral. Platform "I" is typically a side platform adjacent to the station building or the first island platform from it. Tracks are numbered separately and are usually numbered in the opposite direction of the platform numerals. For example, a bay platform would have one numeral and as many numbers as there are tracks, while a more typical island platform would have one numeral and two numbers. Platforms are further divided along their length into to lettered zones, to help distinguish (among other things) when more than one train is occupying a track at a platform.
In France, platforms bear letters as designations. Except some stations in Paris, where the platform number exceeds 26, such as Saint Lazare with 27 numbered platforms, platforms are always given letters.
In the Netherlands, Denmark and Switzerland, platforms themselves are not numbered – the tracks are. This implies that island platforms typically have two numbers, one number for each side of the platform. Platforms long enough to host two or more trains on the same track at the same time use superscript letters. (So 5a and 5b are on the same platform indicating the same track, but one is at the far end, and the other at the near). All tracks are numbered, including tracks that do not run along a platform. So in a station, there might be a platform 4/5 and a platform 7/8 with no platform 6. Tracks numbers count upwards from 1, usually starting with the track facing the city centre. Germany uses a similar system but additional letters are not superscripted (so track 5 might be split into 5a and 5b).
In the United Kingdom, the numbering usually starts from the left when looking in the "up" direction of the line (i.e., towards the capital or other principal destination), although some stations do not carry this characteristic (e.g., Leicester railway station). In addition:
- Letters are sometimes used to avoid confusion with nearby numbered platforms; thus the platforms at Waterloo East station are designated A–D to distinguish them from those at Waterloo station with which they form a single complex. At Manchester Victoria, platform numbers are given to National Rail services and Letters A, B and C are given to Manchester Metrolink platforms to avoid confusion between the two systems.
- When lines are added or removed, platform numbers are not necessarily updated to reflect this fact, such as Shrewsbury and formerly Lincoln Central having no railway at platforms 1 and 2. Cardiff Central, Haymarket, and Stockport are notable for having a platform 0; in the past Preston has also had one. Cardiff Central additionally no longer has a platform 5, despite signs in the station's subway indicating its existence; it is planned to reopen though.
- Sometimes, a platform may be split into "A" and "B" lettered sections (such as at Birmingham New Street), which are each capable of carrying local trains, whilst longer trains use the whole platform. A related system numbers each end of the platforms separately, such as at Bristol Temple Meads, where the Penzance end of the station carries even platform numbers, with the London end allocated odd numbers.
- A Platform 0 opened at London Kings Cross in 2010, built adjacent to the long-established platform 1. Labelling it "0" saved renumbering the existing 11 platforms at the mainline station, with potential for confusion. All platforms will be re-numbered once the current refurbishments and development has been fully completed.
- Historically, some stations (such as Clapham Junction) numbered each physical platform once, even if it served two lines. In the modern era, each platform face is numbered individually; lines without a platform generally remain unidentified.
- At some stations, bay platforms can be numbered out of sequence. For example, at Northampton railway station, the platform numbers from west to east are 3, 2, 1, 4, 5, platforms 4 and 5 being north-facing bays.
In New York City's Grand Central Terminal, the tracks are numbered according to their geographic location in the terminal building rather than the trains' destinations because all of trains at Grand Central terminate there. There are 41 tracks on the upper level and they are numbered from 1 to 41 from the most eastern track to the most western track. On the lower level, there are 26 tracks; they are numbered from 100 to 126, east to west. This system makes it easy for passengers to quickly locate where their train is departing from and removes much of the confusion in finding one's train due to the immense size of the terminal. Often, local and off-peak trains depart from the lower level while express, super-express and peak trains depart from the main concourse. Trains operated with a locomotive always use the upper level, while electric multiple unit trains use both. Odd numbered tracks are usually on the east side (right side facing north) of the platform; even numbered tracks on the west side.
Many stations are not located near the towns which they purport to serve. Some stations append the word "road" to their name, indicating that they are "on the road to" the given place.
In many instances these stations were constructed during the early years of railway development, and towns have since grown up either independently around the proximity of the station (notably Crewe), or increased in size to eventually include the station (e.g., Woking).
Some examples of current and former "road" stations in the United Kingdom:
- Andover Road (Now Micheldever)
- Attercliffe Road
- Builth Road
- Edlington for Balby Doncaster
- Green Road
- Green Swamp (New South Wales)
- Gwinear Road
- Lawrence Road (New South Wales)
- Quainton Road
- Stroud Road (New South Wales)
- Walcha Road (New South Wales)
- Albion Park Rail (New South Wales) as distinct from Albion Park
- Newick and Chailey located halfway between the two villages in purported to serve.
