[Tagging] Feature Proposal - RFC - 3rd and 4th rail

Garry Keenor garry.keenor at gmail.com
Sat Jun 13 16:58:41 UTC 2020


Thanks for your comments.

I want to clear one very important thing up. The tag electrified=* is
currently being used in OSM to define the *contact system* in use, not the
power supply. All railway electrification systems require a sliding
contact between train and infrastructure to transfer electrical current.

Your point about 2 rail systems is a valid one; there may be examples of
conventional railways with very low voltage 2 rail electrification. We
could use electrification=2nd_rail or electrification=2rail.

Maglevs, by definition, do not have any contact with the infrastructure and
the entire propelling force is derived within the track system. So
electrified=induction would be more appropriate.

best regards,


On Thu, 11 Jun 2020 at 12:52, Colin Smale <colin.smale at xs4all.nl> wrote:

> On 2020-06-11 13:28, Peter Neale via Tagging wrote:
> At the risk of being called pedantic, or frivolous, surely it should be,
> "1st+2nd+3rd+4th rail" (after all, it won't work without the 1st and 2nd
> rails)!
> ...or (almost getting serious now) we could just assume that, if the 3rd
> rail is mentioned, then the 1st and 2nd must be there (otherwise it
> wouldn't be 3rd rail) and, if the 4th rail is mentioned, then the 1st, 2nd
> and 3rd must also be there.
> There might be a maglev system somewhere using two conductor rails, which
> would then be the 1st and 2nd?
> Remember we are discussing the power supply, not the running rails. The
> power supply only needs the 3rd and 4th. Take away the running rails, jack
> up the train, and you could still get the motors to turn (safety systems
> permitting).
> A serious question arises though... The Wuppertaler Schwebebahn get its
> power from the 2nd rail (it's a suspended monorail). What do we do with
> this? electrified=2nd_rail?
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