Cross-platform interchange

Cross-platform interchange
A diagram of a paired cross-platform interchange
The former and current track configurations at the Queensboro Plaza cross-platform interchange in the Queens, New York City.
Queensboro Plaza on the New York City Subway (diagram above) offers a cross platform transfer between N Q trains of the BMT Astoria Line and 7 <7> trains on the IRT Flushing Line. It is the only cross-platform transfer between BMT and IRT routes.
Passengers interchange between the Central Line and a National Express East Anglia service at Stratford station in London, England
Double cross platform interchange looking from one train through another train (which has its doors open on both sides) to reveal a third train. This is Barking station in London, England where the eastbound London Underground trains open their doors on both sides so as to provide cross-platform interchange with two different mainline railway services, these being the C2C rail service between Fenchurch Street and Shoeburyness stations (as seen on the other side of the District Line train) and the London Overground Gospel Oak to Barking Line service.
The combined use of two cross-platform interchange stations for transfers in different directions in Hong Kong MTR

A cross-platform interchange is a type of interchange between different lines in a metro system. The term originates with the London Underground;[1] such layouts exist in other networks but are not commonly so named. In the United States, it is often referred to as simply a "transfer".

It occurs in a system with island platforms, with a single platform in between the two directions of travel, or two side platforms between the tracks, connected by level corridors. Passengers do not need to move to another platform level for transfer, thus increasing the efficiency of commuting. Building a cross-platform interchange may be costly due to the complexity of railtrack alignment, especially so if the railway operators insistently arrange their track without flat crossings. A common two-directions cross-platform interchange configuration consists of two selected directions of two different lines sharing an island platform, and each return directions of both lines sharing another island platform in the same station complex.


Types of cross-platform interchanges

Types of cross-platform interchanges describe which trains shall be interconnected cross-platform.

Cross-platform interchanges between different lines

Common cross-platform interchanges allow passengers to switch directions without changing to another platform between trains. This applies nearly everywhere, where trains of different directions meet in minor and major hubs, but is only found at selected interchange stations in the metro networks worldwide.

Cross-platform interchanges between different train categories

Some railway lines usually in more congested areas offer cross-platform interchanges also between different train categories, for example between express and stopping trains. Generally, this kind of interchange is used in many European railway minor hubs to connect fast trains to local feeder services as well as on surface sections of suburban lines like RER E in Paris or Metro North Hudson Line in New York State; but it is rarely found in metro networks except in Chicago, London, New York City and Philadelphia.

As express and stopping trains usually head for different directions, cross-platform interchange between different train categories is commonly combined with the one between different lines.

Levels of cross-platform interchange connection

Levels of cross-platform interchanges describe how the trains are connected by timetable or not.

Uncoordinated cross-platform interchange

Basically, cross-platform infrastructure only offers the possibility of easy changing of trains independently from the waiting time for the second train. This is the basic infrastructure approach without taking timetables into account. While in metro systems with short headways, waiting time is small, an uncoordinated approach could waste the advantages of stepless cross-platform interchanges in railway networks with less dense train traffic.

Coordinated cross-platform interchange

More advanced is to coordinate the lines' timetables at cross-platform interchanges to shorten scheduled changing time at least from one to the other train, better bidirectional between both trains at the same time. This concept is widely used in Dutch, German and Swiss railway networks, where trains of different lines meet at same platforms in numerous hubs all over the country.

Optimised cross-platform interchange with connection guarantee

Most advanced are coordinated cross-platform interchanges if interconnected trains also wait for each other to guarantee scheduled interchanges also in case of delays. In order to still ensure on-time running across the network, additional waiting time for trains is usually limited to a certain period of time depending on general network performance, further connections to be guaranteed, train category, train line and/or to which hub this shall apply.

In reality, most railways coordinating cross-platform interchanges define a certain waiting time depending on each guaranteed interchange. Some railway infracture managers don't clear the exit signals before interchange took place; Vienna metro demands drivers for waiting a short period time by operating a special white light signal controlled by the approach of the interconnected train on the other track.

