United Kingdom railways

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Railways in UK

UK-Motorways-Railways.pngMapping the railways of the UK.

Status: started

United Kingdom Railways is a project to map all the mainline railways in the United Kingdom. There are related projects to map the London Underground, United Kingdom trams, and independent and minor Railways.


Most railway lines are in.

Things still work checking and needing doing.

  • Adding details of the number of trackes (tracks=1, track=2) etc or adding multiple parallel tracks
  • Stations layout (platforms, passages, steps etc)
  • Relations for Services
  • Relations for historic lines
  • Relations for Network Rail operating section

Mapping services

Railways are shown on most OpenStreetMap mapping layers alongside other information. Additional specialist railway map views are available from ITO Map including railways (showing mainline railways, sidings spurs etc), railway electrification and others.


Main article: United Kingdom railway stations

All currently operating UK mainline railway stations have been now mapped as nodes, according to a comparison of the list from Wikipedia. There is currently an effort to map the stations in more details, including the platforms and station buildings.

Train services

Please see Talk:United Kingdom railways for discussion over colour usage

Current operational train services (as distinct from historic services) should all be mapped as relations tagged as type=route and route=train. They should also be tagged as network=national or network=regional depending on things like distance travelled and time between stations. This helps distinguish the more important services and aids sensible display by the OpenStreetBrowser renderer.

Tagged services

Ref Railway service Operator Route Network Assigned colour Notes
Merthyr and Vale Barry Island > Cardiff > Merthyr Tydfil Arriva Trains Wales Osm element relation.svg 195448 Tagged as route=light_rail.
VT F Birmingham - Scotland Virgin Trains Osm element relation.svg 289295
Wolverhampton Birmingham - Wolverhampton London Midland Osm element relation.svg 285296
CR Birmingham Snowhill - Marylebone Chiltern Railways Osm element relation.svg 167209
SN 20 Brighton - Ashford express Southern Osm element relation.svg 172467
133 (GW) Bristol - Avonmouth - Severn Beach First Great Western Osm element relation.svg 167218
SN 60 Brighton-Portsmouth (semi-fast) Southern Osm element relation.svg 174147 regional #42816b (operator)
SN 4 Brighton Express (London Victoria - Brighton) Southern Osm element relation.svg 167474 national #42816b (operator)
SN 67 Bognor Regis - Littlehampton Southern Railway Osm element relation.svg 173244 regional #42816b (operator)
123 (GW) Cardiff - Portsmouth First Great Western Osm element relation.svg Route national #32366d (operator) A few stops missing - may need all stops adding from scratch to keep in order.
181 (SN) Caterham-London Victoria Southern Osm element relation.svg 172834 regional #42816b (operator)
City City Line Arriva Trains Wales Osm element relation.svg 168230 Valleys #f0af11 (route)
XC Cross Country Bristol - Manchester Arriva CrossCountry Osm element relation.svg route national
Cross-City Cross City Redditch-Lichfield LMR London Midland Osm element relation.svg 167785 regional #ed1c24 (route)
LM Great Malvern - Leamington Spa London Midland Osm element relation.svg 168165 regional #22b24c (route??)
LM Great Malvern - Stratford London Midland Osm element relation.svg 166314 regional #22b24c (route?)
SN 84 Horsham - London Victoria Southern Osm element relation.svg 176443 regional #42816b (operator)
Hope Valley Manchester-Sheffield Hope Valley Line Northern Osm element relation.svg Route regional Not sure whether to include node 35482892 Strines as most trains don't stop there.
- Liverpool-Nottingham-Norwich East Midland Trains Osm element relation.svg 237133 national Not finished yet.
- Manchester Airport-Cleethorpes First TransPennine Express Osm element relation.svg 237386 national Work in progress
52 (FC): Luton - Sutton Loop Thameslink Luton-Sutton First Capital Connect Osm element relation.svg 168327 regional #27abe2 (route)
125 (GW) London Paddington - Bristol Temple Meads First Great Western Osm element relation.svg 183757 national #32366d (operator) Paddington now re-instated. Previously someone had deleted the node's station status and didn't move the relation info!
125 (GW) London Paddington - South Wales First Great Western Osm element relation.svg 166378 national #32366d (operator) Very incomplete (only 3 stops)
135 (GW) London Paddington - Penzance First Great Western Osm element relation.svg 125414 national #32366d (operator) Needs stops adding.
SN 62 London Victoria - Eastbourne Southern Osm element relation.svg 174288 national #42816b (operator)
SW 158 London Waterloo - Weymouth South West Trains Osm element relation.svg 1826565 national Incomplete and needs stops adding.
VT B Manchester - London Virgin Trains Osm element relation.svg 289293 West Coast #eb3f94 (route)
North Staffordshire Line (Derby-Crewe) East Midlands Trains Osm element relation.svg 1075201 regional Not completed
SW 81 Portsmouth Harbour - Waterloo (fast) South West Trains Osm element relation.svg 173090 national #ec1b30 (operator)
GW 94 Reading-Gatwick Turbo Express First Great Western Osm element relation.svg 172989 national #32366d (operator)
167 (IL) Ryde - Shanklin Island Line Trains Osm element relation.svg 167489 regional #ec1b30 (operator) Complete
SN 42 "Seaford Flyer": Brighton - Lewes - Seaford Southern Osm element relation.svg 172464 regional #42816b (operator)
Chase Walsall - Wolverhampton London Midland Osm element relation.svg 285323 regional #00aeef (route)
SN 65 West Worthing - Brighton (all stations) Southern Osm element relation.svg 173240 regional #42816b (operator)
VT A Wolverhampton - London Virgin Trains Osm element relation.svg 164889 West Coast #945436 (route)


See List of UK railway lines for names of railway lines.

New Lines (Proposed and Under Construction)


The data can come from GPS traces submitted to OpenStreetMap (try searching the traces page for train, railway or rail), or from NPE Maps or landsat imagery. When tracing from NPE/landsat, do not use copyright sources to figure out if the line is still there or not. Instead, either use local knowledge, or other compatible map sources such as the OS Opendata

Surveying by train

Trains known to permit GPS reception

Unless otherwise specified, you'll need your GPS to be by the window on these trains to get a good lock.

  • Turbostars (170/168), Turbos (165/166), Sprinters (15x), Pacers (14x) - used on non-electrified regional routes.
  • Wessex Electrics (442)
  • Slamdoor electric
  • High Speed Train ('InterCity 125', 43)
  • Great Western Adelante (180)
  • Eurostar
  • 'Southern' electric units (377)
  • DLR trains - NaviGPS users need to stand by the door, with the GPS horizontal, just above the bottom of the window
  • Underground trains (tested on sub-surface and tube) - only when they can see the sky though!
  • Caledonian Sleeper and other Mk2/Mk3 hauled stock
  • First Capital Connect
  • One Railway
  • 'InterCity 225', BR Mark 4 carriages
  • Scotrail 'Sprinter' - depending on GPS unit (156/158).

Trains known not to permit GPS reception

  • Virgin Voyager (220/221)
  • MML Meridians (222)
    • derived from Voyagers, similar problems. MML still run HSTs as well, use these.
  • Virgin Pendolino (390) - rumoured that the vestibule windows may be ok
  • South West Trains 'Desiro' (444/450) - seats at some windows are ok (seemingly away from toilets, etc).
  • Eurotunnel enclosed shuttle trains, though freight shuttles may work outside the tunnel.

See also