way station

noun
a station intermediate between principal stations, as on a railroad.

Origin:
1775–85, Americanism

Dictionary.com Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2014.
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WordNet
way station

noun
1. a stopping place on a journey; "there is a stopover to change planes in Chicago" [syn: stopover
2. a small railway station between the principal stations or a station where the train stops only on a signal [syn: whistle stop
WordNet® 3.0, © 2006 by Princeton University.
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Example sentences
Rick made every obstacle a mere way station on the road to a destination he
  never doubted would be reached.
If nothing else, it could be a way station for our space travelers.
In a sense, for traditional families the hijab is a sort of convenient half-way
  station to fuller freedom.
It could be a way station, a stepping stone for moving on to other more
  exciting things.
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