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An island platform (also center platform, centre platform) is a station layout arrangement where a single platform is positioned between two tracks within a railway station, tram stop or transitway interchange.Island platforms are popular on twin-track routes due to pragmatic and cost-effective reasons. They are also useful within larger stations where local and express services for the same direction of travel can be provided from opposite sides of the same platform thereby simplifying transfers between the two tracks. An alternative arrangement is to position side platforms on either side of the tracks. The historical use of island platforms depends greatly upon the location. In the United Kingdom the use of island platforms is relatively common when the railway line is in a cutting or raised on an embankment, as this makes it easier to provide access to the platform without walking across the tracks.
Island platforms are necessary for any station with many through platforms. There are also advantages to building small two-track stations with a single island platform instead of two side platforms. Island platforms allow facilities such as shops, toilets and waiting rooms to be shared between both tracks rather than being duplicated or present only on one side. An island platform makes it easier for disabled travellers to change services between tracks or access facilities. If the tracks are above or below the entrance level, the station needs only one staircase and (if disabled accessibility is necessary) one elevator or ramp to allow access to the platforms. If the tracks are at the same level as the entrance, this instead creates a disadvantage; a side platform arrangement allows one platform to be adjacent to the entrance, whereas an island platform arrangement requires both tracks to be accessed by a bridge or underpass.
If an island platform is not wide enough to cope with passenger numbers, overcrowding can be a problem. Examples of stations where a narrow island platform has caused safety issues include Clapham Common and Angel (now[ when? ] rebuilt) on the London Underground, Union (now[ when? ] rebuilt) on the Toronto subway, and Umeda on the Osaka Municipal Subway.
An island platform requires the tracks to diverge around the center platform, and extra width is required along the right-of-way on each approach to the station, especially on high-speed lines. Track centers vary for rail systems throughout the world but are normally 3 to 5 metres. If the island platform is 6 metres wide, the tracks must slew out by the same distance. While this requirement is not a problem on a new line under construction, it makes building a new station on an existing line impossible without altering the tracks. A single island platform also makes it quite difficult to have through tracks (used by trains that do not stop at that station), which are usually between the local tracks (where the island would be).
Fast and slow tracks
Four tracks and two island platforms
A common configuration in busy locations on high speed lines is a pair of island platforms, with slower trains diverging from the main line (or using a separate level on the railway's right-of-way) so that the main line tracks remain straight. High-speed trains can therefore pass straight through the station, while slow trains pass around the platforms (such as at Kent House in London). This arrangement also allows the station to serve as a point where slow trains can be passed by faster trains. A variation at some stations is to have the slow and fast pairs of tracks each served by island platforms (as is common on the New York City Subway; the Broad Street Line of Philadelphia; and the Chicago Transit Authority's Red and Purple lines.)
A rarer layout, present at Mets-Willets Point on the IRT Flushing Line, 34th Street – Penn Station on the IRT Seventh Avenue Line and 34th Street – Penn Station on the IND Eighth Avenue Line of the New York City Subway, uses two side platforms for local services with an island in between for express services. The purpose of this atypical design was to reduce unnecessary passenger congestion at a station with a high volume of passengers. Since the IRT Seventh Avenue Line and IND Eighth Avenue Line have adjacent express stations at 42nd Street, passengers can make their transfers from local to express trains there, leaving more space available for passengers utilizing intercity rail at Pennsylvania Station. The Willets Point Boulevard station was renovated to accommodate the high volume of passengers coming to the 1939 World's Fair.
Many of the stations on the Great Central Railway in England (now almost entirely closed) were constructed in this form. This was because the line was planned to connect to a Channel Tunnel. If this happened, the lines would need to be compatible with continental loading gauge, and this would mean it would be easy to change the line to a larger gauge, by moving the track away from the platform to allow the wider bodied continental rolling stock to pass freely while leaving the platform area untouched.
Island platforms are a very normal sight on Indian railway stations. Almost all railway stations in India consist of island platforms.
In Toronto, 29 subway stations use island platforms (a few in the newer stations on the Bloor–Danforth line, a few on the Yonge–University line and all of the Sheppard line).
