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Public-images-osm logo.svg railway
The railway key is used to mark all kinds of railways, railway infrastructure or other transports using rails. Show/edit corresponding data item.
Group: railways
Used on these elements
may be used on nodesmay be used on waysmay be used on areas (and multipolygon relations)may be used on relations
Documented values: 52
Useful combination
Status: de facto

Using this key

railway=* is used to tag the ways for many kinds of railways including light rail, mainline freight and industrial railways, metros, monorails, trams and more. Besides the actual rails, it is also used for tagging railway infrastructure, like signals and switches.


There are a lot more values for railway=*. They are documented at OpenRailwayMap/Tagging and the documentation of country-specific tagging (especially signals and other infrastructure which differ from country to country).

Key Value Element Comment Rendering carto Photo


railway abandoned way The course of a former railway which has been abandoned and the track removed. The course is still recognized through embankments, cuttings, tree rows, bridges, tunnels, remaining track ties, building shapes and rolling or straight ways. For demolished rails that are no longer identifiable, e.g. that have been built over, some use the highly questionable railway=razed.
Vysocany concrete rail ties former Northwestern railway.jpg
railway construction way Railway under construction.
Rendering-railway construction-125.png
Verlegen FF Rheda.jpg
railway disused way A section of railway which is no longer used but where the track and infrastructure remains in place. The track is likely overgrown with endemic vegetation, but could be brought back into useful service with only minor effort.
Rendering-railway disused-125.png
Disused railtrack 101 5351.jpg
railway funicular way Cable driven inclined railways on a steep slope, with a pair of cars connected by one cable
Rendering-railway light rail funicular narrow gauge-125.png
Vilnius funicular.jpg
railway light_rail way A higher-standard tram system, normally in its own right-of-way. Often it connects towns and thus reaches a considerable length (tens of kilometres).
Rendering-railway light rail funicular narrow gauge-125.png
Pittsburgh LRT 4305 47L Gateway to Library April 2008.jpg
railway miniature way Miniature railways are narrower than narrow gauge and carry passengers, frequently at an exact scale of "standard-sized" rail (for example "1/4 scale"). They can often be found in parks.
Rendering-railway miniature.png
Dampfbahnfreunde sommerhofen 09180016.jpg
railway monorail way A railway with only a single rail. A monorail can run above the rail like in Las Vegas and Disneyland or can suspend below the rail like the Wuppertal Schwebebahn (Germany).
Rendering-railway monorail.png
Monorail in Kuala Lumpur
railway narrow_gauge way Narrow-gauge passenger or freight train tracks. Narrow gauge railways can have mainline railway service like the Rhaetian Railway in Switzerland or can be a small light industrial railway. Use gauge=* to specify the actual width of rails in mm.
Rendering-railway light rail funicular narrow gauge-125.png
Narrow gauge.jpg
railway preserved way This is the old tag for historic trains. Use railway:preserved=yes for historical railway instead.
Rendering-railway preserved.png
Railway preserved.jpg
railway rail way Full sized passenger or freight train tracks in the standard gauge for the country or state.
Rendering-railway rail.png
LGV Est PK217.jpg
railway subway way A city passenger rail service running mostly grade separated (see Wikipedia:rapid transit). Often a significant portion of the line or its system/network is underground.
Rendering-railway subway.png
Madrid - Estación Marqués de Vadillo - 20060910.jpg
railway tram way One or two carriage rail vehicle tracks, usually sharing motor road, sometimes called "street running" (Other languages).
Rendering-railway tram.png
Praha, Hloubětín, Lehovec, tram KT8D5.JPG

