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Author Topic: Railway station vs train station  (Read 14043 times)
JontyMort
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« on: December 05, 2019, 05:51:19 pm »

Red tape obviously too thick again!   Roll Eyes

Still, it gives a bit of a performance buffer to help the introduction of the new timetable go a bit smoother I suppose.

Meanwhile GWR have got a poster up - in Famous Five style - which says it's a "train station". Oh dear.
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Reading General
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« Reply #1 on: December 05, 2019, 06:33:07 pm »

Red tape obviously too thick again!   Roll Eyes

Still, it gives a bit of a performance buffer to help the introduction of the new timetable go a bit smoother I suppose.

Meanwhile GWR have got a poster up - in Famous Five style - which says it's a "train station". Oh dear.
God I hate that. I’m starting to think we’re fighting a losing battle against newspeak. Train station has only really become popular in the last 10 years and it’s the media which have spread the term. My argument against the term is always a motorway junction is not referred to as a car junction. I expect better from GWR.
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Bmblbzzz
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« Reply #2 on: December 05, 2019, 07:53:34 pm »

Really? I remember people using it in the 1980s. Ngram only goes up to 2008 but shows it taking off in the 1970s, almost reaching parity in 2000 and declining from then on.
https://books.google.com/ngrams/graph?content=train+station%2Crailway+station&year_start=1940&year_end=2008&corpus=18&smoothing=3&share=&direct_url=t1%3B%2Ctrain%20station%3B%2Cc0%3B.t1%3B%2Crailway%20station%3B%2Cc0

For American English it's a different picture, with "train station" overtaking "railway station" in the late 80s and not looking back, but – interestingly – no corresponding decline in "railway station".
https://books.google.com/ngrams/graph?content=train+station%2Crailway+station&year_start=1940&year_end=2008&corpus=17&smoothing=3&share=&direct_url=t1%3B%2Ctrain%20station%3B%2Cc0%3B.t1%3B%2Crailway%20station%3B%2Cc0

Even more curiously, if we add "bus station" to the comparison, it closely shadows the rise and fall of "train station".
https://books.google.com/ngrams/graph?content=train+station%2Crailway+station%2C+bus+station&year_start=1940&year_end=2008&corpus=18&smoothing=3&share=&direct_url=t1%3B%2Ctrain%20station%3B%2Cc0%3B.t1%3B%2Crailway%20station%3B%2Cc0%3B.t1%3B%2Cbus%20station%3B%2Cc0
« Last Edit: December 05, 2019, 08:08:08 pm by Bmblbzzz » Logged

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JontyMort
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« Reply #3 on: December 05, 2019, 09:49:21 pm »

Really? I remember people using it in the 1980s. Ngram only goes up to 2008 but shows it taking off in the 1970s, almost reaching parity in 2000 and declining from then on.
https://books.google.com/ngrams/graph?content=train+station%2Crailway+station&year_start=1940&year_end=2008&corpus=18&smoothing=3&share=&direct_url=t1%3B%2Ctrain%20station%3B%2Cc0%3B.t1%3B%2Crailway%20station%3B%2Cc0

For American English it's a different picture, with "train station" overtaking "railway station" in the late 80s and not looking back, but – interestingly – no corresponding decline in "railway station".
https://books.google.com/ngrams/graph?content=train+station%2Crailway+station&year_start=1940&year_end=2008&corpus=17&smoothing=3&share=&direct_url=t1%3B%2Ctrain%20station%3B%2Cc0%3B.t1%3B%2Crailway%20station%3B%2Cc0

Even more curiously, if we add "bus station" to the comparison, it closely shadows the rise and fall of "train station".
https://books.google.com/ngrams/graph?content=train+station%2Crailway+station%2C+bus+station&year_start=1940&year_end=2008&corpus=18&smoothing=3&share=&direct_url=t1%3B%2Ctrain%20station%3B%2Cc0%3B.t1%3B%2Crailway%20station%3B%2Cc0%3B.t1%3B%2Cbus%20station%3B%2Cc0

