[Talk-GB] London Overground / TfL Rail as part of National Rail

Russ Garrett russ at garrett.co.uk
Sun Nov 21 13:48:10 UTC 2021

On Sat, 20 Nov 2021 at 17:45, <tonyosm9 at gmail.com> wrote:
> Reading the https://wiki.openstreetmap.org/wiki/Key:operator it seems clear that Arriva is the operator and London Overground is the brand, but that only applies to the relation describing the service.

I think this is probably still arguable, as London Overground is not
operated under a traditional franchise arrangement - Arriva Rail
doesn't have any ability to alter the fares or the service times, and
their brand is visible absolutely nowhere. (I think they call it a
concession rather than a franchise.) This seems to be the way the
entire rail network is going under the Williams-Shapps plan. It's also
the way the buses are operated in London.

Anyway, to try and clear things up, there are several different issues
at play here, and I'm not sure exactly which one the original poster
was getting at:

1) The Overground tracks themselves (i.e., the actual "railway=rail"
ways) are operated by Network Rail, and I think they are tagged as
such for the most part. Other services (mostly freight) do run over
the Overground tracks in some places. The "network=" tag is not
relevant here - it should only be used on route=train relations.

2) route=railway relations (e.g. the rather lightly tagged
https://www.openstreetmap.org/relation/7521653) represent named lines,
and should also be tagged operator=Network Rail.

3) route=train relations (e.g.
https://www.openstreetmap.org/relation/9674325), which represent the
train service itself. I would argue that "operator=Network Rail" is
outright wrong here, although it is used in places. I would much
rather see these tagged consistently with what is visible on the
ground. The network tag is relevant here, although it is lightly
documented - but example on the wiki strongly suggests that the
network should be "TfL" or "London Overground"

I'd also note that the TfL Rail/Crossrail/Elizabeth Line services are
currently tagged "network=TfL Rail" and "operator=MTR Crossrail",
which at least has some consistency here. Although there doesn't seem
to be any way of querying for all services controlled by TfL.

Russ Garrett
russ at garrett.co.uk

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