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Western Railroad Discussion > Depot vs. Station?


Date: 01/29/02 13:26
Depot vs. Station?
Author: sasquatch

Oh wise ones:

Can anyone tell me what is the difference between a train station and a train depot? Or are the terms interchangable?

Thanks to all who post answers!



Date: 01/29/02 13:30
Not Equivalent
Author: SteveD

A depot is a building.
A station is any named place along the railroad.



Date: 01/29/02 14:25
battle which can't be won
Author: Evan_Werkema

I think the formal, railroad definitions are what Steve stated, but
in practical, everyday use, many people use "station" and "depot"
interchangably when referring to the trackside building where
freight and/or passengers are loaded and unloaded. Amtrak's
terminal building in Chicago is "Union Station," and that old time
radio show based on a famous building in New York just wouldn't have
had the same flare if its title had been "Grand Central Depot."

The terms are not used interchangably when referring to "any named
place along the railroad." In the US, those are almost always
stations, not depots.



Date: 01/29/02 14:48
RE: battle which can't be won
Author: PeterRobinson

US usage is: a depot is a building; a station is a named point along the RR. As a depot is always a station (i.e. a named point along the RR), the two are often used interchangeably. However, a station may just be a sign board by the railroad without any attendant buildings. BTW Grand Central Station is the post office at the former NYC Terminal in Manhattan - the terminal itself is Grand Central Terminal. Peter+



Date: 01/29/02 15:10
RE: battle which can't be won
Author: FJC

This is gonna get like the "switch" vs. "turnout" debate.



Date: 01/29/02 15:18
RE: Depot vs. Station?
Author: KK5OL

So......some stations have depots and some don't. And nowadays, some depots aren't at stations any more.

RailNet 802, out



Date: 01/29/02 15:28
RE: Depot vs. Station?
Author: eminence_grise

I was going to say English versus American
usage, but it isn't so.

The CP passenger station in Calgary,Alberta
is always refered to as Calgary Depot.

Can't think of any other major Canadian
stations called "depot".

However, older military installations
are called "depots" when not an armoury,
fort or base.

e.grise



Date: 01/29/02 15:50
RE: Depot vs. Station?
Author: DocJones

I'll add a little to the issue here.
SteveD and others are right. According to the rules a "station" on the railroad is a place designated in the timetable where time applies. In train-order dispatching these were the critical points for dispatchers and train crews to refer to in getting over the road. For more on "where time applies" refer to Rule Four in any of the old SP rulebooks. It may be the same in the Consolidated Code but we didn't use that in the mid-sixties.

A "depot" seems to be a place where stuff (or people) are "deposited", if you will. Trains dropped off goods (in the days of LCL) and people and picked up same.

On the SP we usually referred to a place with either a waiting room or a freight room as a "depot" and a place with only a train-order operator as a "station" or "train-order office." I'll leave it up to others to further the discussion.
Have fun, be safe
Doc Jones



Date: 01/29/02 16:13
RE: "SP Depot"
Author: stash

Isn't that what the destination signs on the San Francisco Muni buses still read? It's been that way since the days of 3rd and Townsend.

I spent many days at the SP Depot in Berkeley, Calif. That station was known as Berkeley University Avenue, since the long gone station of "Berkeley" was downtown for the electric trains. There was an elegant "depot" there too, according to historical photos.



Date: 01/29/02 16:56
RE: "Depot"
Author: ge13031

My cranky old dictionary lists station as a stopping point and Depot as the building connected with that stopping point. But then again in our lively language things change.



Date: 01/29/02 17:02
RE: "Depot"
Author: nycman

It all depends on how old you are, and at my advanced age I don't care. Peter, good call on GCT.



Date: 01/29/02 17:42
RE: battle which can't be won
Author: Evan_Werkema

PeterRobinson wrote:
>
> the terminal itself is Grand Central Terminal.

Yup, that's why I used the radio program title rather than the
building's formal name. The radio show was "Grand Central Station,"
even though it referred to the train...uh...depot rather than the
post office.



Date: 01/29/02 23:19
English English versus US English
Author: PeterRobinson

In 'English English' a Station is a depot - a place where passengers (and/or LCL/carload freight) is handled. There is no equivalent of the US term for station, though mileposts, signal boxes, etc. may be listed in the operating timetable. As for "turnouts" or "switches", we called them "points" until the mid-80s. There are some others too of which (UK) siding for (US) spur, and (UK) passing loop for (US) siding are the most widely known. Peter+



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