Train stations

Posted by bhj867 on 9 June 2017 in English (English)

The more I try to make a proper train station, the more frustrated I get. I cant seem to get the spacing correct on the rails enterong and exiting the yards. This is the 4th rebuild of this station and Im about to pull my hair out. Lol any ideas? It's been a process of "Squeeze tighter, add a platform, repeat" but it still has too many spaces between the rails.

Montgomery Station

Comment from Leowezy on 9 June 2017 at 22:07

Designing railway stations is a science. And I'm not exaggerating here, I'm actually studying (or should be studying xD) for an exam about this right now. To answer your question about spacing though: for the purpose of mapping in OGF, I always go with a 4 m space in between parallel tracks, and when drawing platforms (as areas) I leave 2 m between the platform's edge and the track. Width of platforms can vary heavily, and I'd just advise you to look at real world transportation systems with similar passenger numbers and space requirements to get an idea (As a side note, most of the time the limiting factor to how narrow a platform may be are the sections where there are stair cases or elevators on the platform, as passengers still need a safe passage and boarding space on each side of the obstacle). The parallel line drawing tool in JOSM is your friend, by the way.

But besides these "design guidelines", if you want some feedback on the overall layout of your station, providing the historical background of the station's development and, very important, the service patterns it's supposed to handle today, would be the first step. I found that only after I really sketched out inter city services, regional rail and commuter rail for the major railway stations in Pyingshum, I could start estimating whether my station layout was sufficient. In retro perspective I think some elements might be over designed (I could definitely do with a smaller number of tracks leading to the stations). Termini stations are a whole different story again as well....

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Comment from zhenkang on 10 June 2017 at 00:09

From a begginer's perspective, it did not look so bad, just more amenities for the station is needed, like souvenir shops.

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Comment from MrOobling on 10 June 2017 at 14:49

Yeah, as the others said, your station does already look good. As Leowezy said, it should be about 4m between the tracks: if you use josm or another off browser editor, you can measure it easily. In browser, it is harder- you have just got to use the scale bar in the corner.

I should note that many of you rail curves are far too tight. As noted here, the diameter of a curve should be around 700m. 200m is an absolute minimum but this would mean all the trains on the line have very short carriages. The curve here is about 30m in diameter. If its a light rail, curves down to 150m might be possible but extremely rare.

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Comment from Aiki on 10 June 2017 at 17:27

Hi bhj867,

As MrOobling, you should pay attention to the curves. When I start detailing tracks or just a portion, if it contains a sharp bend, I draw a circle which is at least 200m in diameter. I tend to add nodes between each existing nodes and press "O" so that it is more circle-like. Then, I position the circle in the right location and cut a part of it to form an arc that would be joined to the existing track. When the train leaves the curve, you may continue the track straight.

For space between tracks, I leave 3.5m + 1 m with the edge of the platform. I read an article in French when I moved Guai to its current location, explaining that the space is 3.57/3.62m wide in regular tracks and 4.20m on fast train tracks. This measurement is from the centre of the track to the centrer of the parallel one. You may choose 4m, I don't think your eyes would see the 0.5m difference in the rendering.

For platforms, I found nothing in English but did found the following information in French Wikipedia a few months ago (please find my quick translation as it doesn't appear in the English version):


Varies a lot:

26 m for a VAL simple unit (automated metro in Lille)

Between 75 m (5 coaches) and 90 m (6 coaches) on most Paris metro lines

225 m for RER A line in d'Île-de-France

400 m pour TGV in multiple unit (two trains linked together) or even 480 m for Atlantic type TGV multiple unit.

The International Union of Railways has standardised platform length at 400m, allowing a locomotive + 13 27.5m-long passenger coaches or a locomotive + 14 26.4m-long coaches or a locomotive + 15 24.5m-long coaches.

Consequently, I tend to use 5m-large platforms (sometime larger) with a length varying from 400-ish meters for large stations (to allow long "international/intercity" train) and 225/250 for smaller or suburban stations.

Otherwise, you station looks good as you can imagine from its shape how it may have evolved from a smaller one. It reminds me of Victoria Station in London with its two historical stations united together.

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Comment from bhj867 on 10 June 2017 at 21:50

This is all great advice, thank you!

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Comment from histor on 11 June 2017 at 00:20

The station itself looks not bad and has it s charme and character.

And as it is written before - 400 m platforms for hi-speed trains, 250 m for regional trains and 90 to 150 m for metros are a good choice. Between two tracks in Germany is 4 to 5 m - more speed, more place between the tracks. In Latina I always try to draw 5 m difference between the tracks. In your main station the platforms can be broad 8 to 10 m, if you will be on the good side. 6 m is possible, but no good service - think about the steps to the platforms.

What is not realistic? The curves, you made. You can not let run your trains with satisfacting speed in such narrow curves. Please smooth them. The curve south of the motorway is terrible. In the 1840ies the engineers made in flat land curves no lesser than 700 m. And today the trains are faster.

I too think, a line with 10 tracks from your station is not realistic. I think, that 6 tracks allow a dense traffic to your station. South of the motorway. where your rails fork in different directions, you can made overflows to avoid same-level-crossings. I would draw three tracks for the ingoing traffic and three tracks for the traffic, starting in your station.

An then please set near your six tracks a wide area for the service of your railway like this [] to store trains and lokomotives.

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Comment from bhj867 on 11 June 2017 at 05:13

I did some work on my curves. Still have more work to do but im becoming increasingly satisfied

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