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Train station

Note that the term train station is American English. The usual term in British English is railway station.

A train station is a place where trains stop to allow passengers to enter and get off. These vary greatly, and may include platforms, tunnels, bridges and/or level crossings to reach the platforms, counters and/or machines where tickets are sold, waiting rooms, shelters and benches, etc.

A train station that is jointly used by several rail transport companies is sometimes called a union station.

Train station Lucerne, Switzerland

Table of contents
1 Superlatives
2 Terminus
3 Train stations in a tunnel
4 Train stations at a crossing
5 Other special configurations
6 Convenience stores at train stations
7 See also


The world's busiest train station, in terms of daily passenger throughput, is Shinjuku Station in Tokyo, Japan. Ikebukuro Station, just minutes away, is the world's second-busiest.

The world's largest train station, in terms of floor area, is Nagoya Station in Nagoya, Japan. However, the Nagoya Station complex incorporates two office towers and an underground shopping concourse, so the railway terminal itself is not large in comparison to others. Shinjuku Station is the second-largest.

In terms of platform capacity, the world's largest train station is Grand Central Terminal in New York City, USA.


A terminus is a station at the end of a railway. Platforms can be reached without crossing tracks.

Often a terminus is the final destination of a train, but not necessarily. Convenience of reversing direction is especially important if it is not. For such a train service preferably a train is used for which the driver just has to walk to the other side, i.e., it does not require connecting a locomotive on one side and disconnecting the other one. A multiple unit can be used, or in the case of a long train, one with both a pushing and a pulling locomotive. A train may also have a locomotive on one side and a passenger car with driver's cabin on the other side.

The same applies if the station is not a terminus, but the train service involves reversing direction anyway.

The first applies at:

The second applies at: Reversing direction often causes some worry to travellers who are inexperienced and have no detailed geographic knowledge of the railway lines: they think they will be going back all the way, but instead, there is of course a junction soon, where the train takes another branch than where it came from. Some travellers prefer facing forward; if possible they change place when there is a reversal of direction.

For some more on this, see Commuter train.

Train stations in a tunnel

At train stations the railway is often at ground level or elevated. However, some train stations of regular railways are in a tunnel, like the underground stations of metro systems. These include:

The Netherlands:

Belgium: Poland: Norway: United States of America:

Train stations at a crossing

Some train stations are at a non-level crossing of regular railway lines, providing stops on both lines. These include:

The Netherlands:


Other special configurations

The Netherlands:

Convenience stores at train stations


See also

Signal box, Transport, hump yard, Public transport, Metro station, Bus stop, Human positions, and: