Talk:Tag:railway=level crossing

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On-street running

The automatic tagging of level-crossings is misbehaving in the case of wikipedia:on-street running. This is where a railway (not specifically a tramway) runs down the centre of normal roads, interacting with the pedestrians and traffic.

  • [1] [MolliBahn, DE] (this is =preserved_railway; I've tried to fudge it for the moment by using =tram, but this is not a solution as the start/end do not render nicely as the railway is set to render below a road in OSMA.
  • [2] [Helsinki Metro/VR access track, FI] (level crossing signs all over the place).
  • [3] [Weymouth, GB] (kludged with =tram)
  • [4] [Algeciras, ES] (level crossings all over the place)
  • [5] [Porthmadog, CY.GB] (doesn't even bother to try; misrepresented).

These are a limited subset; there's various other non-tram (narrow-gauge, mainline + road ...) locations, particularly in the US where an active railway running down Main Street is not uncommon. There seem to be two issues:

  1. Automatic tagging of level crossings is presumptive. In alot of cases, people have worked from low-resolution imagery and just haven't placed a bridge combination there.
  2. The layering of railways and roads (with the exception for =monorail) seems non-ideal. Roads tend to be wide and railways are thinner (both in real life and when rendered).

Richard notes in an example above the often railways are just rendered as a line crossing over the road; with the denotation (an icon or "LC") being moved off to the side, in order not to confuse the details of the crossing point. --Sladen 15:38, 21 October 2008 (UTC)

illegal crossings

How do I map an illegal railway crossing? There's a little path on both sides of the rail tracks. --René Mettke 16:31, 6 February 2009 (UTC)

How about two dead end footways? Then it is in the map but never used for routing. Lulu-Ann
This has the distinct disadvantage of not mapping reality. See below. --achadwick 13:13, 31 October 2011 (UTC)

Sounds like a footpath crossing. This isn't a level crossing anyway, so don't use railway=level_crossing. However, to answer your question: draw a third footpath way between the two path segments to either side. The third way should consist of three nodes, sharing a node with the first path, the railway, and the second path. Tag the third way with access=no or access=private, whichever is the assumed "foot" access parameter for railway lines in your country. This will stop it being used for routing, but reflect the situation on the ground. --achadwick 13:13, 31 October 2011 (UTC)


How do you specify if the crossing is with or without gates? gate=*? --abunai 17:30, 17 May 2009 (UTC)

I've been tagging this controlled=yes or controlled=no. --BigPeteB 19:51, 21 July 2010 (UTC)
I use gate=no when needed --Zewan 10:01, 28 October 2011 (BST)
There is a proposal for this: Proposed features/Railway_crossing_safety_level --Tylla 09:16, 20 December 2012 (UTC)

Safety features


we are trying to tag a level crossing in sufficient detail for a navigation software for the blind.

We need tags for:

  • traffic lights (red/yellow/green) or whatever is standard in the country
  • special traffic lights (yellow flashing, red flashing)
  • lift gates, single sided or double sided
  • sound (in Germany a bell when the lift gate is closing)
  • oneway=yes/no on the railway=track.

Please tag footways next to the street and their lift gates separately.


I have seen the following safety features (mostly in Hungary):
  • Saint Andrew's cross (aka. crossbuck) - normal and one-and-a-half, with and without Stop sign (see
  • Special lights (white flashing for go, two red lights for stop)
  • Gates (full width, single sided; half width, single sided; half width, double sided)
  • Lights and gates together
I think there should be a way to tag all these things (maybe not the Saint Andrew's cross, because that's just an unguarded crossing). Furthermore, sometimes two or more tracks are guarded by a single set of safety features, but I'm not sure if it's relevant information. --Robert Vanyi 23:39, 27 September 2011 (BST)

I agree with User:Lulu-Ann, but also wish a tagging for the type of triggering and checking, if the crossing is working and noone is left between the gates. In Germany this would be:
  • type of triggering:
    • by a "Fahrdienstleiter" (the guy, who makes switches to the right direction and the signals green ;-) ) by "making the signal green" (or triggering manually)
    • by train by a contact on the track.
    • by a "Wärter" on the crossing, who closes and opens the gates, if a train is approaching.
  • type of checking if the crossing is working and noone is left between the gates:
    • only single sided gates ("Halbschranken"):
      • a flashing white light on the railway track (shows only, if the gates are closed / lights flashing)
      • report to the "Stellwerk" (the house, where the "Fahrdienstleiter" sits) (shows only, if the gates are closed / lights flashing)
    • mostly on double sided gates ("Vollschranken"), but might appear on both:
      • (unfortunatly seldom) the "Fahrdienstleiter" or the "Wärter" is looking out of the window
      • a camera system (display is in the "Stellwerk")
      • a radar system (here in the white thing in the right corner) reporting to the "Stellwerk")
(sorry for my bad english...)-- rayquaza 02:02, 23 June 2012 (BST)

Highway - Rail Crossing Inventory Number

In the United States, a crossing inventory system has been adopted. I think this would be a valuable piece of information to include in the node that includes the railway=level_crossing. Any suggestions on how to best tag this? What if there are multiple rails at the crossing? Or a divided highway which will have multiple level_crossing nodes? Just put a ref= on one of the nodes? or is ref= the right tag?

--Charles_Smothers 00:40, 2 October 2012 (BST)

UK has numbers for crossings and each has a web page where the URL ends in the crossing number. I've therefore added website= tag and put the crossing's URL in the data field. (

Crossing type

I'm a bit bemused with the lack of a crossing:type= field:

  • Manual (operate the gates yourself)
  • Manned (Rail employee operates the gates)
  • Automatic (powered remote controlled gates)

Perhaps crossing:barrier= could be expanded

  • half-barrier
  • gate (1 per side or where there's 2 per side but only one needs to be opened)
  • gates (2 per side)
  • lift gate
  • no

Is anyone else marking telephones for use by crossers? I've also added a note as to how to use the crossing - where it's a manual one.

Well, the most common values for crossing:barrier in the database are:
  • no (no barrier)
  • half (1 half-sized gate per side)
  • yes (some unspecified kind of barrier)
  • full (1 full-sized gate per side)
  • double_half (2 half-sized gates per side)
So it would make the most sense to document these, rather than invent new values. In fact, they are already documented in German and Hungarian. See DE:Tag:railway=level_crossing. Some other tags are also documented there, such as crossing:activation=* (automatic, remote, local). There's no value for "manual", though. The key crossing:on_demand is similar, but probably not the same. --Tordanik 09:16, 21 September 2015 (UTC)
so these then:

railway=level crossing - is surplus to requirements

As we have the tag level_crossing= then there is no need for railway=level_crossing as the term 'level crossing' is unique to railways - so it is not needed to specify that it is.


Should this tag be used for crossings with trams, or only with proper raiways? --Nighto (talk) 12:03, 9 December 2016 (UTC)

At least here in Germany this tag is used for all kinds of intersections between railways and roads. --rurseekatze (talk) 14:00, 20 December 2016 (UTC)

Unmarked road-rail crossings

Would a service highway crossing a spur be considered fit for railway=level crossing? This can often be found at large industrial parks with a lot of spurs, and marking/regulating them as proper level crossings is too cumbersome/costly for the operators/owners to implement. There are no signs, and certainly no lights/barriers. The Russian-lang version of this page only calls for railway=level crossing usage for marked crossings. What do?


Should crossings on disused rail lines be tagged with level_crossing? Eg . The track is there and it might give a small bump. But there is no risk of collisions with trains. And it is disturbing to get warnings from the GPS about railways when there is no signs to see Elgaard (talk) 04:14, 27 October 2018 (UTC)

There is something to be tagged for disused railway as well. For one there might still be occasionally maintenance vehicles on the rails (?), but besides this because there will still be physically a level crossing.
According to the wiki, railway level crossing is a tag about “A crossing between a railway and a road.” Looking at this definition I would say a railway means a rail with railway service on it. Following this idea, you could consider tagging disused:railway=level_crossing in your case. It may also depend on the signs, if there are level crossing street signs, I would keep the railway=level_crossing tag regardless of the supposed railway status—Dieterdreist (talk) 09:54, 28 October 2018 (UTC)
using disused:railway=level_crossing seems ambiguous whether the cars no longer cross the rails, or trains no longer cross the road. Removing the level_crossing to prevent a GPS from saying "warning, RR crossing" seems like tagging for the renderer. The disused crossings in my area are marked with a sign "exempt". If this (or a similar) marking is in broad use, maybe "railway=exempt_crossing" could be a tag? Blackboxlogic (talk) 20:52, 12 July 2020 (UTC)
It does not matter, there isn‘t an active level crossing any more, that’s what the tag says. If you are interested in the trains, look at the connected rails, for road based vehicles, look at the highway. —Dieterdreist (talk) 23:27, 12 July 2020 (UTC)