[Talk-transit] Weird stations in the UK (as shown on Google maps)

Peter Miller peter.miller at itoworld.com
Thu Aug 20 15:53:09 BST 2009

We have been doing some work for National Rail and this has  
highlighted a bunch of weirdnesses about what is a railway station and  
what is not a railway station. Some of weirdnesses are down to  
problems with data, but others show up operational issues. I have been  
proposing a more comprehensive model for complex interchanges within  
OSM and in might be interesting to see how one would map some of these  
onto this model (or not in the case of data errors. [1] I am showing  
that many of the problems also appear on Google Maps who also use  
NaPTAN. The images are in the set 'weird stations' (http://www.flickr.com/photos/petereastern/sets/72157621968445655/ 

Reading Station, or Reading Stations? In NaPTAN and in Google there  
are two Reading stations[2]. The reason evidently is that for  
operation reasons the station is treated as two stations with the 'The  
Waterloo part of Reading is a separately coded rail station'. This  
does however seem weird on information displayed to the public.  
Curiously Clapham Junction station is divided into four stations for  
operational reasons but Google only shows one - possibly it deals with  
it as a special case as there are four stations in NaPTAN.

There are two additional stations close to Albany Park Station (nr  
Sidcup) on Google Maps.[3] This is because two bus stops have  
incorrectly be coded as railways stations (and incidentally means we  
are likely to be 2 bus stops light on the import of the county). The  
data owner has been notified and this error should be fixed reasonably  

There are two railway stations shown for Heathrow. One is actually a  
coach station from which 'RailAir' coaches operate so it is not really  
a railway station at all.[4]

There are four station in the King's Cross/ St Pancras on Google[5].   
Two for St Pancras station, one for King's Cross Station and then one  
for King's Cross/St Pancras. NaPTAN does have two stations for St  
Pancras (possibly the international section is treated as a separate  
station for operational reasons) but only seems to have one for King's  
Cross Station in NaPTAN. I am not sure where the combined one on  
Google has come from but it does possibly make sense to present them  
as a single station at some zoom levels.

Finally, there is a mainline station shown for Newbury Park as well as  
an underground station on Google and in NaPTAN[6]  even though it  
appears to be on the Central line with no connection to mainline  
services and the station doesn't appear in a station search on the  
National Rail website. Is this another NaPTAN mistake?

[1] http://wiki.openstreetmap.org/wiki/Proposed_features/Stop_Place
[2] http://www.flickr.com/photos/petereastern/3839787944
[3] http://www.flickr.com/photos/petereastern/3839198147/in/set-72157621968445655/
[4] http://www.flickr.com/photos/petereastern/3839198227
[5] http://www.flickr.com/photos/petereastern/3838985737/
[6] http://www.flickr.com/photos/petereastern/3839310795/

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