Talk:WikiProject Belgium/Conventions/Railways

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Railroad lines

A Belgian "railroad line" (une ligne, een spoorlijn) exists mostly out of two rail tracks next to each other, like a street driven in two directions (For experts: VNS/CVT-sens/rijzin). Exceptions are:

  • a line with only a single track, being run in two directions as needed (but prefarably not synchronous:-). E.g. line 15 towards Turnhout at some places.
  • two or more lines close/next to each other. E.g. L25 and L27 between Brussels and Antwerp, L36 and L36N nestled into each other between Leuven and Brussels.

I propose:

  • to use entering the railway=rail for each line, be it with single or double track, indicating that number (1|2) using the lanes tag. It's useless to draw two "ways" for a single double-track railroad line.
  • to nevertheless draw two ways next to each other where there are two lines next to each other and intersect them on bifurcations (the intersection of two railroad lines, so by definition...). It would be interesting to name the intersecting node to the bifurcation, as indicated in the table WikiProject_Belgium/Railways, as "Y.<name>". The "Y" is obligatory.
  • to not use a detailed schema for complex station grids, but make sure the different possibilities "Lxx to Lyy" are in the drawing. Meaning (!) a train route planner using OSM maps knows what lines he will encounter between station X and halt Y!
  • to never use the "oneway" tag on railroads. There are oneway railroads (eg. between Berchem and Boechout), but that's a bridge too far, folks. (experts would require SSP/PSS plans for that and they're not public.)

When on a four track group of lines - and this is the case on L36/L36N between Leuven and Brussels - the two inner tracks are another line than the two outer ones, I propose to nevertheless draw them next to each other, nicely parallel as prescribed in the "How to draw a motorway" page.

Important remark: if two lines go through the same station, it is vital to enter the node railway=halt_or_station on a clear node somewhere in the middle of the group because we cannot put this node on all lines passing by. Open for discussion. --Orwall 22:54, 21 January 2008 (UTC)

Since I never managed to set up a miniature railroad when I was younger, I think I wanted to map every piece of railroad separately as a model of the real thing. This doesn't make a lot of sense and the Yahoo! imagery is not detailed enough anyway to pull it off, so I think your proposal makes more sense. I'll concentrate on mapping rivers and 'lakes' as detailed as possible instead.
So would we get the cooperation of the NMBS/SNCB to fill them all in accurately? Or is it hard to get digital information about it and do we simply use the imagery and the GPS traces from sitting on trains like we used to? --Polyglot 22:36, 21 January 2008 (UTC)
I'll see what I can get my hands on from the guys@ATLAS :) --Orwall 20:56, 24 January 2008 (UTC)
The way I usually do it: 1 or 2 tracks equals one railway line in OSM (never used the lanes tag though). I don't know exactly what you're saying about stations, but I'm doing it like this: [1] so it actually is quite detailed, and I think it should really look like that.
But what about the huge "formation stations" (vormingsstation): I was doing [2] with the 2 tracks = 1 railway strategy until I started to get bored :-) There was a landuse=railway approved recently which could be used, but I'd like to see some tracks in there though to give an idea about how the tracks go. --Eimai 22:55, 21 January 2008 (UTC)
there are service=yard service=siding service=spur now.
Oh, I didn't read the comment about stations correctly, you were talking about the grid station and not the normal stations :-) --Eimai 22:57, 21 January 2008 (UTC)
"Vormingsstations"/"Gares de formation" indeed pose quite a challenge, but actually are not part of a line. Imho for now we don't need to map 'em precisely, since they don't influence route planning much. The landuse=railway indeed suffices to map these parallel tracks, or as we call 'em: fans/bundels/faisceaux. I agree that the drawing should reflect on the number of fan tracks, but in Waaslandhaven we're building and equiping a fan with more than 70 parallel tracks (Bundel-Zuid). I wouldn' like to start mapping the "trieerheuvels" of Antwerpen-Noord either, I assure you. What is important, is mapping the lines that lie between these huge fans, like eg. L27A and L12 in Schijnpoort lie in the middle of the fans. --Orwall 20:52, 24 January 2008 (UTC)
  • Doesn't a railway line always exist out of just one track? I know that here to railtracks pass and they each have their own number.--Skratz 16:40, 15 January 2009 (UTC)
Yeah, I guess both have pros and cons. Ease of mapping was certainly an argument for 1 way = 2 tracks. When tagging each separate track as a way you'll also have to tag all switches well and that's not trivial to get accurate data for, as it's not exactly easy while on a train and you can't get near the tracks in many cases. I also think it was as a generalization of a highway where you don't map each lane separately, and tram lines that are also usually mapped a single line running over the roads. --Eimai 19:59, 15 January 2009 (UTC)
This is exactly the kind of reply why I don't usually bother with this subproject. Things are what they are, not vague random interpretations. 1 track is one way in osm is perfectly clear and cant be mis interpreted. If you can only be bothered to tag one way, that is perfectly fine, someone else might come along later and do the rest. Contrary to what you say (quote:"you'll also have to tag all "), nobody has to tag anything. unsigned Skratz
Mapping is interpreting. The basic fact that we're trying to map roads with linear structures (aka ways) is the prime example of that. If you want to tag things like they are without any interpretation, then be prepared to spend weeks doing one single road while trying to make three dimensional models of the road, including pictures as textures for the road surface. Or rather full models of the molecular structures. Of course I'm now exaggerating and portraying it a bit ridiculously here, but we're interpreting already, and interpretations by definitions are subjective to the mapper. And the purpose of these pages is exactly to make them less vague and less random, so I really don't understand your point, as you hate random interpretations, yet you don't want to bother with the project that's just trying to make them less random. --Eimai 12:58, 16 January 2009 (UTC)
I see you are still doing that thing where you leave words out of other peoples centences and then reply to what is left. And second, this subproject does make things vague and random, just read the pages. It hardly ever says it is like this but mostly can be this OR that or it says something completely different from the main project. --Skratz 16:57, 16 January 2009 (UTC)
I agree that all these pages needs lots of work and may thus contradict itself in various ways, but most people want to just map instead of doing this boring work. If you have proposals on how to do things better, then this is exactly the place to be: just propose it here, or discuss it on the mailing list. Then other people give their opinions, and hopefully some agreement is reached in the end. For pages like Belgian cycle routes that process of making rules is almost finished. For pages like railways and highways this needs lots of work (as it's vastly more complex). So don't say these pages are useless just because they're at the beginning of the process. Rather try to be constructive and propose your own improved tagging rules, so we end up with nice pages like for cycle routes. --Eimai 17:37, 16 January 2009 (UTC)

