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Public-images-osm logo.svg railway = subway
Madrid - Estación Marqués de Vadillo - 20060910.jpg
Rails used for city public transport that are always completely separated from other traffic, often underground. Show/edit corresponding data item.
Rendering in OSM Carto
Rendering-railway subway.png
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: de facto

Type of railway track for a city passenger rail service, more generally called metros. The system should be completely separated from other traffic, including other kinds of rail traffic, in central areas often underground, sometimes elevated. Despite the name, some subway lines may run entirely above the ground. See  Rapid transit.

Metro systems are generally considered heavy rail, although sometimes not as heavy as mainline railway. If a metro train runs on rails which are used by other mainline rail traffic, the rails should be tagged with railway=rail.

How to Map

Use this tag on a way way representing the railway tracks of the rapid transit route.

Tags to use in combination

  • bridge=yes - for sections running on bridges
  • tunnel=yes - for underground sections and...
  • tunnel=no - for overground sections (note that some people believe this is useful to set, to dispel any ambiguity in the case of railway=subway ways)
  • layer=* the layer tag indicates vertical stacking order for overlapping map objects: the higher the layer value the higher the object on the stack. Default is 0 and should not be tagged. Take special care for long sections of underground subways to avoid their intersection (same layer) with other underground objects such as underground parkings or tunnels). Stacking is local (at the point of intersection). The layer does not imply any height=* (or level=* within buildings) which may be also needed on some sections, notably sections within subway stations, nor does it imply an overground or underground location.
  • electrified=* - Indicates infrastructure to supply vehicles with electricity. See the key page for values.
  • gauge=# - Gauge in mm (millimeters)
  • frequency=# - Frequency in Hz (hertz)
  • voltage=# - Voltage in V (volts)

To map the route of the subway


In comparison to other railway bodies
Rendering railway.jpg