Side platform

Side platform
Station with two tracks and two side platforms

A side platform (also known as a marginal platform[1] or a single-face platform) is a platform positioned to the side of one or more railway tracks or guideways at a railway station, tram stop, or transitway.[2] A station having dual side platforms, one for each direction of travel, is the basic design used for double-track railway lines (as opposed to, for instance, the island platform where a single platform lies between the tracks). Side platforms may result in a wider overall footprint for the station compared with an island platform where a single width of platform can be shared by riders using either track.[3][4]

Side platforms with a pedestrian bridge between them
Jordanhill railway station, in Scotland, with two side platforms, and a footbridge connecting them.
View of Katase-Shirata Station,An example where the line is a single track, but it is possible to cross each other only at the station.
Ryde Esplanade railway station with one platform in use and other out of use. Ryde, Isle of Wight, Hampshire, England, U.K.

In some stations, the two side platforms are connected by a footbridge running above and over the tracks.[3] While a pair of side platforms is often provided on a dual-track line, a single side platform is usually sufficient for a single-track line.


Where the station is close to a level crossing (grade crossing) the platforms may either be on the same side of the crossing road or alternatively may be staggered in one of two ways. With the 'near-side platforms' configuration, each platform appears before the intersection and with 'far-side platforms' they are positioned after the intersection.[5][6]

In some situations a single side platform can be served by multiple vehicles simultaneously with a scissors crossing provided to allow access mid-way along its length.[7]

Larger stations may have two side platforms with several island platforms in between. Some are in a Spanish solution format, with two side platforms and an island platform in between, serving two tracks.

In some situations a single side platform may be in use with the other one (side platform) disused like with Ryde Esplanade.[8]

See alsoEdit


  1. ^ Longhurst, Derek (2008). 48 months, 48 minutes : building the Perth to Mandurah railway. West Perth, Western Australia: Rawlhouse Publishing. p. 303. ISBN 9780958740685.
  2. ^ Parkinson, Tom; Fisher, Ian (1996). Rail Transit Capacity. Transportation Research Board. p. 24. ISBN 978-0-309-05718-9.
  3. ^ a b "Railway Station Design". Railway Technical Web Pages. Archived from the original on June 9, 2007. Retrieved August 19, 2016.
  4. ^ "Railway Platform and Types". Retrieved 2017-06-30.
  5. ^ "Railway Platform and Types |".
  6. ^ "Stations | the Railway Technical Website | PRC Rail Consulting Ltd".
  7. ^ "The Layout of the Station".
  8. ^[bare URL PDF]