Opened in 2006,
Berlin Hauptbahnhof is a large station at the crossing point of two major railways and features modern, abstract architecture. Berlin had a ring of terminus stations, similar to London and Paris, however they were gradually replaced with through stations from 1882 to 1952.
It generally consists of at least one
platform and a
station building (depot) providing such ancillary services as
ticket sales and
waiting rooms. If a station is on a
single-track line, it often has a
passing loop to facilitate traffic movements. The smallest stations are most often referred to as "stops" or, in some parts of the world, as "halts" (flag stops).
Stations may be at ground level, underground, or elevated. Connections may be available to intersecting
rail lines or other transport modes such as
buses, trams or other
rapid transit systems.
British English, traditional usage favours railway station or simply station, even though train station, which is often perceived as an Americanism, is now about as common as railway station in writing; railroad station is not used, railroad being obsolete there. In British usage, the word station is commonly understood to mean a railway station unless otherwise qualified. In
American English, the most common term in contemporary usage is train station; railroad station and railway station are less common, though they have been more common in the past.
In addition to its use for storage facilities, in North America the term depot is sometimes used as an alternative name for station, along with the compound forms train depot, railway depot, and railroad depot, but also applicable for goods and other vehicles.