Also does anyone here on the belgian subproject ever follows the normal osm guides? It seems to me that the info here is mostly very different from the standard osm project. I also like to point out that nobody is required to tag anything and that I don't like the pressure some people on this subproject try put on other people by saying "you have to" and "you can not". --Skratz 16:40, 15 January 2009 (UTC)

Most of these convention pages are here as an effort to translate Belgian situations into OSM tags. The main description of OSM tags don't exactly take the entire world in account... But which tags are you especially talking about above?
I have yet to come across the first situation where the international OSM tags can't be applied without bending the standards. unsigned Skratz
Take the highway=secondary on the map features page for example. Definition: "Administrative classification in the UK, generally linking smaller towns and villages". Indeed very workable outside the UK... --Eimai 12:58, 16 January 2009 (UTC)
So you don't know about (the history of) the belgian network then. We do have primary, secondary, tertiary and unclassified roads. Or did you just choose to look at the example given of the UK roads (neglecting half of he info, like you do) --Skratz 16:57, 16 January 2009 (UTC)
I know all about them, and if you really want to tag things like they are, then please go ahead with tagging highway=primair 2 or highway=lokaal 1. Because that's what the words primair/secundair are used for, and there is no "tertiair" in Belgium either, and no distinction between something "unclassified" or "residential". If you of course can find out this information, because strictly we're not allowed to use data from the gewestplan or RUP's.
If you know about the definition used in the UK for primary/secundary/tertiary then you know it's more related to the categories we have in Belgium for N-numbered roads (N1, N10, N11, N100), i.e. the classification is based on the road numbers itself (and the reason is the same as I mention above about Belgian primair/secundair/lokaal: they can't get that data either). So that's why the current rules on classification are based on road numbers in Belgium as well, where we have the categories of N1, N10 and N11 as primary, N100 as secundary, and important unnumbered roads as tertiary. And some interpretation of the mapper when it comes to R-numbered roads.
But since you seem to understand so well how to apply the UK-based OSM classification to Belgian roads, please tell how you would do it. --Eimai 17:29, 16 January 2009 (UTC)
But yes, you're right, there are no "you have to do it like this" rules here, but I'm hoping these pages are more some kind of a way to get to a sane agreement amongst mappers so everything stays as consequent as possible. Note also that the most important Belgian convention pages here (motorways, railways) never were really finished either, as the discussion never really came to an end. Nevertheless, the big lines that were drawn about tagging conventions when OSM in Belgium started look more or less adopted and applied now. --Eimai 19:59, 15 January 2009 (UTC)
see my point about adding to the confusion... adopted and applied in your dreams, take a look at the map.
I have the feeling that this whole belgian subproject is your and only your project and you are too territorial about it for me to invest my time in. --Skratz 16:57, 16 January 2009 (UTC)

