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Available languages — Key:service
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Public-images-osm logo.svg service
Osm element key.svg
Additional information about a service highway/railway/waterway, or about services offered at a business Edit or translate this description.
Group: Properties
Used on these elements
may be used on nodesmay be used on waysmay be used on areasuse on relations unspecified
Documented values: 12
Status: in use

The service tag provides additional information that depends on the context of a more "top level" tag on the same object. (service=* should not appear in isolation.) It is used to describe the service or services offered by a car shop/garage, or to drill into more detail about a types of "service" roads, railways or waterways.

shop=car / shop=car_repair / shop=bicycle / shop=motorcycle

See shop=car and shop=car_repair pages for details of how the service tag is used alongside these, to describe the service or services on offer.
shop=bicycle and shop=motorcycle handle services using namespaces.
The format is not standardised yet for all of them which might be irritating in case of shops which offer several services (car/motorcycle/bicycle).


The service tag can be used to provide more information for a highway=service road. Add a oneway=yes/no tag if appropriate.


service=* is used to describe minor tracks, which still are tagged with railway=*, at railway stations and yards more detailed.

Tracks running straightforward through a station without turning right or left at switches are tagged usage=main/branch/industrial/military/test without service=*. This is useful for map renderers (e.g. OSM Carto) which can hide minor tracks at lower zoom levels and for railway routing engines which can prefer the fastest way through a station (turning left/right at a switch requires the engineman to reduce the speed).

service=* is more or less independent from the train classes using a track. The service=* tag does not care if a track is only used by local trains or by long distance or high speed trains. service=* and usage=main/branch are only dependent from signalling, the permitted speed on the tracks and the points.


See also landuse=railway about mapping not accessible railway yard areas.


This tag is used for the tracks at yard stations which are operated by the railway company itself (in difference to spur tracks).

The difference between a yard and a siding track is the absense of main signals at yard tracks while siding tracks have main signals.

Some yards have track numbers you can see from outside the yard area. They are tagged using railway:track_ref=*. Sometimes this numbers only can be derived from the signal numbers.

Siding Track

This tag is used for tracks which run parallel to the main track and are connected to it. These tracks are used by slower trains to be overtaken or to let passengers enter/leave the train if the main tracks do not have platforms. These tracks might be hard to differ from the main tracks in some cases.


Spur Track

This tag is used for short tracks connecting a factory or power plant to the railway network.


Crossover Track

This tag is used for only few metres long tracks connecting to tracks of different directions of traffic. To be found only on double or more tracked railways. Often found in stations and at (crossover) junctions.

If a crossover track connects to spur tracks, it should be tagged with service=spur. Crossover between two service=yard is also service=yard.

Tracks should only be tagged with service=crossover if they connect to tracks which have usage=main/branch/… and no service=* tag.

See and for discussion.



The service tag can be used to distinguish between open man-made waterways (waterway=canal) for transportation, water power, or irrigation.