That is the point. "Bus station" is a perfectly OK back-formation from "station". "Train station" is an unnecessary double back-formation.
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stuving
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« Reply #4 on: December 05, 2019, 10:21:00 pm »

Really? I remember people using it in the 1980s. Ngram only goes up to 2008 but shows it taking off in the 1970s, almost reaching parity in 2000 and declining from then on.
https://books.google.com/ngrams/graph?content=train+station%2Crailway+station&year_start=1940&year_end=2008&corpus=18&smoothing=3&share=&direct_url=t1%3B%2Ctrain%20station%3B%2Cc0%3B.t1%3B%2Crailway%20station%3B%2Cc0

For American English it's a different picture, with "train station" overtaking "railway station" in the late 80s and not looking back, but – interestingly – no corresponding decline in "railway station".
https://books.google.com/ngrams/graph?content=train+station%2Crailway+station&year_start=1940&year_end=2008&corpus=17&smoothing=3&share=&direct_url=t1%3B%2Ctrain%20station%3B%2Cc0%3B.t1%3B%2Crailway%20station%3B%2Cc0

Even more curiously, if we add "bus station" to the comparison, it closely shadows the rise and fall of "train station".
https://books.google.com/ngrams/graph?content=train+station%2Crailway+station%2C+bus+station&year_start=1940&year_end=2008&corpus=18&smoothing=3&share=&direct_url=t1%3B%2Ctrain%20station%3B%2Cc0%3B.t1%3B%2Crailway%20station%3B%2Cc0%3B.t1%3B%2Cbus%20station%3B%2Cc0

Well, bus station you'd expect to be dying out as bus stations disappear. And surely in the USA it's always been railroad, not railway? In that case apparently railroad was overtaken in the US by railway some time ago.

Do I believe that? No. Isn't Ngram's corpus only books, which don't match everyday usage at all, largely because the subject mix is so different. A news media corpus would match better, despite the weird vocabulary they use.
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didcotdean
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« Reply #5 on: December 05, 2019, 11:12:18 pm »

Train station appears back into the 1850s in newspapers. Certainly has the advantage over railway for being shorter, at least before that was regularly shortened to rail.
« Last Edit: December 06, 2019, 12:12:39 pm by didcotdean » Logged
grahame
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« Reply #6 on: December 06, 2019, 06:31:59 am »

I keep coming back to thinking I should visit a "fire station" if I'm feeling cold and want to find a fire to warm me up.
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TaplowGreen
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« Reply #7 on: December 06, 2019, 06:36:19 am »

Really? I remember people using it in the 1980s. Ngram only goes up to 2008 but shows it taking off in the 1970s, almost reaching parity in 2000 and declining from then on.
https://books.google.com/ngrams/graph?content=train+station%2Crailway+station&year_start=1940&year_end=2008&corpus=18&smoothing=3&share=&direct_url=t1%3B%2Ctrain%20station%3B%2Cc0%3B.t1%3B%2Crailway%20station%3B%2Cc0

For American English it's a different picture, with "train station" overtaking "railway station" in the late 80s and not looking back, but – interestingly – no corresponding decline in "railway station".
https://books.google.com/ngrams/graph?content=train+station%2Crailway+station&year_start=1940&year_end=2008&corpus=17&smoothing=3&share=&direct_url=t1%3B%2Ctrain%20station%3B%2Cc0%3B.t1%3B%2Crailway%20station%3B%2Cc0

Even more curiously, if we add "bus station" to the comparison, it closely shadows the rise and fall of "train station".
https://books.google.com/ngrams/graph?content=train+station%2Crailway+station%2C+bus+station&year_start=1940&year_end=2008&corpus=18&smoothing=3&share=&direct_url=t1%3B%2Ctrain%20station%3B%2Cc0%3B.t1%3B%2Crailway%20station%3B%2Cc0%3B.t1%3B%2Cbus%20station%3B%2Cc0

That is the point. "Bus station" is a perfectly OK back-formation from "station". "Train station" is an unnecessary double back-formation.

