[Tagging] Feature Proposal - RFC - More Consistency in Railway Tagging

Kytömaa Lauri lauri.kytomaa at aalto.fi
Sat Apr 13 11:21:00 UTC 2013

Martin Atkins wrote:

>Refine the basic railway=* tagging to have a more specific definition,
>taking inspiration from the tagging conventions around highway=* .

IMO this is flawed in two ways:
- on empty highways, one can drive in circles on the whole road surface (not that one may or should, but they can). For anything that moves on tracks, the switches are the only place one can change course. This makes the individual tracks and their connectivity "the network", that is the roads they happen to run on are not the network itself. Drawing a single way where there are multiple tracks is not wrong, but it's just an intermediary solution before somebody has the time to add the switches and separate the tracks.

and more importantly
- there are an abundance of places where the tracks switch from the simplest case "in the road" to short (or long) bits where a separate way is required ; that is, for example where the tracks diverge from the lanes and a stop platform is between the tracks and the lanes for other motorized traffic. Were the adjoining simple case ways just one tag on the road, you would introduce arbitrary(!) turns and kinks in the course of the tracks. Other variations exist, too. There's an example of such kink in your proposal's example photos, the one where the two tracks suddendly come together when they go into a tunnel.

It's easier to go back (in code, that is) from more detailed ways to a generalized display, than it is to reconstruct the actual possible routes and the placement of the tracks if they are just tags on ways that do not follow the course of the tracks meticulously.

Tracks shown "outside" the highway where they are not, is just a rendering issue in one map, at extreme zoom levels.

There's already tram:lanes=yes| etc. as an additional attribute tag on the highway way to say "the lanes of this highway contain tram tracks, which may well be drawn separately".


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