Talk:Proposed features/shuttle train

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mixed route=train / shuttle_train

I've mentioned this somewhere else, too, but just that it gets considered: here in Finland we have a couple of train routes, about 1000 km long, where the trains have a varying number of car transporting rail cars on each trip. They are regular train routes, a passenger can use them between any stops it serves, but the cars can be loaded and unloaded only at stations at the ends of the routes, even if they use the same tracks for the middle part of the journey. Even worse, the motorvehicles are loaded onto the train some hundred meters away from the passenger station/platform (passengers need to walk to the passenger wagons), and they connect the freight cars to the rest of the train just before departure. Apparently other countries have similar train services.

The "additional way on top of the rail" doesn't work for this, since the tracks are already accurate enought to have many times more nodes than the 2000 node limit (I haven't counted exactly, but I started creating a regular route=train relation for one of those trains, so I know the scale). Ways end-to-end, all with duration=* is ambiguous (the Niebüll example): does each way take 35 minutes?). Ways end to end would need "shuttle train turn restrictions", as you can't take a shuttle train between two south end cities. Since it's a route that uses tracks, which also other routes use - or can use - route relations are the norm.

My point being, that creating several relations (end to end) for one train seems inconsistent. IMO, at the first level of abstraction, all "car on train" routes should be the same route=* type, and there shouldn't be separate values of route=shuttle_train / route=motorail / route=*. First idea is that where the train route is also a regular train route, the shuttle_train relation could include that route=train relation as a member, and just the loading/unloading locations (and possibly just the tracks connecting the loading points to the route of the regular train service. On shorter routes, where car passengers stay in their car for the duration of the route, and where there is no "regular train route", that is not needed, but it's still better as a relation on the real railway=rail tracks/ways. Alv 09:13, 12 September 2012 (BST)

I incline to agree with Alv, though there are no such trains that I know of, I rather see adding a node for car_load_on and car_load_off to an existing train relation would probably be more accurate. In theori there can be several points where cars can be loaded on and off, though they need to have the right infrastructure in place. Adding access=*-type tags to the relation can also allow us to restrict the types of vehicles the train takes, and even make it a requirement to ride the train that you have a vehicle with you (if such cases exists) --Skippern 20:48, 12 September 2012 (BST)

Thank you Chris,

route=shuttle_train is the most reasonable tag for the last 5 years! It is simple and allows me to precalculate topologies for routing without overhead. Well, there are many examples where this tag is not sufficient - see the comment above, but it helps calculating OpenStreetMap data for routing a lot. But I would like to go exactly one step further. The last open riddle is the selection of necessary service-streets which are connected to shuttle_train's or ferries. Most converters ignore Service-Streets because they blow up every car-routing graph.

So my proposel is to tag even these services with shuttle_train or sth. like shuttle_train_feeder. Or, in case of ferries: "ferry_feeder" or just service=important or service=feeder as common indicators.

To all those Relation-Freaks: No, technically it's hardly possible to resolve this kind of information from Relations.

Best Regards,



Hi Carsten, I like the idea of service=feeder. If I don't find an alternative tag, I will tag the Sylt-Shuttle Service Ways with it. Chris


Why is this called route=shuttle_train? E.g. Wikipedia calls shuttle trains because of their frequency, not that they carry cars. So shuttle_train catches many more trains than just a car-carrying-train. The tag may become confusing/ambiguous to users. Aceman444 (talk) 16:16, 3 September 2015 (UTC)


Trains Boats Vehicles on
Rollblocs Marine railway/ Ship lift Ro-ro/ Motorail Trains
Ferry Ferry Boats
Broken trains! Car-transports Vehicles

Vehicles on trains

  • Eurotunnel Le Shuttle, Cheriton (Folkestone, GB)—Coquelles (Calais, FR). ~2‒3 HGV shuttles + ~2‒3
  • Various Swiss Alps rolling roads
  • VR (Finland) flat-bed HGV piggy-back: Helsinki yards—*
  • VR Motorail, (Helsinki / Turku / Tampere ) ‒ (Oulu / Kolari / Rovaniemi)
  • DB AutoZug, Berlin Wannsee‒*

Vehicles on boats

  • Dover (GB)—Calais (DE)

Trains on boats

  • Rødby (Denmark)—Puttgarden (Germany),[1] also carries ICE75 (Berlin‒Hamburg‒Københaven)[2]
  • Sassnitz (Germany)—Trelleborg (Denmark),[3] also carries night train Berlin‒Malmo

Boats on trains

  • Big Chute Marine Railway[4] and others.

Random pictures


I did not yet find vehicles-on-trains-on-boats, but I suspect it happens as rarely/frequently as boats-on-lorries-on-boats! —Sladen (talk) 08:52, 7 May 2013 (UTC)