[Talk-transit] Railway route relations

Frankie Roberto frankie at frankieroberto.com
Sun Aug 9 21:30:34 BST 2009

On Sun, Aug 9, 2009 at 5:08 PM, Jochen Topf <jochen at remote.org> wrote:

> > For vehicles:
> > The route the cyclist follows is route=bicycle.
> > The route bus 5 follows is route=bus.
> > The route tram 13 follows is route=tram.
> > The route the Eurostar follows is route=train.
> >
> > For infrastructure:
> > The "route" of the M1 is route=road
> > The "route" that is made up of the rail tracks of the East Coast Mainline
> is
> > route=rail.
> >
> > Deprecating route= and replacing it with line= for most things where we
> > currently use route= is a lot of work for no real gain.
> Oxomoas proposal makes things more consistent:
> You have
> railway=rail
> railway=light_rail
> etc.
> and the corresponding relations are:
> line=rail
> line=light_rail
> It seems rather confusing to me to have:
> route=train corresponding to railway=rail
> and
> route=light_rail corresponding to railway=light_rail

For me, light_rail describes only the infrastructure, so I'd tag the ways
with railway=light_rail, would add an infrastructure relation (if necessary)
tagged with route=railway, and add a service(s) relation tagged with

In short, I don't think we need different tags to distinguish between rail
and light rail train services, as both use "trains" as the vehicles, and the
type of railway can be determined by the infrastructure tags.

> Thats why we decided to do it this way at the workshop in Karlsruhe. The
> way we introduced line=* was to make this consistent and at the same time
> mostly backwards compatible to current use.

It seems odd to me to introduce a whole new key (line=*) when we already
have a well established route=* key used across other forms of transport
(bicycle routes, walking routes, etc). Perhaps I'm missing something - could
you explain the thought process behind it?

I also find the use of "line", in English at least, to be problematic for
describing train services, as it seems to be more often used to describe the
infrastructure (eg West Coast Main Line).

Cartinus's suggestion of "name [the route] after what you are mapping" feels
like the simplest and most workable solution to me - though it doesn't
matter too much what we do so long as we can reach a consensus and document
it clearly.

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