In Edmonton, all 18 LRT stations on the Capital Line and Metro Line use island platforms. The Valley Line under construction, utilizes the new low-floor LRT technology, but will only use island platforms on one of the twelve stops along the line.
In Sydney, on the Eastern Suburbs Railway and the Epping Chatswood Railway, the twin tunnels are widely spaced and the tracks can remain at a constant track centres while still leaving room for the island platforms. A slight disadvantage is that crossovers have to be rather long. Examples in Melbourne include West Footscray, Middle Footscray, Albion and Tottenham on the Sunbury line, and Watsonia and Heidelberg on the Hurstbridge line.
In southern New Jersey and Philadelphia, PATCO uses island platforms in all of its 13 stations, to facilitate one-person train operation. The NYC Subway's Second Avenue Subway features island platforms at all stations.A lot of other stations including 71st Avenue - Forest Hills on the IND/BMT Queens Boulevard Line, Coney Island - Stillew Avenue (IND/BMT Coney Island Line), Burnside Avenue (IRT Jerome Avenue Line), Nevins Street (IRT Eastern Parkway Line) and Church Avenue (IND Church Avenue Line) also have the same layouts.
Almost all of the elevated stations in Singapore's Mass Rapid Transit (MRT) system use island platforms. The exceptions are Dover MRT station and Canberra MRT station, which use side platforms as they are built on an existing rail line, also known as an infill station. Gul Circle uses a stacked island platform configuration. The same follows for underground stations, with the exception being Braddell MRT station, and a few stations on the Downtown Line and the Thomson-East Coast Line.
Sometimes when the track on one side of the platform is unused by passenger trains, that side may be fenced off. Examples include Hurlstone Park, Lewisham, Sydney and Yeronga, Brisbane.
In New York City's subway system, unused sides are located at Bowling Green as well as every express station without express service, such as Pelham Parkway on the IRT Dyre Avenue line. In Jersey City, the Newport PATH station has the same configuration as Bowling Green—one side platform and one island platform.
On the Tokyo Metro, the Ginza Line has a side platform and an island platform at Nihombashi. Likewise, the Namba and Minami-morimachi stations on the Osaka Metro have similar configurations.
Some stations of the Glasgow Subway have one island platform and one side platform (Hillhead, Buchanan Street, and Ibrox).
In Wellington, New Zealand, unused sides can be found at two stations on the Hutt Valley Line: Waterloo and Petone. Waterloo's island platform was reconfigured to be the down side platform when the station was extensively rebuilt in the late 1980s, with the unused side now facing onto a bus bay. Petone's island platform served the up main line and the suburban loop line until the suburban loop was lifted in the early 1990s. The unused platform now faces onto the station's park-and-ride carpark.
A cross-platform interchange is a type of interchange between different lines at a metro station. The term originates with the London Underground; such layouts exist in other networks but are not commonly so named. In the United States, it is often referred to as a "cross-platform transfer".
Since the opening of the original New York City Subway line in 1904, and throughout the subway's history, various official and planning agencies have proposed numerous extensions to the subway system. The first major expansion of the subway system was the Dual Contracts, a set of agreements between the City of New York and the IRT and the BRT. The system was expanded into the outer reaches of the Bronx, Brooklyn, and Queens, and it provided for the construction of important lines in Manhattan. This one expansion of the system provided for a majority of today's system.
The Nevins Street station is an express station on the IRT Eastern Parkway Line of the New York City Subway. Located at the intersection of Nevins Street, Flatbush Avenue, and Fulton Street in Downtown Brooklyn, it is served by the 2 and 4 trains at all times, the 3 train all times except late nights, and the 5 train on weekdays only.
The Times Square–42nd Street/Port Authority Bus Terminal station is a New York City Subway station complex located under Times Square and the Port Authority Bus Terminal, at the intersection of 42nd Street, Seventh and Eighth Avenues, and Broadway in Midtown Manhattan. The complex allows free transfers between the IRT 42nd Street Shuttle, the BMT Broadway Line, the IRT Broadway–Seventh Avenue Line and the IRT Flushing Line, with a long transfer to the IND Eighth Avenue Line one block west at 42nd Street–Port Authority Bus Terminal. The complex is served by the 1, 2, 3, 7, A, E, N, and Q trains at all times; the W train during weekdays; the C, R, and 42nd Street Shuttle (S) trains at all times except late nights; and <7> trains during rush hours in the peak direction. A free passageway from the shuttle platform to the 42nd Street–Bryant Park/Fifth Avenue station, served by the 7, <7>, B, D, F, <F>, and M trains, is open during the day from 6 a.m. to 12 a.m.
