[Tagging] highspeed=yes

Dave F davefoxfac63 at btinternet.com
Tue Jul 11 10:53:36 UTC 2017

Struggling to see how this tag improves OSM.

Surely it's the trains that are defined as highspeed?
The speed of a track, in OSM, is defined by maxspeed tag.

Even tracks designed to be straight & faster than alternatives have 
restricted speed sections. (It would be hard to stop at a station 


On 10/07/2017 22:42, Michael Reichert wrote:
> Hi,
> I have a small dispute with user flierfy about the usage of
> highspeed=yes and would like to ask for your opinions. [1]
> I think that highspeed=yes should only be use that tracks whose speed
> limit is above a certain minimum speed (On The Ground Rule). The speed
> might vary between countries.
> flierfy thinks that the whole railway line should be tagged from its
> beginning to its end if it contains one part which qualifies for
> highspeed=yes.
> Example:
> The railway line from Leipzig to Dresden clearly qualifies [2] for
> highspeed=yes between km 4.0 (near Leizig-Sellershausen) to km 23.8
> (near Bennewitz) and from ~ 30.2 (between Wurzen and K├╝hren) to 59.6
> (between Bornitz bei Oschatz and Riesa). Only on these two sections
> trains may run faster than 160 kph (limit is 200 kph there). Other
> sections have speed limits between 100 kph and 160 kph. Flierfy tagged
> the whole line with highspeed=yes.
> http://www.openrailwaymap.org/?lang=&lat=51.33372202647613&lon=13.089437484741211&zoom=13&style=standard
> The high speed line might be completed on one day in future but it will
> takes years, many years.
> The wiki pages Key:highspeed, DE:Key:highspeed and
> OpenRailwayMap/Tagging at OSM wiki do not mention whether the tag should
> be used for the whole line or only for the parts whose speed limit is
> "high". In difference, DE:OpenRailwayMap/Tagging has contained the
> additional sentence that the whole line should get highspeed=yes. That
> sentence was added by user rurseekatze on 2015-12-29 [3]. I don't
> remember a discussion about it on a mailing list. Fliefy refers in the
> changeset discussion between us to DE:OpenRailwayMap/Tagging.
> The definition of this tag was discussed on a meeting of railway mappers
> in Cologne in July 2014 but we did not find any consensus there and left
> it unmodified.
> In March 2015 a mapper attempted to add highspeed=yes to the Northeast
> Corridor from Washington to Boston. After 25 comments in the changeset
> discussion the tag was removed.
> https://www.openstreetmap.org/changeset/29723896
> The main question is:
> Shold the whole line (the definition of "line" is a different discussion
> worth) get highspeed=yes or only the parts which are suitable for high
> speeds due to large curve radius, special signalling and train
> protection etc.? What is your opinion?
> Best regards
> Michael
> PS I invited fliefy to join this mailing list on Friday and waited with
> posting my question until today to be fair.
> [1] changeset discussion in German (just for reference):
> https://www.openstreetmap.org/changeset/50067730
> [2] assuming that high speed in Germany means 200 kph or faster. Other
> countries might have other limits.
> [3]
> https://wiki.openstreetmap.org/w/index.php?title=DE%3AOpenRailwayMap%2FTagging&type=revision&diff=1256039&oldid=1238373
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