Additional track features or attributes

bridge yes way If the railway goes over a street, waterway or other railway on an elevated structure.
Railway bridge mapnick render.jpg
Railway bridge.jpg
cutting yes way A section where the railway is significantly lower than ground level, but not underground.
Railways cutting.jpg
electrified contact_line
way contact_line: a power line over the train head
rail: a third rail near the track supplying the train with power
yes: electrified track, but no details available
no: track with no power supply.
Caténaire 1,5 kV 01.jpg
embankment yes way A section where the railway is raised significantly higher than ground level.
Railway embankment.jpg
embedded_rails yes/<type of railway> way Specifies that a highway on which non-railway traffic is also allowed has railway tracks embedded in it but the rails are mapped as separate ways.
Ruusulankatu tram rails (at lat 60.18206, lon 24.92450) heading NW.jpg
frequency number [Hz] way The frequency with which a line is electrified. Use 0 for DC. Also see the voltage tag.
Wave frequency.gif
railway:track_ref number way Track number
Gleis 101.jpg
service crossover way Relatively short lengths of track which switch traffic from one parallel line to another
service siding way Relatively short lengths of track, running parallel to (and connected to) a main route
Rendering-railway rail service.png
service spur way Relatively short lengths of track, built to give one company or entity access to a main or branch line.
Rendering-railway rail service.png
service yard way Tracks within railway company operated marshalling or maintenance yards.
Rendering-railway rail service.png
Service yard.png
tunnel yes way If the railway goes below ground. Most subways have this tag.
Haywards Heath tunnel.jpg
tracks number way Number of parallel tracks in close proximity when mapped as one single way representing all tracks. If not given means unknown and defaults to 1. In many parts of the world the tracks are being drawn out separately so that there is more detail, in which case this tag isn't used.
Spoorlijn 51 R01.jpg
usage main
way main line: heavy traffic
branch line: connecting places with a mainline
industrial: servicing large plants (iron, chemical etc.), surface mining, …
military: servicing military area
tourism: most mountain rails (rack-rails, funicular) and preserved railways
scientific: rail transport at spaceports, large array telescopes, etc.
test: track for testing new wheels, rails, tracks and rail technologies.
voltage number way The voltage with which a line is electrified. Also see the frequency tag.
Symbole voltmetre.png

Stations and stops

railway halt node A small station without switches
Rendering-railway-tram stop-mapnik.png.png
Railway halt.jpg
public_transport stop_position node The position on the railway track where the train (its centre) stops at a platform. This is useful for routing on long platforms where also short trains stop and on long platforms where multiple trains stop behind each other. See also public_transport=stop_area.
Průmyslová str3, Prague Štěrboholy.jpg
public_transport platform node way area This is parallel to the rail line for showing where the actual platforms are. It is also to know where you can change platform and enter the station, so use footpaths to connect them. This is really useful for routing too. Use only if the platform is served by public transport.
Relax ... take it easy (7757527444).jpg
railway platform way area This is parallel to the rail line for showing where the actual platforms are. It is also to know where you can change platform and enter the station, so use footpaths to connect them. This is really useful for routing too. Use in addition to public_transport=platform.
Relax ... take it easy (7757527444).jpg
public_transport station node area Railway passenger-only station.
Paddington Station.jpg
railway station node area Railway passenger and/or cargo station. Use in addition to public_transport=station.
Rendering-railway-tram stop-mapnik.png.png
Paddington Station.jpg
railway subway_entrance node The entrance to a subway station, usually going from surface to underground.
railway tram_stop node A tram stop is a place where a passenger can embark / disembark a tram.
Rendering-railway-tram stop-mapnik.png.png

Other railways

railway buffer_stop node Stops the train at the end of a track. See buffer stop.
Stootblok (staal).jpg
railway derail node A device used to prevent fouling of a rail track by unauthorized movements of trains or unattended rolling stock. See Derail (railroad).
US derail detail.JPG
railway crossing node A point where pedestrians may cross.
Level crossing2.svg
railway level_crossing node A point where rails and roads cross.
Level crossing2.svg
Level crossing - Chertsey - England - 270404.jpg
railway tram_level_crossing node A point where trams and roads cross.
RU road sign 1.5.svg
railway signal node Any kind of railway signal.
Zwischensignal FFM-Hoechst Schnee.jpg
railway switch node Full connections between railways (aka 'points').
Railway switch.JPG
railway railway_crossing node Crossing rails with no interconnection.
Railroad crossing at grade also known as a diamond.jpg
landuse railway area Ground used around railways and railway-stations. Landuse-industrial.png
Illustration of Rail.jpg
railway turntable node area These are used for changing the direction that part of a train is pointing in. node: —

area: Rendering-area-railway turntable-mapnik.png

Turntable of Railroad 001.jpg
railway roundhouse area A semicircular building with many stalls for servicing engines.
Roundhouse Park August 2017 01.jpg
railway traverser node area These are used for changing trains between railways. Also known as transfer table.
Schiebebuehne 01.jpg
railway wash node area A railroad carriage/car wash
AKN Waschanlage - panoramio.jpg
railway water_crane node A structure to deliver water to steam locomotives
Wasserkran Bf Stützerbach.JPG
railway ventilation_shaft node way A structure that allows ventilation in underground tunnels
Moscow, Dmitriya Donskogo Boulevard, subway ventilation ducts (21984596650).jpg
railway user defined node way All commonly used values according to Taginfo

This table is a wiki template with a default description in English. Editable here.

Possible tagging mistakes

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