[Tagging] Feature Proposal -- RFC -- service=irregular

Michael Reichert osm-ml at michreichert.de
Wed Apr 3 20:51:48 UTC 2019

Hi Markus,

Am 01.04.19 um 11:52 schrieb Markus:> I'm proposing the tag
service=irregular for tram, light rail,
> underground and other railway tracks not used for regular scheduled
> passenger services, but only for diversions or shortcuts.
> https://wiki.openstreetmap.org/wiki/Proposed_features/Tag:service%3Dirregular
> Any feedback (on the wiki talk page or on the tagging mailing list) is
> much appreciated!

The service=* tag on railway=* has been used for the function of a track
as a part of the infrastructure up to now. Your proposal extends its
meaning to the services on the track. This tag is in conflict with
service=siding because there are quite a lot tracks in stations which
are not used by passenger trains according to the timetable.

The presence of service=* on a track is used by data consumers as "this
tag is not the main track through the station, skip it at lower zoom
levels". Following your logic, service=irregular has to be used for a
lot of branch and all freight-only or almost freight-only lines breaking
with existing usage of service=*.

Limiting service=irregular to railway=light_rail/tram/subway will not
help. There is no well-defined border between heavy rail on the one side
and light rail on the other and between light rail and tram and between
light rail and subway. There are a couple of tram-train systems where
railway=light_rail sections are operated as a normal railway with
stations and service=siding tracks.

Currently, service=* serves quite good the view of railway
infrastructure operators on their tracks.

Don't you think that your view on the infrastructure is too narrow?
There aren't passenger trains only. OSM data is used by freight train
operators as well. A track used irregularly by passenger trains might be
use frequently by freight trains.

That's why I think that this is no example for good tag design.

In general, the services on the infrastructure should be mapped as route
relations. Tracks without route relations or with route relations tagged
as "only a few times a day or during peak time only" should get special
tag to mark their "irrelevance". If you know which tracks are served
irregularly in a tram network, you should have gained the knowledge
about the routes already and should be able to map them. Therefore, I
would like to see a proposal to tag highlight the main variant of a
tram/train/light rail/subway line without going to much into the details
of departure times.

Do you know railway:traffic_mode=passenger/freight/mixed? Your tag might
follow that approach if you think that route relations cannot serve the

Best regards


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