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Public-images-osm logo.svg tracks
Spoorlijn 51 R01.jpg
Number of tracks which are represented by this way Show/edit corresponding data item.
Group: railways
Used on these elements
should not be used on nodesmay be used on waysshould not be used on areasshould not be used on relations (except multipolygon relations)
Useful combination
Status: in use

Why do we tag the number of tracks?

When modeling multi-track parallel railway lines in close proximity to each other, they can either be modeled as a single way with tracks=number, or as a number of parallel ways. There are several reasons why one OSM way may represent multiple tracks in field:

  • There are no high-res or only outdated aerial images available and all tracks have been mapped using GPS receivers. Due to the low accuracy (ca. 10 m), you can not distinguish between the different tracks.
  • There is no or only a very small active community in this country. Instead having a blank map, people add at least one track.
  • The tracks have not been modified at OSM for a long time.

How is this tagged?

tracks=number says how many tracks are represented by this way way. Please connect both tracks where a single-track line forks up into a double-track line to make routing possible.


  • In some regions tracks=* is not the preferred tag to tag the number of tracks of a line, when all tracks of a line are mapped already. Use passenger_lines=* instead! See also discussion at German OSM forum.

Possible tagging errors

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!

See also