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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.
Selection of Site for a Railway Station
The following factors are considered when selecting a site for a railway station.
Adequate land There should be adequate land available for the station building, not only for the proposed line but also for any future expansion. The proposed area should also be without any religious buildings.
Level area with good drainage The proposed site should preferably be on a fairly level ground with good drainage arrangements. It should be possible to provide the maximum permissible gradient in the yard. In India, the maximum permissible gradient adopted is 1 in 400, but a gradient of 1 in 1000 is desirable.
Alignment The station site should preferably have a straight alignment so that the various signals are clearly visible. The proximity of the station site to a curve presents a number of operational problems.
Easy accessibility The station site should be easily accessible. The site should be near villages and towns. Nearby villages should be connected to the station by means of approach roads for the convenience of passengers.
Water supply arrangement When selecting the site, it should be verified that adequate water supply is available for passengers and operational needs.
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