Cross-platform interchanges in suburban and metro networks

Note: In most cases, only cross-platform interchanges used for both directions of travel are shown, with some exceptions. [2] [3] [4] [5] [6] [7] [8]


Amsterdam metro network includes cross-platform interchanges at Van der Madeweg station between metro lines 50 and 53 and eventually in the future also at Amsterdam South station between metro lines 50 and 52. Further, cross-platform connections are offered at Amstel station between metro lines 51, 53, 54 and suburban services of Netherlands Railways.


By 2011, Barcelona metro only offers one cross-platform interchange between metro lines L4 and L11 at Trinitat Nova station where both lines terminate on one track each side of the shared island platform.


Berlin suburban rail network includes cross-platform transfers at Berlin East Railway Station, at Baumschulenweg / Schöneweide, Bornholmer Straße, Gesundbrunnen, Treptower Park and Wannsee suburban railway stations.

Berlin metro services offer cross-platform connections at Mehringdamm (metro lines U6/U7), Nollendorfplatz (metro line U4 with outbound lines U1/U3) and Wittenbergplatz (metro lines U2/U3, outbound also U1) metro stations.

Additionally, Wuhletal station offers cross-platform interchanges between lines S5 of Berlin suburban rail and U5 of Berlin metro.


In Bochum premetro network, the only cross-platform transfer is offered at Bochum Main Railway Station between premetro line U35 and sub-surface tram lines 302/310 on the lower level of the underground light rail station complex.


Basarab station of metro lines M1 and M4 is the only cross-platform interchange in the Bucharest metro network where lines cross each other.


Brussels South railway station offers an interesting example of double-level cross-platform interchange, where the goal is to make it easier for passengers to "double back". The metro and premetro lines interweave so that, for example, one can arrive on the metro 2 or 6 from the north-east, walk across the island platform, and catch a tram 3 or 4 going south-east. Passengers making this journey in the opposite direction use the level below. Similar cross-platform interchanges offers Beekkant station between metro lines 1/5 and 2/6; in this area, lines 1/5 run on the right while lines 2/6 run on the left due to historical layout when formerly line 1B between Herrmann Debroux and Roi Baudoin stations branched off line 1A (running between Stockel and Erasme stations) and line 1B needed to change driving direction at Beekkant station.


Charleroi premetro includes two stations, Beaux-Arts and Waterloo, with possible cross-platform interchanges.


In the Chicago metro network, Howard, Sheridan, Belmont and Fullerton stations offer cross-platform interchange in the same direction between express and local trains; Roosevelt station offers cross-platform interchange between Orange and Green Lines for any directions as it only exists of one single island platform.


The only cross-platform interchange of the Cologne premetro network is Ebertplatz station, where passengers can change easily between high and low floor lines sharing an island platform for each direction.


The Copenhagen suburban network contains cross-platform interchanges between circle line F and lines B, C, E at Hellerup station.


Duisburg premetro network includes two cross-platform interchange stations, Duisburg Main Railway Station for same-direction interchange and König-Heinrich-Platz station for opposite-direction interchange.


Düsseldorf premetro network contains a four-track route between Düsseldorf Main Railway Station and Heinrich-Heine-Allee station comprising two island platforms for same-direction cross-platform interchange at each station; while at both mentioned stations, the two platforms are located parallel, they are built one above the other at both intermediate stations.


Essen premetro network includes two stations with cross-platform interchange on two parallel island platforms at Essen Main Railway Station and Essen Rathaus station; cross-platform connections at Essen Main Railway Station are between standard-gauge premetro lines and metre-gauge sub-surface tram lines.


At Konstablerwache station, Frankfurt's suburban train lines S1 to S9 (except S7 as of 2011) and Frankfurt premetro lines U6 and U7 share one island platform for each direction, with the suburban railway (inner) side of the platforms being much longer than for the premetro. Also, the premetro station located at Frankfurt(Main) Main Railway Station was once designed for cross-platform transfers between different Frankfurt premetro lines but is now only used by premetro lines U4/U5 running along the same corridor.


Guangzhou's metro line 3 offers two cross-platform interchanges by 2011, one with line 2 at Jiahewanggang station and one between both sections of line 3 at Tiyu Xilu station; in the latter, the northern section of line 3 terminates at the center track serving both island platforms connecting to the southern section of line 3 stopping at the outer tracks. Shayuan station is prepared to offer cross-platform interchanges between line 8 and the extended Guangfo line, with one direction on top of the other, in the future.


