Split platform

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A pair of split level platforms in Harvard station of the Boston-Cambridge MBTA Red Line service. The upper (outbound) platform at left is empty, while the lower (inbound) platform is relatively crowded.

A split platform is a station that has a platform for each track, split onto two or more levels. This configuration allows a narrower station plan (or footprint) horizontally, at the expense of a deeper (or higher) vertical elevation, because sets of tracks and platforms are stacked above each other. Where two rails lines cross or run parallel for a time, split platforms are sometimes used in a hybrid arrangement that allows for convenient cross-platform interchange between trains running in the same general direction.


This setup is not common in North American railroad stations, but is found in places in Europe such as the London Underground for example at the Oxford Circus and Baker street tube stations[citation needed].

Examples of split platform layout in the United States are Rosslyn on the Washington Metro's Blue and Orange Lines; Pentagon on the Washington Metro's Blue and Yellow Lines; and Harvard and Porter stations on the Boston-Cambridge MBTA Red Line. Split platforms are also at downtown Oakland, California on BART's 12th and 19th Street, and at Los Angeles Metro Rail's Wilshire/Vermont. MARTA's Ashby station uses the configuration to separate the eastbound and westbound platforms. A similar configuration was once planned for downtown San Francisco stations, but the lower level was used for San Francisco Municipal Railroad trains.[citation needed]

In the New York City Subway, Nostrand Avenue and Kingston Avenue stations on the 2 3 4 5 trains along the IRT Eastern Parkway Line have two tracks on each level, with each of the two levels serving trains in one direction. Further north on the Eastern Parkway line, Borough Hall also has split platforms. Also, stations on the IND Eighth Avenue Line, which carries the A B C D trains within this segment of the line, have split stacked platforms between 59th Street – Columbus Circle] and Cathedral Parkway – 110th Street due to the proximity of the line to Central Park. In other stations like Fulton Street, Borough Hall, and Fifth Avenue / 53rd Street, platforms are stacked due to the narrowness of the street directly above the station. One notable station, Wilson Avenue on the L trains along the BMT Canarsie Line, has one elevated platform and one at-grade platform, due to the narrowness of the line's right-of-way.

In Canada, split platforms on the Montreal Metro are located at De L'Église and Charlevoix and the Blue Line platforms at Jean-Talon, while Snowdon and Lionel-Groulx have a hybrid layout where the two directions on each line are split from each other but sharing an island platform with the other line. They are also found on Vancouver's SkyTrain, at the stations in the Dunsmuir Tunnel and at the King Edward station on the Canada Line.

Milan Metro Sant'Agostino on line M2 is similar, and also all the stations between Crocetta and Turati on line M3.

In Asia, Jingan and Yongan Market on the Taipei Metro have split stacked platforms, and Central, Wan Chai, Causeway Bay, Tin Hau, North Point, and Sai Wan Ho on MTR's Island Line on Hong Kong Island all have split platforms. Promenade Station in Singapore has split side platforms.

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