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Railway stations

Everybody on the train, please: stations part V

In the last issue we told you something about how stations get their names. In this issue we shall say something about different types of station. For years now, especially in Stuttgart, there have been heated discussions about this.

TYPES OF STATIONS

Terminus

At a terminus the main tracks come to an end at buffers. So it’s not possible for trains to continue in the same direction when leaving the station. The station building is often behind the buffers, facing the the ends of the tracks. The term “terminus” is occasionally used when most tracks come to an end but a few continue, for example when track extensions are planned. This is also the case when most tracks continue but a few finish at buffers and the trains using these tracks then return in the direction they came from.

Through station
This is the most frequent type of station. The main tracks of one or more of the lines passing through the station have connections with the tracks at the station and, as required, additional tracks there. Examples of this type are Wuppertal Main Station and Bern Station.

OTHER TYPES OF STATIONS

Straddle station

The (elevated) station building straddles the tracks. Example: Hamburg Central Station.

Wedge station
The station building is located between several sets of tracks, forming a wedge.

Island station
The station building is surrounded on both sides by rail tracks, with the difference from “wedge  stations” being the fact that the tracks are connected in front of the station building and also at the back. Example: Halle an der Saale Main Station.

Tower station
Various rail routes cross over at different levels without interference from each other. Example: Berlin Central Station.

Tunnel station
The station is completely subterranean. Examples: commuter train stations at Frankfurt  Konstablerwache and Zurich Stettbach.

Triangle station
Extremely rare and is the case when an additional connection is located between diverging rail lines.

In the last issue you read about the hierarchy of regional and long-distance train stations. Now, we go ahead with a very interesting aspect. Let's discuss the naming.
 

THE NAMING

The train stations are mostly named after towns or districts where they are located. However, after incorporations or renaming, also historical names can remain unchanged.

In towns with several train stations, they were partially distinguished according to the railway route or the railway company to which they belonged. Colloquially, the north and south wing of the Munich central station are still called Starnberg station and Holzkirchen station respectively. There are or were similar name forms also in many other countries. In rural areas sometimes there are double names for the common train station of two towns.





















 

In the last issue you got to know about many interesting facts about the history of trains stations. Today, it is about the distinction between stopping point and train stations as well as about the so-called operational hierarchy.

THE HIERARCHY

If there are several train station in one place, and one of them is or used to be superordinate in terms of operation, this one is often called central station. This station mostly – but not necessarily – is located centrally in that place and is easily accessible, in particular as important connection hub for the different rail traffic lines and the local public transport.

REGIONAL TRAIN STATION

These are train stations where in Germany only regional rail transport trains arrive (SPNV). In Switzerland, these are train stations where exclusively regional train types arrive. In Austria, on the other hand, these are train stations where exclusively regional and suburban trains arrive, as well as trains of other local public transport railway companies.

LONG-DISTANCE TRAIN STATION

Train stations, where long-distance passenger train types (SPFV) or the Inter City traffic stops. Central stations are mostly also long-distance train stations as they concentrate the passenger flow conveniently. Larger cities often have more than one long-distance train station. On the other hand, it is also possible that train stations that are easy to access outside the metropolises become long-distance train stations. With a few limited exceptions, at long-distance train stations also local transport train types can be found for they provide shuttle services for the long-distance trains.

All aboard: RAILWAY STATIONS

You have surely been already been at a railway station. It's particularly at the large railway stations where a lot is going on. However, what was the reason for building them? What are their functions, what types of them do exist? Now, you will get the answers in a series of articles.
 

THE BEGINNING

Of course, it began at the period of industrialization, when the steam engine, and therefore the locomotive were developed (as of 1804). The first route to be travelled was between Stockton and Darlington in England in 1825 with a locomotive by George Stephenson. At the same time, the team was the first passenger transport on a train being pulled by a locomotive.

They new locomotives had to stop somewhere in order for the passengers to disembark or change trains or for loading or unloading goods.

Often, the first railway station buildings were just inconspicuous shelters next to the railway line – eventually, building the route itself was costly enough.
 

THE EVOLUTION

But soon the railway pioneers were overrun by their success. After commissioning of the first railway between Nuremberg and Fürth in 1835, the new means of transport became the admired pacemaker of industrialisation in the shortest time. Distances dwindled, freight transports accelerated and even the people became more mobile.

In some way, the railway station was the focal point of these new developments. Here the transported goods were transshipped, often they were even traded in – and here also the travellers arrived: civil business people, as well as farmers, who looked for a new fortune in the rapidly growing cities.

Impressive and magnificent railway stations arose. Germany started investing in large railway stations only as of the foundation of the German Reich in 1871. Today, many big-city railway stations are also modern shopping centres, as it is for example the case in Leipzig.

Well, that was the first part. This topic will be continued in the next issue.

All aboard: RAILWAY STATIONS

You have surely been already been at a railway station. It's particularly at the large railway stations where a lot is going on. However, what was the reason for building them? What are their functions, what types of them do exist? Now, you will get the answers in a series of articles.
 

THE BEGINNING

Of course, it began at the period of industrialization, when the steam engine, and therefore the locomotive were developed (as of 1804). The first route to be travelled was between Stockton and Darlington in England in 1825 with a locomotive by George Stephenson. At the same time, the team was the first passenger transport on a train being pulled by a locomotive.

They new locomotives had to stop somewhere in order for the passengers to disembark or change trains or for loading or unloading goods.

Often, the first railway station buildings were just inconspicuous shelters next to the railway line – eventually, building the route itself was costly enough.
 

THE EVOLUTION

But soon the railway pioneers were overrun by their success. After commissioning of the first railway between Nuremberg and Fürth in 1835, the new means of transport became the admired pacemaker of industrialisation in the shortest time. Distances dwindled, freight transports accelerated and even the people became more mobile.

In some way, the railway station was the focal point of these new developments. Here the transported goods were transshipped, often they were even traded in – and here also the travellers arrived: civil business people, as well as farmers, who looked for a new fortune in the rapidly growing cities.

Impressive and magnificent railway stations arose. Germany started investing in large railway stations only as of the foundation of the German Reich in 1871. Today, many big-city railway stations are also modern shopping centres, as it is for example the case in Leipzig.

Well, that was the first part. This topic will be continued in the next issue.