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A junction, when discussed in the context of transport, is a location where traffic can change between different routes, directions, or sometimes modes, of travel.

Historical significance

Historically, many cities and market towns developed wherever there was a junction. The intersection of two or more routes offered opportunities for rest or trade for travelers and merchants. Towns sprang up to accommodate this; the first such in Europe were probably at intersections of the Roman roads.

A similar effect came with the growth of rail transport; so-called railway towns grew up near major railway junctions - originally to accommodate railway workers, but expanding into fully functioning settlements over time.

Junctions for specific transport modes

See main articles: Junction and Junction .
There are many types of different junction for road transport and rail transport (including metro and rapid transit systems). If many of these are contained in a small area, and where passengers can change from one transport mode to the other in them, it is said to be a transport hub.

The word "junction"

The word "junction" derives from Latin iunctus, past participle of iungere, to join. The word "junction" in this context may also refer to:
  • The general locality of a given interchange
  • A specific interchange on a major road, e.g. motorway. This it the common use in the United Kingdommarker. For example, Milton Keynesmarker is said to be "off junction 13" of the M1.



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