- Llanbister Road
Many small villages have grown up around "road" stations and have taken the name of the station such as Grampound Road in Cornwall and Llanbister Road in Powys. Alternatively, the village around the station may have become known as station name with the word "station" appended. Examples of this are Micheldever Station in Hampshire and Meopham Station in Kent. Similarly, the town of Llandudno Junction took its name from its station.
In Germany, stations are always named by the main place they were intended to serve. If the station is located out of town, then a small village/town area may have grown up around it, known as the town name with "Bahnhof" appended. The best examples are:
- Grafing Bahnhof, some 5 km from Grafing proper
- Wasserburg Bahnhof, actually located in Reitmehring, and a separate station from Wasserburg "Stadt"
There is also the case of the railway station Holm-Seppensen, built to serve the villages of Holm and Seppensen and roughly halfway between them, around which a settlement eventually grew, which was then known as Holm-Seppensen. Holm, Holm-Seppensen and Seppensen are now all part of Buchholz in der Nordheide.
This practice can also be found in Italy (e.g., Montepulciano Stazione) and in many other countries.
In Slovenia, for example, the railway station "Most na Soči" serving the town of the same name is located on the other bank of the river Soča, about a mile away from the town. A separate village Postaja (meaning "Station" in Slovene) has grown around the railway station.
In recent years in the UK, the designation "Parkway" has become popular for a station some distance from the town or city it serves, but which has a large car park attached. A notable example is Bristol Parkway.
In New South Wales, Australia, a few stations are named for the locality they are situated but are stations representing a larger nearby centre. Examples of such are Bomaderry, the station for Nowra (indicated on CityRail maps and timetables as "Bomaderry (Nowra)"), and Dunmore, the stations for Shellharbour (indicated as "Dunmore (Shellharbour)". This is sometimes used in the UK such as Ashchurch for Tewkesbury.
Platforms high and low
The height of platforms has a bearing on station layout design.
With high level platforms following British practice, wide platforms are normal, with wide track centres when island platforms are provided. Access to inner platforms is usually via footbridges and subways.
With low level platforms such as in many places in North America, platforms are typically long and narrow. There is usually one platform on each side of every track, while access to inner platforms is via a pedestrian crossing at grade.
Subway systems the world over generally have high level platforms for quick access to the trains.
Trains may be fitted for high or low platforms and sometimes have folding stairs or "trap doors" on internal stairs to match both high and low platforms. In the United States, New Jersey Transit accommodates high platforms at all its car doors and low platforms using longer doors and trap-doored steps at the ends of the cars. With this setup the middle doors in a car do not open to low platforms.
- Kharagpur railway station, India: 1,072 m (3,517 ft) (longest in world)
- State Street Center subway station, Chicago, Illinois, USA: 1,067 m (3,501 ft) (longest in North America)
- Dunedin Railway Station, Dunedin, Otago, New Zealand: 1,000 m (3,281 ft) (longest in southern hemisphere)
- Cheriton Shuttle Terminal, Folkestone, United Kingdom: 791 m (2,595 ft) (longest in Europe except in Russia and neighbouring states)
- East Perth railway station, Perth, Western Australia: 770 m (2,526 ft) (longest in Australia)
- Kalgoorlie railway station, Kalgoorlie, Western Australia: 760 m (2,493 ft) (longest platform without dead-end lines in southern hemisphere)
- Port Pirie, South Australia: 701 m (2,300 ft)
- East Tsim Sha Tsui Station, Kowloon, Hong Kong: longest platform with platform screen doors 300 m (984 ft)
This is a list of largest railway stations in the world in terms of number of tracks (where 20 is taken as a minimum definition of "large"). Note that the number of platforms is usually smaller, as many of these stations have island platforms, with a track on each side.
The way tracks are counted is not uniform; e.g., a long track may be counted as two if two trains can be parked there.
