Railway platform

From Simple English Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Platform at Rotterdam Centraal station, Netherlands
Station platforms at Arts et Métiers station on Line 11 of the Paris Métro

A railway platform is an area next to a railway track for people to get on to trains. Almost all rail stations have some form of platform. Large stations have many platforms.

The world's longest station platform is at Hubballi Junction in India. It is 1,507 metres (4,944 ft) long.[1]

Some United States train conductors use the word "platform" as a verb as in the announcement: "The last two cars of this train will not platform at East Rockaway".[2] This means that the train is longer than the platform.

Height relative to trains[change | change source]

The most basic platform is an area at the same level as the track. A more usual platform is higher than the track but often lower than the train floor, although ideally they should be at the same level. Sometimes the platform is higher than the train floor, where a train with a low floor serves a station built for trains with a high floor On the London Underground some stations are served by both District line and Piccadilly line trains, and the Piccadilly trains have lower floors.

A tram stop is often in the middle of the street. In some places there are platforms like railway platforms. In other places they are much lower.

Types of platform[change | change source]

Oslo airport train station, Platform 0
This diagram illustrates different types of platform. Platform 1 is a "bay" platform, while platforms 2, 3 and 4 are "through" platforms. The platform accommodating 3 and 4 is an "island" platform

Platform types include the bay platform, side platform (also called through platform), split platform and island platform. A bay platform is one at which the track stops. Trains serving a bay platform must reverse in or out. A side platform is the more usual type. The platform is next to the track where the train arrives from one end and leaves towards the other. An island platform has through platforms on both sides. It may be indented on one or both ends, with bay platforms. To reach an island platform there may be a bridge, a tunnel, or a level crossing.

Modern station platforms can be made from a variety of materials such as glass-reinforced polymer, concrete or expanded polystrene.

Identification[change | change source]

Designated platforms or tracks
In US usage, this station would be described as having three platforms and four tracks (Tracks 1—4). In other English-speaking countries, it would be described as having four platforms (Platforms 1—4).

Most stations have their platforms numbered consecutively from 1; a few stations start from 0. Some, such as London Waterloo East, use letters instead of numbers (this is to distinguish the platforms from numbered ones in Waterloo main-line station for staff who work at both stations); some, such as Paris-Gare de Lyon, use letters for one group of platforms but numbers for the other.

In the US, and also some European countries such as Sweden, the place where a train arrives is called a "track" (e.g. "The train is arriving on Track 5"). An island platform is described as one platform with two tracks. In other "platform" can refer to both the structure or to a designated place for trains arriving (e.g. "The train is arriving at Platform 5"). An island platform might have two numbered platforms.

Facilities[change | change source]

Some of the station facilities are on the platforms. Where the platforms are not next to a station building, often there is some form of shelter or waiting room is provided. This may be just a roof with open sides. It may be a closed room with heating or air-conditioning. There may be benches, lighting, ticket counters, drinking fountains, shops, trash boxes, and static timetables or displays with information about the trains. There are often loudspeakers as part of a public address (PA) system.

Safety[change | change source]

Some metro stations have platform screen doors between the platforms and the tracks. They are safer. The screen doors separate the heating or air conditioning in the station from the ventilation in the tunnel. They have been installed in most stations of the Singapore MRT and the Hong Kong MTR, and stations on the Jubilee Line Extension in London.

Platforms should be sloped upwards slightly towards the platform edge to prevent wheeled objects such as trolleys, prams and wheelchairs from rolling into the path of the train. Many platforms have an overhanging edge so that if people fall off the platform they can avoid trains.

A train passing at 240 km/h (150 mph) with induced airflow and debris that affect the videographer on the platform

In high-speed rail, passing trains are a significant safety problem. The safe distance from the platform edge increases with the speed of the passing train. There are rules in different countries about how far people have to be away from the edge of the platform. Many platforms are marked to show where it is thought to be safe. [3]

References[change | change source]

  1. Gorakhpur gets world's largest railway platform The Times of India
  2. NY Times 18 May 1986
  3. 2002/732/EC: Commission Decision of 30 May 2002 concerning the technical specification for interoperability relating to the infrastructure subsystem of the trans-European high-speed rail system referred to in Article 6(1) of Council Directive 96/48/EC (Official Journal L 245 ed.). The European Union. 9 December 2002. pp. 143–279. Retrieved 26 April 2017.