Hamburg metro offers cross-platform interchanges at Barmbek (between circle and branch of metro line U3), Berliner Tor (between metro lines U2/U4 and U3), Kellinghusenstraße (between metro lines U1 and U3) and Wandsbek-Gartenstadt (between metro lines U1 and U3) metro stations; all cross-platform interchanges are also timetable coordinated to make it as easy and comfortable for the passengers as possible.

Another cross-platform interchange is used at the northwestern terminus of metro line U1 at Norderstedt Mitte station where metros use the outer tracks and interconnect with the non-electrified suburban line A2 of AKN private railway company terminating on the center track in between the two island platforms.

Hamburg suburban railway offers cross-platform interchanges at Altona station and Hamburg Main Railway Station ensuring short connections for four of five branches to both inner city routes.


Hanover premetro offers two cross-platform interchanges, one at Hanover Main Railway Station and one at Aegidientorplatz station.

Hong Kong

In the Mass Transit Railway (MTR) system of Hong Kong, cross-platform interchange stations first appeared at Mong Kok and Prince Edward stations when Tsuen Wan Line was opened. The interchange is two stations long, with inverse cross-platform interchange assigned to Prince Edward and same-direction interchange to Mong Kok as large volumes of traffic had been anticipated in both modes. Popular with passengers, this design was repeated on Admiralty Station when the Island Line was opened to deal with the heavy opposite-direction interchange anticipated. Years later, another interchange spanning Tiu Keng Leng Station (same direction) and Yau Tong Station (opposite direction) was built to the same configuration as Mong Kok and Prince Edward (see diagram). The interchange from Ma On Shan Line to East Rail Line is so designed that trains on the Ma On Shan Line observe right-hand traffic rules, unlike other road or rail traffic in Hong Kong. This cross-platform arrangement between southbound trains of the two lines creates convenience for most morning commutes. Another configuration found in Lai King Station makes commute in both directions more convenient by aligning both tracks leading towards city next to each other on one level, and both tracks leading away from city next to each other on the other level. By connecting East Rail and West Rail lines at Hung Hom without through-running, both lines terminate there alternating on both East/West Rail platforms to offer cross-platform interchanges.


In London's deep-level tube network, these usually occur in pairs for both directions of two lines. This allows for extremely quick and convenient interchange. The effect is that the two lines, despite having completely separate operation, can be treated by passengers as branches of a single network.


  • Finchley Road offers cross platform transfers between the Metropolitan and Jubilee lines at surface level.
  • Mile End has cross platform transfers between the District and Central lines at sub-surface level.
  • For the deep-level interchanges the term "same level interchange" is sometimes preferred as there is invariably an intermediate circulating area between the platforms. Convenient same level interchanges feature at various Victoria line stations and also at Baker Street between the Bakerloo and Jubilee lines.


Lisbon Metro has cross unidirectional platform interchanges at Baixa-Chiado Station, from northbound blue line to southbound green line and at Campo Grande station from southbound green line to southbound yellow line.

Lisbon regional rail has cross-platform interchanges on the belt line within Lisbon as well as on the Sintra line, where Sintra line trains connect with Azambuja line trains.


Madrid metro uses cross-platform interchanges mainly for easy transfer between urban and suburban sections operated separately on metro lines 7 (Estadio Olimpico), 9 (Puerta de Arganda) and 10 (Tres Olivos). At Casa de Campo station, metro lines 5 and 10 are interconnected cross-platform with line 5 terminating on center track in between the island platforms shared with line 10. At Principe Pio station, metro lines 6 and 10 share an island platform for each direction. Further applications of cross-platform interchanges connect only one direction of each line, for example at Pinar de Chamartin station between metro lines 1 and 4.


Melbourne's suburban railway offers cross-platform interchanges along the City Loop according to the operation concept depending on time and day. All three underground stations consist of four tracks and two island platforms one above each other.


Lionel-Groulx station in Montreal.

