A railway station is an important hub that connects people and transport infrastructure. It is also a focal point of the city. It provides a variety of services, including ticket sales, information desks, and traffic information. Whether modern or historic, railway stations are an integral part of the cities that they serve.
There are many types of railway stations around the world, all of which have unique features and designs. Some are very large and complex structures, while others are smaller, more basic buildings. Regardless of the style, they all have one common feature: they must be designed to work with trains.
The station is a critical part of any rail network and can have an impact on the operation of the entire system. For example, stations that are located at level crossings may create problems for road traffic when a train stops to pick up passengers. This can be resolved by adding tracks in front of the station and making sure that trains can enter the station without blocking any roads.
In many countries, the term platform is used to refer to the area that a passenger can walk on when entering a train. In the UK this is often referred to as the ‘train face’, while in the US it is usually called the ‘track face’.
It is a design convention in the UK for platforms to be built up to the height of the train floor, or very close to it. This makes it easy for people to get on and off the trains. In the rest of the world, it is more common to have the platform raised slightly above the train floor.
This is because a person can step from the raised area to the train floor and then down again. This is much easier than climbing stairs to get on and off a train.
An island platform is a more economical form of station construction and can be used on single-track lines. The island platform is wider than a side platform, but requires less area. This type of station is often preferred in smaller cities and towns because they can be cheaper to build, especially if there are fewer platforms.
A railway station can be a very busy place, so there are a number of facilities that can be provided to help keep it running smoothly. These can include ticket offices, toilets, and waiting areas.
When designing a station it is always best to plan out the routes that will lead to all of these areas in advance, as well as the pedestrian routes that will take people to and from them. If possible, it is a good idea to place these on separate pedestrian ways that will separate incoming and outgoing flows.
Creating a more user-friendly and accessible railway station is a key challenge in achieving a better environment for users, as well as boosting the value of the space to be created. It is particularly important to make sure that entrances and exits are clearly marked and accessible for everyone, irrespective of their age or ability to navigate the building.