Train stations and halts

Since all Belgian railroad stops have platforms (perrons/des quais) and trains never stop on demand, the English definition is not applicable. I hence propose to use:

  • "station" for all stops where Infrabel or NMBS personnel is present, possibly to sell tickets OR where there is still a building used as a waiting hall (without (permanent) personnel presence). Normally these buildings are closed between evening and morning.
  • "halt" for all other stops (just platforms and waiting cabins).
  • "name" to be obligatory.
I totally agree with that (already did the same in fact :) --PhilippeP 20:53, 15 January 2008 (UTC)
The problem with this is that they then have the same tags as (and thus look the same as) tram halts... --Eimai 21:46, 15 January 2008 (UTC)
Aren't tram lines rendered differently? If not, this is a rendering issue. The difference between a halt and a station for trains is significant, IMHO. --Gyrbo 09:24, 16 January 2008 (UTC)
OK, I forgot that there was just a tram_stop approved a week ago (and I approved it myself :-) ) railway=tram_stop. It probably means that someone needs to go over all the existing stations again, and that all tram halts have to be modified... --Eimai 13:22, 16 January 2008 (UTC)
I have seen on the Brussels map that tramlines and railroads seem to be rendered the same way. Even if stations are now differently tagged (thanks guys:), the fact that in a large trainstation many tramlines also start (e.g. Metro network) poses clarity problems. This means it is vital to use the railway=tram where it belongs, especially in large "intermodal" stations. Is that tag on its way to approval? --Orwall 20:28, 20 January 2008 (UTC)
I think that Tram and Bus lines should be tagged as routes - maybe with some exceptions where tram or bus as its very own dedicated way (Example in Brussels : from the 'Pont Van Praet' to Heysel) - unless this Brussels map would be cluttered.--PhilippeP 22:05, 20 January 2008 (UTC)
Map being cluttered is a rendering bug, the data should stick to reality when relevant. --Moyogo 11:33, 21 January 2008 (UTC)
Are you suggesting to not use railway=tram anymore? Anyway, if you don't, we cannot use routes to tag halts, so

I propose a vote on entering this definition then in the WikiProject_Belgium/Railways page as the convention for stations and halts.

I approve my own proposal, limiting it to rail roads, NOT trams/metro lines due to PhilippeP's remarks. --Orwall 10:55, 26 January 2008 (UTC)
I approve the railroads tagging conevntion proposal --PhilippeP 11:48, 26 January 2008 (UTC)
I approve -Moyogo 12:33, 26 January 2008 (UTC)
I vote neutral: this will probably change to approve, but IMHO, it's not very clear exactly what I'm voting for. Do stations/stops go on the line, or besides it? --Gyrbo 12:54, 26 January 2008 (UTC)
to my understanding, we're just voting for tagging the train stations with "station" or "halt", not the placement of the nodes or anything else. --Eimai 22:41, 26 January 2008 (UTC)
In that case, I approve this proposal.
I approve the convention for railways. (I'd like to point out though that we do not yet have a formal way to tell how voting should occur for Belgian matters, so we don't know when it'll be approved actually...) --Eimai 20:44, 26 January 2008 (UTC)
Voting between halts and stations considered finished. Convention added.

Level Crossings - Overwegen - Passages à niveau

If we would receive GPS data of most level crossings, would it be interesting to add them into OSM?

I propose to add that data for the reasons that are mentioned in Tag:railway=level crossing. The fact that all roads that cross railroads on the same level should be level crossings by definition (and hence can be deduced as such by an intelligent renderer) still doesn't permit the LC to contain supplemental data, like category, traffic density, etc. This data might come handy later. --Orwall 14:55, 28 April 2008 (UTC)