Railways in the United Kingdom

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Railways in the United Kingdom

Mapping the railways of the United Kingdom.

Status started

United Kingdom Railways is a project to map all the mainline railways in the United Kingdom. There are related projects to map the London Underground, United Kingdom trams, and independent and minor Railways.


Most railway lines are in.

Things still work checking and needing doing.

  • Adding details of the number of trackes (tracks=1, track=2) etc or adding multiple parallel tracks
  • Stations layout (platforms, passages, steps etc)
  • Relations for Services
  • Relations for historic lines
  • Relations for Network Rail operating section

Mapping services

Railways are shown on most OpenStreetMap mapping layers alongside other information.


Main article: United Kingdom railway stations

All currently operating UK mainline railway stations have been now mapped as nodes, according to a comparison of the list from Wikipedia. There is currently an effort to map the stations in more details, including the platforms and station buildings.

Train services

Please see Talk:United Kingdom railways for discussion over colour usage

Current operational train services (as distinct from historic services) should all be mapped as relations tagged as type=route and route=train. They should also be tagged as network=National Rail to specify the service is part of the National Rail network. This helps distinguish the more important services and aids sensible display by the OpenStreetBrowser renderer.

List of services

National Rail

South Western Railway

For SWR services, use "SW xx" as the ref where xx is the first 2 digits of the "headcode" in the timetable[1], still shown on the class 455 trains.

ref=* From To type=route_master Note
Long-distance services
SW 62 / SW 63 London Waterloo / Reading / Basingstoke Salisbury / Yeovil Junction / Exeter St Davids relation 9973389 West of England Line services, SW 62 for fast services between Basingstoke & Salisbury, SW 63 for slow services
SW 91 / SW 92 / SW 94 London Waterloo / Basingstoke / Winchester Southampton / Bournemouth / Poole / Weymouth relation 13193208 South West Main Line long-distance services, SW 91 for fast services between Southampton & Bournemouth, SW 92 for semi-fast and slow services, SW 94 for Southampton - Waterloo peak hour services
SW 84 / SW 92 / SW 93 London Waterloo / Winchester / Eastleigh Portsmouth Harbour relation 13445989 Eastleigh - Fareham Line services, SW 84 on weekdays, SW 92 on Sundays (combined with Poole trains), SW 93 for twice-daily slow services combined with Basingstoke suburban services
SW 72 / SW 81 / SW 83 London Waterloo Haslemere / Portsmouth & Southsea / Portsmouth Harbour relation 11582375 Portsmouth Direct Line services, SW 81 for fast services, SW 72 for weekday slow services to Portsmouth & Southsea, SW 83 for Sunday slow services to Portsmouth Harbour
Suburban services
SW 87 / SW 89 London Waterloo London Waterloo via Hounslow, SW 87 for anti-clockwise services, SW 89 for clockwise services
SW 58 London Waterloo Windsor & Eton Riverside relation 8862704
SW 38 London Waterloo Reading relation 8862245
SW 13 London Waterloo Weybridge relation 9679140 via Virginia Water
SW 21 / SW 32 London Waterloo London Waterloo relation 8863909 via Strawberry Hill, SW 21 for clockwise services, SW 32 for anti-clockwise services
SW 24 / SW 47 London Waterloo Shepperton relation 8864019 SW 24 via Kingston, SW 47 via Richmond
SW 30 London Waterloo Hampton Court relation 8609805
SW 10 London Waterloo Woking Monday - Saturday service (replaced with SW 75 on Sunday)
SW 64 London Waterloo Basingstoke
SW 51 London Waterloo Alton relation 11582318
SW 75 London Waterloo Guildford Sunday service, via Woking
SW 42 London Waterloo Guildford relation 8618229 via Cobham & Stoke D'Abernon
SW 16 London Waterloo Guildford relation 8607835 via Bookham
SW 17 London Waterloo Dorking relation 8607835
non-London local services
SW 45 Salisbury Romsey relation 172798 via Southampton Central & Chandlers Ford
SW 97 Brockenhurst Lymington Pier relation 13370641 Lymington Flyer
SW 75 Southampton Central Portsmouth & Southsea relation 2239422 Stopping services - Fast services are provided by GWR Portsmouth - Cardiff route
SW 29 Guildford Farnham relation 11582245 Ends at Farnham on Mon - Sat, Ascot on Sun
SW 28 Ascot Aldershot relation 11582240

Heritage railways


See List of UK railway lines for names of railway lines.

New Lines (Proposed and Under Construction)


The data can come from GPS traces submitted to OpenStreetMap (try searching the traces page for train, railway or rail), or from NPE Maps or landsat imagery. When tracing from NPE/landsat, do not use copyright sources to figure out if the line is still there or not. Instead, either use local knowledge, or other compatible map sources such as the OS Opendata

Surveying by train

Trains known to permit GPS reception

Unless otherwise specified, you'll need your GPS to be by the window on these trains to get a good lock.

  • Turbostars (170/168), Turbos (165/166), Sprinters (15x), Pacers (14x) - used on non-electrified regional routes.
  • Wessex Electrics (442)
  • Slamdoor electric
  • High Speed Train ('InterCity 125', 43)
  • Great Western Adelante (180)
  • Eurostar
  • 'Southern' electric units (377)
  • DLR trains - NaviGPS users need to stand by the door, with the GPS horizontal, just above the bottom of the window
  • Underground trains (tested on sub-surface and tube) - only when they can see the sky though!
  • Caledonian Sleeper and other Mk2/Mk3 hauled stock
  • First Capital Connect
  • One Railway
  • 'InterCity 225', BR Mark 4 carriages
  • Scotrail 'Sprinter' - depending on GPS unit (156/158).
  • SWR class 444

Trains known not to permit GPS reception

  • Virgin Voyager (220/221)
  • MML Meridians (222)
    • derived from Voyagers, similar problems. MML still run HSTs as well, use these.
  • Virgin Pendolino (390) - rumoured that the vestibule windows may be ok
  • South West Trains 'Desiro' (444/450) - seats at some windows are ok (seemingly away from toilets, etc).
  • Eurotunnel enclosed shuttle trains, though freight shuttles may work outside the tunnel.

See also

  1. [1] This website provides the headcode used in the early 00s, but some of them have changed - use the content of the headcode field in the most recent timetable data