Two transfer stations in Montreal feature cross-platform interchange. At Lionel-Groulx station, the upper platforms serve Henri-Bourassa or Montmorency (orange line 2) and Honoré-Beaugrand (green line 1) trains, entering downtown; the lower platforms serve Côte-Vertu (orange line 2) and Angrignon (green line 1) trains, leaving downtown. Since most transferring passengers are either entering or leaving downtown, most transfers at this station are cross-platform.

At Snowdon station, however, the outbound orange line platforms are at the same level as the blue line terminal platform, with the inbound orange line platforms linked to the blue line departure platform, reducing efficiency. This is explained because the blue line was originally planned to be continued west of the station, in which case this arrangement would have provided the same benefit as the arrangement at Lionel-Groulx.


The following stations have cross-platform interchanges:

Kitay-gorod has the cross-platform interchanges between Lines 6 and 7 and vice versa.

Tretyakovskaya offers passengers to cross between Lines 6 and 8 and vice versa.

Kuntsevskaya has a cross-platform interchange between line 3 and line 4 in the northbound direction only.

Kashirskaya - Cross-platform interchange between Lines 2 and 11 and vice-versa.

In addition there is a possibility of a cross-platform interchange in the future between Line 3 and the upcoming Solntsevskaya Line at Park Pobedy and between Line 9 and the Line 10 extension at Petrovsko-Razumovskaya.


Mülheim located roughly in the centre of the Rhein-Ruhr premetro network offers selected cross-platform interchanges at Mülheim(Ruhr) Main Railway Station.


Munich metro offers coordinated cross-platform connections at both Scheidplatz (metro lines U2/U3) and Innsbrucker Ring (metro lines U2/U5) metro stations; all same-direction connections are optimised, so that usually U2 and U3 respectively U5 trains of the same direction arrive, stop and depart at the same time.

For Munich suburban rail services, cross-platform station layouts and timetable connections are under discussion for connecting the central bypass to the existing trunk route at least at Laim and Leuchtenbergring stations.

New York City

The New York City Subway has many four-track lines with local and express service. Cross-platform interchanges in numerous locations throughout the system generally allow for transfers between express and local trains. Express trains run on the inner tracks and bypass local-only stations, while local trains run on the outer tracks and stop at every station. Express stations typically have island platforms between the express and local tracks allowing passengers to quickly switch trains. In addition to the very common express-local interchanges, New York also has several cross-platform interchanges between lines that do not share a four-track right-of-way.

A principal example is the Queensboro Plaza station with its same-directional cross-platform transfer between the IRT Flushing Line and BMT Astoria Line. Hoyt–Schermerhorn Streets in Brooklyn allows cross-platform interchanges between G trains of the IND Crosstown Line and A C trains of the IND Fulton Street Line, but the two lines do not have any track connections.

Nizhny Novgorod

Nizhny Novgorod metro's Moskovska station is prepared to offer cross-platform interchanges at a later point of time between both metro lines; as of 2011, both lines terminate there and are connected to through running operation still eliminating any needs to change trains.


A cross-platform transfer exists between the Port Authority Trans-Hudson rapid transit system and Amtrak and NJT trains at Newark Penn Station, allowing passengers to switch to trains to the World Trade Center.


Nuremberg metro includes one cross-platform interchange between metro lines U1/U11 and U2/U21/U3 at underground Plärrer metro station where the outbound metro platform is located above the inbound.


Paris suburban network includes cross-platform interchanges between express and local trains on the RER E line and at Châtelet - Les Halles major hub between lines RER A and RER B as well as at Paris North station between lines RER B and RER D.

Rhine-Ruhr Area

The suburban services in the German Rhine-Ruhr area include cross-platform interchanges at Dortmund-Dorstfeld station between lines S2 and S4 (including coordinated timetables), at Düsseldorf Main Railway Station and at Essen Main Railway Station.

For information about the Rhine-Ruhr Stadtbahn (premetro) network, see among the related cities (Bochum, Dortmund, Düsseldorf, Essen, Mülheim).

