[OSM-talk] stop deleting abandoned railroads

Christian Pietzsch christian.pietzsch at gmail.com
Tue Aug 11 07:34:17 UTC 2015

deleting abandoned railways if they are still clearly visible on the ground
isn't okay.
Near my hometown we have one of these rail trails.
It has been a light rail track and now it is used as asphalt cycle way. As
you can see it is tagged as railway=abandoned and as highway=cycleway and
gets rendered as cycleway. So it seems the tagging and rendering should be
fine for this kind of ways.
As Andrew already said, try to talk with the one who deleted the railways.
In this case it might be a problem:
The person only made two changesets four months ago.

In the future the best practice might be:

   - Check who deleted the railway (for example using
   - try to contact the person (don't be harsh! allways try assume they
   made it by accident or lack of knowledge)
   - revert the changeset/part of the chagneset

Reverting the changeset without the permission of the the person might lead
to an edit war so becareful.

2015-08-11 8:59 GMT+02:00 Warin <61sundowner at gmail.com>:

> On 11/08/2015 4:37 PM, Andrew Wiseman wrote:
> Hi Russ,
> I would suggest you contact who is saying that or deleting it (if you can see who that is,) and talk to them, nicely, about your concerns. I bet it's just that people probably aren't familiar with the concept of abandoned railroads as a tag. If they don't see a railroad track where there's a railroad tag, they probably just delete it, thinking that's what you do. The unused: tag (or whatever you use) is not super well known, in my opinion.
> Appears to be a continuing problem.
> https://help.openstreetmap.org/questions/33455/what-happened-to-the-abandoned-railroads
> In part it may arise from the OSM mantra 'tag what is on the ground'.
> If the abandoned railway is now a 'rail trail' then it should be tagged as a path/track, as that is what is on the ground.
> the tag is http://wiki.openstreetmap.org/wiki/Tag:railway%3Dabandoned
> and says "A tag to map former railways, where the rails have been removed but the route is still visible in some way.
> If the rails are still in place use railway <http://wiki.openstreetmap.org/wiki/Key:railway>=disused <http://wiki.openstreetmap.org/wiki/Tag:railway%3Ddisused> instead."
> That does lack any link to rail trial tagging... in fact OSM looks to lack any guide on 'rail trails'.
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