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Public-images-osm logo.svg railway = station
Paddington Station.jpg
A railway station Show/edit corresponding data item.
Rendering in OSM Carto
Rendering-railway-tram stop-mapnik.png.png
Rendering in OSM Carto area
Group: railways
Used on these elements
may be used on nodesshould not be used on waysmay be used on areas (and multipolygon relations)should not be used on relations (except multipolygon relations)
Useful combination
See also
Status: de facto
Main article: Railway stations

Railway stations (including main line, light rail, subway, etc.) are places where goods or passengers are loaded and unloaded. railway=station should be tagged as a node, placed at the centre of the station from the passengers’ point of view (i.e. near platforms), or as an area covering the whole station.

How to map

Railway stations can be mapped as a node at the centre of the station from passengers' perspective or as an area covering the whole station (tracks, buildings, platforms, etc.). If mapped as a node it is usually an unconnected node within the platform area and should not be part of a railway=rail way. There should be only one railway=station element for each station (See One feature, one OSM element).

If you want to map the station as an area, please consider that different people describe the station area differently. While passengers only have the area around the station building and the platforms in mind, railway staff and railway enthusiasts think of the whole railway area which begins at the entry signal at one side and ends at the entry signals at the other side. In either case, a station mapped as an area must represent the station grounds, not the station building (which, if it exists, should be tagged building=train_station instead).

While infrastructural areas can be added to a landuse area and tagged landuse=railway, this is already implied by railway=station. Some people connect a station node and the landuse area using an operating site relation, but this is likely not needed as there is already a spatial connection.

Where a mainline station and metro station (or other railway like station) share the same station building, consider if they should be modelled as separate stations or as a single station. The associated Wikipedia article for the facilities might assist with the decision. If the facilities are run by separate organisations (for example a heritage station next to a mainline station) then it is probably better to map them using two separate railway=station tags.

For freight stations, add railway:traffic_mode=freight. Data consumers should consider that not all railway stations are passenger-only.

Following tags are commonly used on railway stations:

Distinction between halt and station

The distinction between railway=halt and railway=station might differ from country to country. A halt is occasionally distinguished by its smaller size compared to a station, although it's unclear what size defines the difference. It can also be classified as a request stop. To make it explicitly clear, tag a request stop station as request_stop=yes.

  • In Belgium, railway=station is only for staffed stations. NMBS/SNCB stations without any station building or stations where ticket offices are permanently closed are tagged as railway=halt.
  • In Denmark, Hungary and German-speaking countries, stations without points ("switches") where only passenger trains stop are tagged as halt. For more information see the German page.

Railway station layout


Things to avoid

  • Do not add the words "railway station" in the name=*; i.e. avoid name=Station Newton
  • Do not use abbreviations, even if the railway company use them. Use short_name=* in addition.
  • If the official name in documents differs from the name signs at the station, use official_name=*.

See also


See Karlsruhe Central Station for reference. The Gare du Nord, in Paris also applies this model (with references to various networks for long distance lines, high-speed lines, regional commuter trains and subways).


  1. https://taginfo.openstreetmap.org/tags/railway=station - more than 90k uses, public_transport=station has about 40k uses when used in meaning "railway station" - see https://taginfo.openstreetmap.org/tags/public_transport=station#combinations