I'd like to be the first to welcome Alan Partridge to the Coffee shop forum.
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Reading General
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« Reply #8 on: December 06, 2019, 09:06:52 am »

Simon and Garfunkel use railway station in the tune Homeward Bound, rather than the popular American ‘railroad’. I think train station possibly derived from a city metro somewhere in America such as the Chicago L train. Many subway/metro lines are referred to as trains, the A train in New York for example, so people would refer to the station as an A train station.
I never remember anybody using the term train station in the late 80’s early 90’s heyday of practically everybody I knew my age using the railway around Reading, in fact I think just station was the most popular. When you say station in the UK nobody gets confused as to what you mean, I’m not sure why many old enough to know better have added ‘train’ on the beginning as much as I’m not sure why people call it ‘Reading station’ when in Reading as, while in Reading, it’s just the station. Pedantic.
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JontyMort
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« Reply #9 on: December 06, 2019, 09:46:21 am »

Simon and Garfunkel use railway station in the tune Homeward Bound, rather than the popular American ‘railroad’. I think train station possibly derived from a city metro somewhere in America such as the Chicago L train. Many subway/metro lines are referred to as trains, the A train in New York for example, so people would refer to the station as an A train station.
I never remember anybody using the term train station in the late 80’s early 90’s heyday of practically everybody I knew my age using the railway around Reading, in fact I think just station was the most popular. When you say station in the UK nobody gets confused as to what you mean, I’m not sure why many old enough to know better have added ‘train’ on the beginning as much as I’m not sure why people call it ‘Reading station’ when in Reading as, while in Reading, it’s just the station. Pedantic.

You of all people should still be calling it Reading General 🙂
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Reading General
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« Reply #10 on: December 06, 2019, 10:05:11 am »

General is added in my head as it was always in brackets in my time. My dad used to refer to it as General station, while bus drivers always called it stations plural. Habits took a long time to die at the corporation.
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Oxonhutch
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« Reply #11 on: December 06, 2019, 10:10:20 am »

Simon and Garfunkel use railway station in the tune Homeward Bound, rather than the popular American ‘railroad’...

Maybe becaue Paul Simon wrote the song at Widnes railway station - of all places!
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Red Squirrel
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« Reply #12 on: December 06, 2019, 10:17:41 am »

This is one of those Whack-a-Mole topics...

I make no apology for once again referring readers to Michael Quinion's article which covers the etymology of a host of railway terms, on both sides of the pond. Quinion's article is getting on a bit now, but I think the gist of it remains true.

Whether you choose to say 'train station' or 'railway station', almost everyone will know what you mean.

Your choice could however be a dog-whistle to anyone with sensitive hearing: Using 'railway station' might suggest to the listener that you are the kind of person who thinks miles are morally superior to kilometres, or who prefers to know what the temperature is in Fahrenheit (on hot days, anyway), and who secretly misses the half-crown coin. Using 'train station', on the other hand, might make you look like a pensioner dressed in Aeropostale.

Live and let live, I say.
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stuving
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« Reply #13 on: December 06, 2019, 10:21:44 am »

Simon and Garfunkel use railway station in the tune Homeward Bound, rather than the popular American ‘railroad’...

Maybe becaue Paul Simon wrote the song at Widnes railway station - of all places!

Plus, if he was tempted to reamericanise it later, putting "railroad" in would make it much less singable. Adding even a soft American "d" to the consonant group "st" at the end of a short syllable blocks the metrical flow of the piece.
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Phantom
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« Reply #14 on: December 06, 2019, 11:09:13 am »

I was having this conversation recently, I was told they were catching a "train" from the station so it must be a "Train station" ??
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