A railway station is that place on a railway line where traffic is booked and dealt with and where trains are given the authority to proceed forward. Sometimes only one of these functions is carried out at a station and accordingly it is classified as a flag station or a block station. In the case of a flag station, there are arrangements for dealing with traffic but none for controlling the movement of the trains. In the case of a block station, a train cannot proceed further without obtaining permission from the next station and traffic may or may not be dealt with. However, most railway stations perform both the functions indicated above.
Purpose of a Railway Station
A railway station is provided for one or more of the following purposes.
(a) To entrain or detrain passengers
(b) To load or unload goods or parcels
(c) To control the movement of trains
(d) To enable trains to cross each other in the case of a single-line section
(e) To enable faster trains to overtake slower ones
(f) To enable locomotives to refuel, whether it be diesel, water, or coal
(g) To attach or detach coaches or wagons to trains
(h) To collect food and water for passengers
(i) To provide facilities for change of engines and crew/staff
(j) To enable sorting out of wagons and bogies to form new trains
(k) To provide facilities and give shelter to passengers in the case of emergencies such as floods and accidents, which disrupt traffic