[Talk-transit] Railway route relations

Jochen Topf jochen at remote.org
Mon Aug 10 08:10:15 BST 2009

On Sun, Aug 09, 2009 at 09:30:34PM +0100, Frankie Roberto wrote:
> 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
> route=train.
> 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.

Well, for one its inconsistent which makes it hard to tag. And its harder to
use. If you want different rendering based on rail type, you'll have to
consult a whole different set of 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?

The "infrastructure route" is something different from the "moving vehicles
forming a route". They are two different concepts, so they deserve their own
keys. A bicycle route or walking route is more like an "infrastructure route",
there are signs on the way. Its a physically existing thing. The "moving
vehicle route" (which we called a line) is more "ephemeral".

> 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).

Not beeing native English speakers we felt that the choice was arbitrary,
both words can be used for both meanings. So we chose the one that best fit
with the established meaning of cycle or hiking routes. (Although it clashes
with route=ferry.)

Jochen Topf  jochen at remote.org  http://www.remote.org/jochen/  +49-721-388298

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