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Public-images-osm logo.svg railway
The railway tag is used to mark all kinds of railways, railway infrastructure or other transports using rails. Edit or translate this description.
Group: Railways
Used on these elements
may be used on nodesmay be used on waysmay be used on areasmay be used on relations
Documented values: 39
Useful combination
Status: de facto


See also Railways

The railway tag is used to tag the ways for many kinds of railways including including light rail, mainline railways, metros, monorails and trams. Besides the actual rails, it is also used for tagging railway infrastructure.


See below for table:

Key Value Element Comment Rendering Photo


railway abandoned way The course of a former railway which has been abandoned and the track and infrastucture removed. The course may be still recognized through embankments, cuttings, bridges, tunnel and rolling or straight ways. currently not rendered by osm-carto
Abbey Barn Lane Bridge, High Wycombe, Buckinghamshire.jpg
railway construction way Railway under construction. Rendering-railway disused.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. See disused:railway=* for alternative tagging.
Rendering-railway disused.png
Disused railtrack 101 5351.jpg
railway funicular way Cable driven inclined railways. They often serve tourists, offering spectacular mountain views. However, they are also found in urban areas as a practical way to transport people up and down very steep hills (e.g. Angel's Flight in Los Angeles, Budavári Sikló in Budapest).
Rendering funicular.jpg
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 kilometers).
Pittsburgh LRT 4305 47L Gateway to Library April 2008.jpg
railway miniature way Miniature railways are narrower than narrow gauge and carry passengers. They can often be found in parks.
3871553552 f2204c3d83 o.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).
Monorail in Kuala Lumpur
railway narrow_gauge way Narrow-gauge passenger or freight trains. 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 narrow gauge.jpg
Narrow gauge.jpg
railway preserved way A railway running historic trains, usually a tourist attraction (changed to preserved from preserved_rail as "rail" is redundant). Using railway:preserved=yes is an alternate method to mark railway as preserved.
Railway preserved rendered.PNG
Railway preserved.jpg
railway rail way Full sized passenger or freight trains in the standard gauge for the country or state.
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.
800px-Madrid - Estación Marqués de Vadillo - 20060910.jpg
railway tram way One or two carriage rail vehicles, usually sharing motor road (Other languages).
Praha, Hloubětín, Lehovec, tram KT8D5.JPG

Additional features

bridge yes way If the railway goes over a street, waterway or other railway.
Railway bridge mapnick render.jpg
Railway bridge.jpg
cutting yes way A section where the railway is significantly lower than ground level.
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.
Overhead power lines.jpg
embankment yes way A section where the railway is raised significantly higher than ground level.
Railway embankment.jpg
frequency number [Hz] way The frequency with which a line is electrified. Use 0 for DC. Also see the voltage tag.
railway:track_ref number way Track number
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
service spur way Relatively short lengths of track, built to give one company or entity access to a main or branch line.
service yard way Tracks within railway company operated marshaling or maintenance yards.
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.
tunnel yes way If the railway goes below ground. Most of subways have this tag.
Haywards Heath tunnel.jpg
usage main
way main line: heavy traffic
branch line: connecting places with a mainline
freight: freight service only
industrial: servicing large plants (iron, chemical etc.), surface mining, …
military: servicing military area
tourism: most mountain rails (rack-rails, funicular) and preserved railways.
voltage number way The voltage with which a line is electrified. Also see the frequency tag.

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 center) 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.
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. currently not rendered by osm-carto
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). currently not rendered by osm-carto
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
landuse railway area Ground used around railways and railway-stations. Rendering-area-landuse-industrial.png same rendering as landuse=industrial, but without border (see above)
Illustration of Rail.jpg
railway signal node Any kind of railway signal. currently not rendered by osm-carto
Zwischensignal FFM-Hoechst Schnee.jpg
railway switch node Full Connections between railways (aka 'points'). currently not rendered by osm-carto
Railway switch.JPG
railway railway_crossing node Crossing rails with no interconnection. currently not rendered by osm-carto
Railroad crossing at grade also known as a diamond.jpg
railway turntable node area These are used for changing the direction that part of a train is pointing in. node: currently not rendered by osm-carto

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

Turntable of Railroad 001.jpg
railway roundhouse area A semicircular building with many stalls for servicing engines. Without building=*: currently not rendered by osm-carto

With building=*: same as building=*

5843873292 81e16dea1f z d.jpg
railway traverser node area These are used for changing trains between railways. Also known as transfer table. node: currently not rendered by osm-carto

area: currently not rendered by osm-carto

Schiebebuehne 01.jpg
railway wash node area A Railroad car wash currently not rendered by osm-carto
AKN Waschanlage - panoramio.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.

There are a lot more values for railway=*. They are documented at OpenRailwayMap/Tagging and the documentation of country-specific tagging (especially how to tag signals and other stuff which is different in every country).

If the rails run embedded on a highway where other traffic is also allowed, please consider adding a embedded_rails=* tag to the highway so that other traffic can be made aware that there are railway tracks embedded on the highway.

Possible Tagging Mistakes

If you know places with this tag, verify if it could be tagged with another tag.
Automated edits are strongly discouraged unless you really know what you are doing!