[Talk-transit] Railway route relations

Peter Miller peter.miller at itoworld.com
Mon Aug 10 09:28:56 BST 2009

On 10 Aug 2009, at 08:10, Jochen Topf wrote:

> 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.)

In the end the terminology will be pretty arbitrary because we are  
talking about a concept that not many people need to be very precise  
about in their daily lives, however we need to be internally  
consistent. Fyi, here is a copy of a comment I put on the wiki  

"Lines,Routes and Services - which term to use?

"Should we call a bus service offered to the public a 'Bus Route', a  
'Bus Line' or a 'Bus Service? Currently we are using all terms  
interchagably. For example these is a section called 'Bus Services'  
which then says that they should be defined using as a 'Route'  
relation. Some people use the 'Line' relation for this purpose (as  
proposed by Oxomoa). This Buses:talk page also uses the term Line in  
the section 'Classifying Bus Routes' for the same term.  And ... on  
the Public transport page we talk about 'Service Routes'. This can all  
be confusing and I suggest we try to use one term throughout.

"Transmodel (and therefore the EU professional community) have settled  
on Line; Route being used to describe the physical path taken by a  
vehicle through the infrastructure. I don't mind what we use, but we  
should be consistent. Personally sticking to Route seems to make sense  
to me, Line comes second and Service as my least favourite (because it  
can mean so many think); the 'Saturday service' (runs of Saturday),  
the bus is 'in service' today (it is being used operationally at the  
moment) and... the bus is 'being serviced' today (ie it is being  
repaired and is not available). Any comments? PeterIto 17:09, 9 August  
2009 (UTC)

If we take the view (as suggested by Jochen) that Route should be used  
for something that related to physical infrastructure (such as a cycle  
route with physical signs at junctions, or a part of the railway  
infrastructure that is know by a distinct name) and that Line should  
be used for 'branded' services that run on the infrastructure using a  
reference or name then this would match up with current usage for  
cycle routes and footpaths (= Route). It fits the proposal by Oxomoa  
with is encouraging and I believe that Line is already rendered  
appropriate in opvenkart. It is would fit with Transmodel and the  
professional community which would make me happy! The only relations  
that would need to be tweeked would be 'Lines' which are current  
tagged using Route, but I would be happy to be part of a team that did  
the translation.



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