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Early stations were usually built to handle passengers and goods. Today, goods are usually only unloaded at big stations. Stations are next to a railway line, or they are the terminus for a route. Usually there are platforms to let passengers get on and off the train easily and safely. Many stations have things such as shelters, ticket sales and benches.
The busiest railway station in the world is Shinjuku Station in Tokyo, Japan. The largest station is Nagoya Station in Nagoya, Japan. The busiest station in Europe is Clapham Junction in south London in the United Kingdom. At peak times, there is one train every 13 seconds there.
Different types of railway stations
This is a terminus station (one of six in Paris). Trains that go through (and do not terminate) here have to change their direction. On the other hand, people can walk from one track to another without the need to cross tracks.
Railway stations usually have either ticket booths, or ticket machines. Ticket sales can also be together with an information desk or a shop. Many stations have a shop or a kiosk. Bigger stations often have fast-food or restaurants. In some countries these stations also have a bar, or a pub. Other station facilities are: toilets, left-luggage, lost-and-found (lost property office), timetables, trolleys, waiting rooms, taxi ranks and bus stops.