Proposed features/Main

From OpenStreetMap Wiki
Jump to: navigation, search
Status: Draft (under way)
Proposed by: *
Tagging: railway=main
Rendered as: thick white/black dashed line, visible at lower LOD


For major railway lines, suitable for high-speed trains. ICE, TGV, major connection between cities.

Proposal renamed to "railway=main".


Would Main line be a better term? Bruce89 17:35, 11 June 2007 (BST)

Yes, I think railway=main or main_line would be better. If this is for high-speed trains, then railway=hispeed would be better. --Hawke 23:33, 11 June 2007 (BST)

Full Ack! My proposal was more in the direction of identifying main lines than hispeed tracks. The latter could be indicated by a maxspeed field maybe?.. But that's another proposal. -- Relet 09:32, 13 June 2007 (BST)

  • Shouldn't the new value fit the existing? At the moment there are railway=light_rail and railway=rail, so it should be railway=heavy_rail or something like that. Another suggestion: Change light_rail to local and use railway = local / regional / national. Then railway=rail would only be the default ("There are rails, but I have no further information").
    • no, light rail means something different, generally for narrow-gauge/lightweight railways e.g. just for commuters in cities. they do move slower, but then not all full-gauge railways move at high speedMyfanwy 02:13, 3 January 2008 (UTC)

But would it be good to put this information in the ways at all? The rails have the same dimensions as well for ICEs as for regional trains. So why don't leave railway=rail as physical information und use relations to indicate the importance of a route?

And another issue: I would like to have the same tags for the stations with the same rules for displaying at different zoom levels. hobbsch 18:37, 8 November 2007 (UTC)

Main lines are built to a higher quality, have a higher speed limit and have much more train traffic. Using route relations is not sufficient. The distinction between main lines and spurs is usually obvious from a satellite photo. Andrewpmk 07:35, 3 January 2008 (UTC)

I believe we need a railway=high_speed tag for countries such as Japan, where the high speed network is distinct from the rest of the rail network, and built to totally different standards. Almost all maps in Japan for example, render Shinkansen lines differently to the rest of rail network. I don't believe this kind of tag should be used in the UK, though. Whether there is any use in making a distinction in countries where there is no distinct high speed network is more debatable. It would need to be decided whether any such tag usage would be applued to railways lines with a certain number of tracks, those between cities only, or some other criteria. Personally i don't think it's useful rendering selected railway lines at certain zoom levels, but that's because I view the rail network as a single entity. Daveemtb 13:08, 14 January 2008 (UTC)

I fully agree that we should introduce some sort of categorization system for railways. There is no point in rendering single-track lines with hardly any services at the same level as highly frequented high-speed main lines. While railway=main might be a good tag for the network core (those lines with the most traffic), which should be rendered just at the same level as motorways, I'd suggest a three-fold category system.

  • Main for highly frequented main lines, including regular long-distance train services. These lines would usually be built according to the most advanced technical standards of a country. That would be the Shinkansen Network in Japan or the TGV high-speed lines in France. In countries without high-speed networks, these would be the most important railway routes.
  • Primary for main lines which are rather used by local/regional and freight trains. There might be regular long-distance services, but at a lower standard (such as quite limited speed).
  • Secondary for what is commonly a less frequented local railway. They usually have a lower technical standard (such as plenty of level crossings), quite low speed limits and such things.
  • Track for a single track (such as within a train station or a short branch line of plant)

Since it seems to be quite common around the globe to distinguish between primary and secondary railways, why should we not base our categorization system on that? If such a system will be introduced, railway=rail would become a tag for unclassified railways, similar to highway=road. --Bigbug21 22:30, 7 September 2008 (UTC)

PS -- With further advances to the renderers, the maxspeed tag could also be interpreted in order to classify railway lines on the map. --Bigbug21 22:32, 7 September 2008 (UTC)

In my opinion values leading to the assumtion that the track is heavy-used or less-used are unpassable. There is a classifikation of tracks (in Germany) that allows - according to the accuracy - different trains on a track or that defines the accuracy of the tracks according to the train-types that should ride over it. These are:

  • highspeed
  • passengers
  • goods
  • shunting

Even if it is very difficult to get these classifications from vision only, but I would prefere to use somethin like this, because corresponging to highway=* the values should imply the structure of the road and not the volumes of the traffic. --PieSchie 08:33, 8 September 2008 (UTC)

It's great to see this discussion gaining some momentum. I fully agree with your point that the sheer volume of traffic should not too much be taken into account when it comes to classifying. However, I do not think that solely classifying by traffic types would work out either. In that case, high-capacity freight lines with no passenger services on it would be less important than a line that carries only, say, 5 high-speed trains a day. Besides, it might get quite tricky to define clear rules for classification and rendering. Is a line of 50 freight and 2 passenger trains a day still a freight or already a passenger line?

The concept of primary and secondary railway lines, however, is quite common around the world. We could make use of that pretty clear distinction, with minor differences that originate from the individual points of view. In Germany, for example, a main line is defined as a railway line which allows speeds greater than about 100 km/h and requiries a higher level of maintainance, signalling and certain technical safety systems for level crossings (among others). A secondary line, on the other hand, would often allow not more than about 80 km/h, in conjunction with lower safety standards. With a "main line" classification, which would be above primary, there would still be a way of distinguishing the most important routes, such as high-speed lines or key axis, in countries without a high-speed railway system. Another category, below "secondary" would be required to correctly tag rails which do not qualify for a railway track, such as feeder tracks of factorys or connection tracks between two lines.

I believe such a system would allow a fairly quick and clear classification of railways. On top of that, we could still introduce tags such as the ones you've proposed to further distinguish railways, such as for dedicated freight railway maps or such things.

I know that there is quite a system for railway classification here in Germany. It incorporates about a dozen classifications, ranging from 300 km/h high-speed railway lines to simple feeder tracks. That operator classification, however, differs massively between countries. --Bigbug21 19:45, 8 September 2008 (UTC)

The question for mapping is not the value of importance of the track. We cannot tagg the tracks according to the train volumes. Otherwise the full network from any opperater would have to be retagged only because he changed the timetable and some tracks are now used twice as frequent as bevore and some half that much. Of course a passenger looking on a railway-map wants to see the tracks where intercity-trains are stopping and where only regional are stopping, but such a map would surely not be used for Trip-Search. I think that any information about the amount of usage on the track could be added to additional attributes, but the definition of a railway should stay only on the physical information.--PieSchie 15:17, 13 September 2008 (UTC)

PS: My Message is that primary, secondary is good for me. In Germany the tracks are also divided by "Hauptstrecke" and "Nebenstrecke". Unfortunately it is very difficult to get the information from any track itself. It depends on e.g. the curve radius or the security systems on a crossing. On Primary there has to be a security bar and on secondary there can be one. That does not mean that a security bar implies a primary track. --PieSchie 15:49, 13 September 2008 (UTC)

I do not support most of this classifications. The information if it is a primary or a secondary rail does not help anybody. Mostly such information is only useful if you're a railroad engineer. Most tracks are used by different kinds of trains (high-speed, regional etc.) but they stop at different stations. So the information about the kind of trains should be added to the stations and not to the track. The only kind of classification I would support is to tag freight railways, so that you can see that normally there is no chance to go there by train. I would also support to count the number of tracks, this also gives a information about the importance.