The New York City Subway is a rapid transit system that serves four of the five boroughs of New York City, New York: the Bronx, Brooklyn, Manhattan, and Queens. Its operator is the New York City Transit Authority, which is itself controlled by the Metropolitan Transportation Authority of New York. In 2015, an average of 5.65 million passengers used the system daily, making it the busiest rapid transit system in the United States and the seventh busiest in the world.
The IRT Dyre Avenue Line is a New York City Subway rapid transit line, part of the A Division. It is a branch of the IRT White Plains Road Line in the northeastern section of the Bronx, north of East 180th Street. As of 2013, it has a daily ridership of 34,802.
The Howard Beach–JFK Airport station is a subway/people mover station complex located at Coleman Square between 159th Avenue and 103rd Street in Howard Beach, Queens. The New York City Subway portion of the station is on the IND Rockaway Line and is served by the Rockaway branch of the A train at all times and the Rockaway Park Shuttle on summer weekends, and the AirTrain JFK portion of the station complex is served by the AirTrain's Howard Beach branch at all times.
34th Street–Penn Station is an express station on the IRT Broadway–Seventh Avenue Line of the New York City Subway. Located at the intersection of 34th Street and Seventh Avenue, it is served by the 1 and 2 trains at all times, and the 3 train at all times except late nights. Connections are available to the LIRR, NJ Transit and Amtrak at Pennsylvania Station.
34th Street–Penn Station is an express station on the IND Eighth Avenue Line of the New York City Subway, located at the intersection of 34th Street and Eighth Avenue in Midtown Manhattan. It is served by the A and E trains at all times, and by the C train at all times except late nights. The station is adjacent to Pennsylvania Station, the busiest railroad station in the United States as well as a major transfer point to Amtrak, NJ Transit, and the Long Island Rail Road.
The 59th Street–Columbus Circle station is a New York City Subway station complex shared by the IRT Broadway–Seventh Avenue Line and the IND Eighth Avenue Line. It is the eighth-busiest station complex in the system. It is located at Columbus Circle in Manhattan, where 59th Street, Broadway and Eighth Avenue intersect, and serves Central Park, the Upper West Side, Hell's Kitchen, and Midtown Manhattan. The station is served by the 1, A, and D trains at all times; the C train at all times except late nights; the B train during weekdays until 11:00 p.m.; and the 2 train during late nights.
Platform gap fillers are movable platform edge extensions at subway or railway stations where the curvature of the platform creates a significant gap between the platform and subway or train car door.
The Atlantic Avenue–Barclays Center station is a New York City Subway station complex shared by the BMT Fourth Avenue Line, the BMT Brighton Line and the IRT Eastern Parkway Line, located at Atlantic, Fourth, and Flatbush Avenues and Pacific Street in Downtown Brooklyn. The complex is served by the 2, 4, D, N, Q and R trains at all times; the 3 train at all times except late nights; the 5 and B trains during weekdays; and a few rush-hour W trains.
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 horizontally, at the expense of a deeper 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.
The Brooklyn Bridge–City Hall/Chambers Street station is a New York City Subway station complex in Lower Manhattan. The complex is served by trains of the IRT Lexington Avenue Line and the BMT Nassau Street Line. The station is served by the 4, 6, and J trains at all times; the 5 train at all times except late nights; the ⟨6⟩ train on weekdays in the peak direction; and the Z train during rush hours in the peak direction.
The 14th Street/Sixth Avenue station is an underground New York City Subway station complex in the Chelsea district of Manhattan on the IRT Broadway–Seventh Avenue Line, the BMT Canarsie Line and the IND Sixth Avenue Line. It is located on 14th Street between Sixth Avenue and Seventh Avenue. It is served by the:
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