San Francisco Bay Area

Three adjacent stations of the BART system, namely Oakland City Center / 12th Street, 19th Street / Oakland and MacArthur stations, feature cross-platform interchange between the Pittsburgh/Bay Point-San Francisco Airport/Millbrae (yellow) line and the Richmond-Fremont (orange) line. The trains are so timed that the trains bound for Bay Point and for Richmond arrive at the same time at the 19th Street station; the trains might arrive at the same time at the other stations too, but that is not guraranteed. On the other hand, only MacArthur station has enough platforms to enable such "timed" transfer between trains bound for San Francisco Airport/Millbrae and for Fremont.

Also an cross-platform interchange exists at the Millbrae Intermodal Terminal in Millbrae, CA, between Caltrain commuter rail service, and BART service at the Millbrae Station.

Santiago de Chile

Vicuña Mackenna station is the only in the metro network of Santiago de Chile offering cross-platform transfer; the through-running line 4 and its shuttle line 4A are interconnected cross-platform here. Line 4A uses the center track between both island platforms, with line 4 stopping on the outer tracks.


Shenzhen metro network includes cross-platform interchanges at Laojie station one direction on top of the other and at Huangbeiling station with two parallel island platforms.


The Mass Rapid Transit system in Singapore has a similar two-station transfer arrangement to allow quick transfers between North South and East West lines. Both City Hall MRT Station and Raffles Place MRT Station have double underground island platforms stacked on top the other, allowing commuters to switch trains to a different line by walking across the same platform at the appropriate station. Jurong East MRT Station has a less complicated arrangement, with the terminating rail for the North South line aligned between that of the East West line, allowing commuters to alight and board simultaneously on either side. Tanah Merah MRT Station also has a less complicated arrangement, with the terminating rail for the East West line Changi Airport Extension aligned between that of the East West line Main Line, allowing commuters to alight and board simultaneously on either side. The new Promenade MRT Station has provisions made for a cross-platform interchange between the Circle Line and the proposed Downtown Line, similarly to the upcoming Bayfront MRT Station.

St. Petersburg

Tekhnologichesky Institut offers cross-platform interchange between lines 1 and 2.


Stockholm_Metro includes cross-platform interchanges at T-Centralen (Main Railway Station), Gamla stan and Slussen metro stations between red and green metro lines, where T-Centralen (Main Railway Station) offers opposite-direction connections while the latter two make cross-platform connections possible in the same direction. Additionally, passengers between Nockebybanan and green metro lines can change cross-platform at Alvik station.


Sydney's suburban railway system "CityRail" offers cross-platform interchange at Central between express and local trains to/from Strathfield as well as on the four-track section from Westmead to St Marys along the Western Line, each in the same direction. Selected cross-platform interchanges can also be made at [[Town_Hall_railway_station|Town Hall]. St James station on the City Circle was also preparred for cross-platform interchanges but has never been used for; both originally planned island platforms were combined to one island platform serving both outer tracks.


The Taipei Metro has three stations providing cross-platform interchange: Chiang Kai-shek Memorial Hall Station (between the Xiaonanmen Line and Tamsui Line), Ximen Station (between the Xiaonanmen Line and Banqiao Line), and Guting Station (between the Xindian Line and the Zhonghe Line). All three stations have island platforms stacked on top of one another, although none of them currently run at full operational capability such due to ongoing construction of future lines. Dongmen Station, currently under construction, will also be a cross-platform interchange station.

Beitou Station allows for cross-platform transfers for southbound trains only due to differing operating routes.


Sadeghieh metro station of Tehran metro offers cross-platform interchanges between both terminating metro lines 2 and 5; while suburban line 5 uses the outer tail tracks of each platform, metro line 2 uses one platform for alighting and the other for boarding.


Vienna metro optimised cross-platform connections at Längenfeldgasse station between lines U4 and U6 by demanding trains to wait as soon as the connecting train is approaching in case of delays or during different train intervals operated; this additional functionality is carried out by a special white light signal demanding the driver to wait. Before line U2 was extended from Schottenring further east, U2 trains terminated at (upper) U4 platform level on a center track sharing platforms with U4 trains on both sides; originally, this station level had been used for merging U2 and U4 lines and consisted of 4 tracks with 2 island platforms, but both platforms were merged to a single island platform after U2 extension opened.

See also


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