[OSM-talk] railway=narrow_gauge

Mike Collinson mike at ayeltd.biz
Sat Jun 16 09:04:16 BST 2007

At 09:26 PM 15/06/2007, Martijn van Oosterhout wrote:
>On 6/14/07, David Earl <david at frankieandshadow.com> wrote:
>> I added the Snowdon Mountain Railway a while ago (railway=narrow_gauge).
>> The stations are rendered on both maps but the railway isn't, so it
>> looks like there is a series of isolated stations in the middle of nowhere.
>As a side note, is it a good idea to use phrases like "narrow_gauge".
>I can guess that many places in the world have a "narrow_gauge" and
>they mean different things.
>Do we care about the gauge? If so, shouldn't we be exact about it
>(number of centimetres).

A while ago I edited http://wiki.openstreetmap.org/index.php/Map_Features definition for railway=rail very carefully with that in mind "Full sized passenger or freight trains in the standard gauge for the country or state" .  That avoids the anglo-centric gauge definition:   Standard gauge = 4'  8 1/2", broad gauge = anything wider, narrow gauge = anything narrower; (although the schema IS widely used internationally).  For example, Queensland, Australia uses what would be regarded as narrow gauge elsewhere, 3' 6", though the situation is a bit confused because they also now have interstate 4'  8 1/2" track.

I suggest a similar definition for narrow gauge:

"Passenger or freight train track in a gauge smaller than the standard for the country or state, typically less than 4'  8 1/2"   "

Sorry for the archaic units of measurements!


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