A side platform (also known as a marginal platform or a single-face platform) is a platform positioned to the side of one or more railway tracks or guideways at a railway station, tram stop, or transitway. A station having dual side platforms, one for each direction of travel, is the basic design used for double-track railway lines (as opposed to, for instance, the island platform where a single platform lies between the tracks). Side platforms may result in a wider overall footprint for the station compared with an island platform where a single width of platform can be shared by riders using either track.
In some stations, the two side platforms are connected by a footbridge running above and over the tracks. While a pair of side platforms is often provided on a dual-track line, a single side platform is usually sufficient for a single-track line.
Station with two tracks
and two side platforms
Where the station is close to a level crossing (grade crossing) the platforms may either be on the same side of the crossing road or alternatively may be staggered in one of two ways. With the 'near-side platforms' configuration, each platform appears before the intersection and with 'far-side platforms' they are positioned after the intersection.
Larger stations may have two side platforms with several island platforms in between. Some are in a Spanish solution format, with two side platforms and an island platform in between, serving two tracks.
View of Katase-Shirata Station (Japan), an example where the line is mainly a single track, but it is possible for trains to cross each other at the station.
Ryde Esplanade railway station with one platform in use and other out of use. Ryde, Isle of Wight, Hampshire, England
Dover MRT station (Singapore) with two platforms in use. The station is an infill station built along an existing line; thus, it takes a side platform structure.
- Longhurst, Derek (2008). 48 months, 48 minutes : building the Perth to Mandurah railway. West Perth, Western Australia: Rawlhouse Publishing. p. 303. ISBN 9780958740685.
- Parkinson, Tom; Fisher, Ian (1996). Rail Transit Capacity. Transportation Research Board. p. 24. ISBN 978-0-309-05718-9.
- "Railway Station Design". Railway Technical Web Pages. Archived from the original on June 9, 2007. Retrieved August 19, 2016.
- "Railway Platform and Types". Railwaysysyem.net. Retrieved 2017-06-30.
- "Railway Platform and Types |".
- "Stations | the Railway Technical Website | PRC Rail Consulting Ltd".
- "The Layout of the Station".
- "Delivering a better railway for a better Britain – Route Specifications 2016 Wessex" (PDF). Network Rail. March 2016.