railway main line tagging

Posted by jaimemd on 25 January 2014 in English (English)

Dear Friends around Ekaterinburg,

I removed a lot of service=trunk or service=regional entries from railways beause this makes them completely invisible in ITO's railway tracks map Also I added tracks=*

The lines to Kamiensk-Uralski and Tscheljabinsk were the first ones I edited.

I hope this did not lead to any damage. If yes I will try to fix it again. Both tags do not appear in the osm wiki while usage=main is recommended for main passenger lines. The rendering in Mapnik or standard view ist apparently not affected by my changes.

The tracks=* seems a bit tricky since it can apply to different situations. So one line can represent several parallel railway tracks. On the other hand there can be a single track railway line be parallel to one or more spur railways. I user this tag in order tell in what way the line is operated. So tracks=1 means a train must wait somewhere if a train in the opposite direction needs to pass. I used tracks=2 if there is one track for each direction irrespective of being one or two railways drawn. I left tracks missing for some large stations and intersections.

Comment from RM87 on 25 January 2014 at 21:20

Try to avoid tracks key as it is controversial. There is no way to tell whether this tracks=n is a total number of tracks or there should be n-1 more undrawn tracks beside this track). Wherever possible simply draw out all tracks and tag them as appropriate. Bing imagery near Jekaterinburg is mostly good enough to draw all tracks out.

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Comment from jaimemd on 29 January 2014 at 14:35

controversial hopefully means that we can strain for a useful solution. This is in my opinion of course not tagging tracks=n for telling that there are n-1 undrawn tracks. This should be looked up by the mapper using the osm-editor. If I map 60 buildings in a villiage which has alltogether 100 buildings I just leave the remaining 40 for someone else or a later time maybe leaving a note or fixme.

The numer of tracks of a railway line I find very meaningful and there are many examples in Great Britain or Sweden where the tag is used to mark tracks as belonging together to the same railway line.

As a side effect it can of course substitute a not drawn second track. Drawing this can be very boring and time consuming particularly in areas where nobody might zoom in so far that the second track can be distinguished. In contrast the above mentioned ITO-map provides information which can hardly be found anywhere else.

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