OpenRailwayMap/Tagging in Germany

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Bü Signals

See OpenRailwayMap/Tagging_in_Germany/Bü,_Ne,_Pf_and_So_Signals

El Signals

see OpenRailwayMap/Tagging_in_Germany/El_Signals

Hl Signals

See OpenRailwayMap/Tagging_in_Germany/Main_and_Distant_Signals

Hp Signals

See OpenRailwayMap/Tagging_in_Germany/Main_and_Distant_Signals

Ks Signals

See OpenRailwayMap/Tagging_in_Germany/Main_and_Distant_Signals

Lf Signals

See OpenRailwayMap/Tagging_in_Germany/Lf_Signals

Ne Signals

See OpenRailwayMap/Tagging_in_Germany/Bü,_Ne,_Pf_and_So_Signals

Pf Signals

See OpenRailwayMap/Tagging_in_Germany/Bü,_Ne,_Pf_and_So_Signals

Ra Signals

see OpenRailwayMap/Tagging_in_Germany/Ra_and_Sh_Signals

Sh Signals

see OpenRailwayMap/Tagging_in_Germany/Ra_and_Sh_Signals

Sk Signals

See OpenRailwayMap/Tagging_in_Germany/Main_and_Distant_Signals

So Signals

See OpenRailwayMap/Tagging_in_Germany/Bü,_Ne,_Pf_and_So_Signals

Sv Signals

See OpenRailwayMap/Tagging_in_Germany/Main_and_Distant_Signals

Ts Signals

Ts signals are helper engine signals and used at steep inclines where heavy trains get a secondary engine at the rear end which pushes the train uphill without being coupled with the train.

They are not part of DB's signalling rules any more but are still in use at some locations.

Tagging see German version of this page

Vr Signals

See OpenRailwayMap/Tagging_in_Germany/Main_and_Distant_Signals

Zp Signal

Zp 6-8 Break Test Signal

German name: Bremsprobesignale

This signal supports the communication between the train driver and shunting staff during break tests. Bildbeispiele auf der Website von Simon Walter

Zp 6: Break Zp 7: release breaks Zp 8: breaks ok

Zp 9 Departure Signal

German: Abfahrsignal

This signal tells the train driver to depart. It is given by the conductor. photographs by Simon Walter

Zp 10 Close Doors

German name: Türschließauftrag

This signal tells the train driver to close the doors. It is given by the conductor. photographs by Simon Walter

Zs Signals

see OpenRailwayMap/Tagging_in_Germany/Zs_Signals

Other Signals

Post Plates

The posts of main signals are highlighted in Germany to increase their visibility (at night) and to inform the engine driver what to do if the signal displays "stop" or is defect.



This sign is only used at block signals of S-Bahn Berlin and S-Bahn Hamburg.


This signal is only used at self-operating automatic block signals (dispatcher cannot control them because). You will find this sign in West Germany only at Hp light signals and in East Germany only at Hl combined signales.

Red (without White)

Invalidation Cross

ausgekreuztes Signal

This cross marks a signal as invalid. Engine drivers have to ignore it. photographs by Simon Walter

Proceed indicator

Proceed indicator seen in direction of movement

This signal is mounted at platforms and shows a white ascending line if seen in direction of movement and three descanding white dots if seen against the direction of movement. It is used to inform the conductor that the main signal displays "proceed" and he can give the order to depart to the engine driver. This signal cannot be considered as safe, i.e. if it shows the white strip/dots the main signal might not show proceed! Weitere Infos auf, Bildbeispiele auf der Website von Simon Walter

Cab Signalling Block Marker

Cab Signalling Block Marker

If a railway line is equipped with LZB or ETCS, this board may replace a main/combined signal. This signal is called "Blockkennzeichen" (formerly "LZB-Blockkennzeichen") in German. photographs by Simon Walter

railway:signal:lzb=lzb-blockkennzeichen had been used instead of railway:signal:train_protection=DE-ESO:blockkennzeichen until early 2015 at OSM.

LZB Section Marker


This board marks the beginning of an LZB section. Trains can only switch from PZB to LZB at this locations. photographs by Simon Walter

railway:signal:lzb*=* had been used instead of railway:signal:train_protection*=* until early 2015 at OSM.

Turn On Helper Sign for ICE trains

Train Radio Board

This board indicates the channel which to use for analogue radio.

Hectometre board

Hectometre board

This board indicates the current mileage. The upper number indicates the full kilometres, the lower number the first decimal. Hectometre boards are often mounted at catenary masts if the railway lines is electrified. If it is so, the board is not located at the exact position.

Some boards have three small digits at the lower right corner. They indicate the exact location (three decimals).

Level Crossing Marker Board

Level Crossing Marker Board (there are often additional boards with texts like "Auto HET")

German: Bü-Kennzeichentafel

This board is mounted directly in front of a level crossing for orientation purposes. photographs by Simon Walter

Level Crossing Announcement Board

Level Crossing Announcement Board. This board has an additional white BüBü board on top and therefore indicates that the activation switch activates multiple level crossings.

German: Bü-Ankündetafel

This signal is mounted at the switch-on contact and indicates the engine driver where he has to expect the level crossing. photographs by Simon Walter

Direction Arrow Boards

direction arrow at an El 6

German: Richtungspfeil

If a board is mounted before a junction or point, a direction arrow indicates the direction the signal applies to. They are used on Lf 1, Lf 6 and El 6. Add following tag if they are used there:

Left, right and straight refer to the direction of travel, not the direction of the OSM way!

Signal Halt Indicator

Signal Halt Indicator (turned off)

German: Signalhaltmelder

This signal shows a yellow L rotated by 180° if the entry signal 26B (at line from Wörlitz) shows stop (Hp 0). Such signals are used where lines under direct traffic control touch a station which is operated like a main line.

Key Switches

Key switches are used to activate some signals or devices by the train staff. There are currently tags for key switches activating departure signals (Zp 9/10) and level crossings.

Key Switch for Zp9

These key switches are used by the conductor to activate Zp 9. (photographs) These key switches are highlighted by the green umbrella-like symbol.

Symbol für Zp9-Taster

They are often combined with the key switch to activate the close doors signal (Zp 10).

Key switches ususally service only one track. Tag the track number using

Key Switches for Level Crossings

Key switches are sometimes the only way on branch lines and spur tracks to activate the lights/barriers at a level crossing. In all other cases, key switches are only used as a fallback.

Use railway:key_switch:crossing:usage=usual if the key switch is the usual way to activate it. Use railway:key_switch:crossing:usage=replacement if it is only used if automatic activation switches are defect.

Other tags: