Here is a diagram that represents the underground layers in New York City:
It seems to me, that there is quite a lot on top of the drives and rails is built with no problems.
But, those are not train stations and rails, but metro lines.
Then you have this drive:
Schiphol Station is under Schiphol Airport without any problems.
But nobody lives there..
Okay, is the Willem van Oranje tunnel in Delft good?
Is it a good idea to live above a track?
I think it’s a better idea than living next door….
Where does this lead?
A quieter and safer living environment and efficient supply of people and goods to the center of a compact city.
Provided good sound insulation: no problem.The train station in the basement is not a bad idea at all! Most of the major modern stations in the Netherlands also have malls located above it, so shops are also close by.
There are some nice answers here, but I would like to propose my alternative.
The bridge.And I don’t mean such a wooden thing about a channel, but a real bridge. For the Metro or the train, or a (fast) road.
Sure, this can be seen as horizon pollution, and it takes some sunlight away, but it is a relatively inexpensive solution to infrastructural problems, and you can build bridges or viaducts anywhere, if necessary above an already existing road.In American cities They have been doing it since the end of the 19th century, and it was (and is) very effective.
An ‘ elevated metro ‘ driven by a compact steam locomotive.
Later they were replaced by electric wagons.
The subway in the Bronx today.
Also above the ground, and the street.
Well, maybe not as neat as we are accustomed to in the Netherlands, but I think it has some, and for the less prosperous cities it is a good solution.
Where space is scarce, you have to enter the depth and height. Building above (track) roads is a good idea.Whether it is a good idea in the low-lying Netherlands, I do not know. In connection with the increasing flood hazard, the infrastructure could be better built to allow transport after flooding.
Technically, it will be able, with measures to reduce noise and vibration, especially when it is not about railway lines where hazardous substances are transported.But for railway lines in tunnels (which you then create under the residential layers) There are strict provisions for safety, but how many times the track in the Schiphol tunnel has been stressed in recent years.
An advantage may be that you keep green space on the outskirts of the city and add users of urban facilities (not only public transport and stations themselves, but also shops, schools, etc.).We must keep in mind that the environment above the track is also calculated on rainwater drainage and is not too hot in the summer, a concrete container as in New York is not ideal as a place to live.
I live in Glasgow where there are houses built above the metro line.There are no problems, but the Glasgow Metro is very small, the trains are electric and very quiet.
A huge chaos in case something goes wrong at such a station once.
Free territory in expensive pieces of city.
After the construction you have just a high-rise area with flats and offices. The train rides through the basement, what does it give? If sound is isolated properly and the station is accessible to electric trains, so no steam and diesel, it seems to me a great way to get cheap to building space. Without any neighbourhoods to demolish.
I think it depends heavily on the situation:
How big is the pressure on the housing market in the city/region?
Is The barrier workable a problem?Building houses is not the solution for a barrier to be dragged; Tunnels or bridges do build.
Is the track deepened, raised on a talud, or on the ground level?About how many tracks does it go? Each situation demands other solutions with different costs.
What’s going on the track?Is it a main railway line with every quarter of an Intercity and a stop train with even freight trains or is it a regional line with only light rail trains? You can also think of the overbuilding of emplacements. Each specific situation determines which constructions are needed and each solution hangs a price tag.
The track is often located in a zone where there is a distance to the buildings.That zone is often (colloquially) green or contains overflow functions such as parking or exhibition grounds. This is also a need. To what extent is a densely-glazed city desirable? Just like cheese, the flavour is often in the openings: the pores of the city, so to speak.
It is not unimportant to look at the needs of the railways: rail traffic is getting busier and in many places there is a need for enlargement.
In this light, synergies can be sought with other issues that require solutions.For example, I myself have made a plan for the situation in Hilversum, where the track was made Viersporig, was laid in a tunnel, and was bundled with a road that connected the Mediapark with the A27. This solved just four problems: the train traffic got more space, the Media Park got a good car connection, there was room for new construction (homes and businesses) and by the rebuilding of the old Highway connection, also the Nature Reserve and connections in the (then playing) ecological main structure are realized. That also the barrier effect of the track disappeared, was actually only a pleasant bijkomstility. A similar plan in a much more sober form has been realised in Nijverdal in recent years.