|76||Grand Central Terminal||Manhattan, New York City||Tracks are on two underground levels: 41 on upper level and 26 on lower level. Not all tracks are used for passenger service. There are also five subway routes that are located underground, accounting for nine tracks over three different lines (5 separate platforms).|
|48||München Hauptbahnhof||Munich, Germany||32 railroad tracks overground, 2 S-Bahn and 6 U-Bahn tracks underground, 8 tram tracks on street level|
|44||Gare du Nord||Paris||There are 40 tracks on the main level, including 2 service tracks that are not open to the public, and 4 tracks in the basement.|
|37||Köln Hauptbahnhof||Cologne||11 tracks with triple signalling overground, 4 U-Bahn tracks underground|
|35||Frankfurt Hauptbahnhof||Frankfurt, Germany||25 railroad tracks overground, 4 S-Bahn and 4 U-Bahn tracks underground, 2 tram tracks on street level|
|34||Xi'an North||Xi'an, China|
|33||Shinjuku Station||Tokyo||16 tracks above ground for JR East trains, 7 tracks underground for Keio Railway and Toei Subway trains (Divided into 2 sections), 5 tracks underground for Odakyu Railway trains (On two levels), 2 tracks underground for Tokyo Metro trains, and 3 tracks at Seibu-Shinjuku Station|
|32||Roma Termini station||Rome, Italy|
|30||Napoli Centrale station||Napoli, Italy||26 Platforms + 4 in the basement (Napoli Piazza Garibaldi).|
|30||Tokyo Station||Tokyo||2 tracks on upper level above ground, 8 tracks on lower level above ground, 8 tracks underground, 10 tracks for Shinkansen, and 2 tracks underground for subway.|
|29||Pennsylvania Station||Manhattan, New York City||21 numbered tracks are used by Amtrak, New Jersey Transit, and the Long Island Rail Road. The station complex also has two separate New York City Subway stations with 4 tracks each.|
|27||London Waterloo||London, United Kingdom||Not including the platforms of Waterloo International (5) and Waterloo East (4).|
|26||London Euston||London, United Kingdom||18 mainline platforms plus two intermediate roads, 6 underground|
|26||Zürich Hauptbahnhof||Zürich||16 mainline and 4 S-Bahn platforms above ground; 6 S-Bahn platforms underground, the number platforms is identical with the number of tracks|
|25||Atocha Station||Madrid, Spain|
|25||Central Station||Sydney||27 with 2 unused platforms used for MetroPitt scheme, announced 2005|
|25||Ueno Station||Tokyo||12 on upper level, 5 on lower level above ground; 4 subway platforms underground; 4 Shinkansen platforms lie even deeper; 4 platforms of Keisei Ueno Station not included|
|24||Cape Town station||Cape Town|
|24||Leipzig Hauptbahnhof||Leipzig, Germany|
|24||Milan Central Station||Milan|
|24||Hoboken Terminal||Hoboken, New Jersey||18 numbered New Jersey Transit tracks and 3 Hudson-Bergen Light Rail tracks along the river, plus 3 PATH tracks underground.|
|24||Kyoto Station||Kyoto, Japan||14 on ground level, 4 for Shinkansen, 4 for Kintetsu and 2 for subway|
|24||Düsseldorf Hauptbahnhof||Düsseldorf, Germany||16 railroad tracks overground, 4 U-Bahn tracks underground, 4 tram tracks on street level|
|23||Stuttgart Hauptbahnhof||Stuttgart||17 railroad tracks overground, 2 S-Bahn and 4 U-Bahn tracks underground|
|23||London Victoria||London||19 main line, 4 for London Underground|
|23||Howrah Station||Kolkata, India||Howrah station is the largest station in India having 23 platforms, it has 2 complexes old and new, the old complex has pf no. 1 -16 and new complex has pf no. 17-23. It is slated to get an additional 15 platform tracks north of the current station in the next decade to bring it up to a total of 37 platform tracks.|
|22||London Liverpool Street||London||18 main line, 4 for London Underground|
|22||Omiya Station||Saitama, Japan||1 for New Shuttle included|
|22||Nagoya Station||Nagoya, Japan||JR lines (including Shinkansen), subway lines and Aonami Line only|
|22||Southern Cross||Melbourne||Consists of Platforms 1, 2A-8A, 2B-8B, 8 South, and 9–14; with platforms 15–16 under construction.|
|21||Chamartín Station||Madrid, Spain||Tracks 5–9: Short-Distance Service. Tracks 1–4 and 10–16: Medium-Distance and Long-Distance Services. Tracks 17–21: High Speed Services.|
|21||Shinagawa Station||Tokyo||Additional 2 under construction|
|20||Union Station||Chicago||Two sets of tracks, 10 each facing north and south. Serves both Amtrak and Metra trains.|
|20||London Paddington||London||14 main line, 6 for London Underground|
Freight stations can coexist at the same locations as passenger stations, which shares the cost of signalling, or they can be separate on freight-only lines.
- THE RAILWAY PICTORIAL(Denkisha Kenkyukai)No.598 P.10
- THE RAILWAY PICTORIAL(Denkisha Kenkyukai)No.645 P.49
- Railcorp Weekly notice; clearly visible with the naked eye.
- MTA Capital Construction – Second Avenue Subway Planning Study
- Ireland – Lost Lines – Ian Allan, 2006