Network Rail - Sectional Appendix

Posted by Legolash2oLiam on 12 January 2018 in English (English)

Short, but sweet.

Great news today in regards to rail (United Kingdom). I have been in contact with Network Rail and have received permission to use the information within the Sectional Appendix or NESA to share rail data including speed limits, references, codes and restrictions. The only condition was that it needs to be attributed to 'Network Rail'.

I have various FOI requests currently in progress like TIPLOC latitude and longitudes which is useful for stations but also junction locations. Hopefully, signal locations too (most likely a no to that one due to potential theft and damage).

Comment from DevonshireBoy42 on 12 January 2018 at 11:55

Excellent news. Would attributes similar to highways for speed limits and restrictions be suitable. Or would we need a new restriciton schema?

Comment from Richard on 12 January 2018 at 21:27

That is seriously cool. Well done.

Comment from Nakaner on 14 January 2018 at 20:39

That's great. Where can I find this dataset?

Are they aware that attribution will be only visible at and neither at nor at any web site which uses OSM?

DevonshireBoy42 wrote:

Would attributes similar to highways for speed limits and restrictions be suitable. Or would we need a new restriciton schema?

It is very similar to roads. Use maxspeed=* if both directions of a track have the same limit, use maxspeed:forward=* and maxspeed:backward=* otherwise. If tilting trains may run faster in a curve, add maxspeed:tilting=*. Don't forget to add mph.

Please don't import these speed limits before assuring their quality. Railway operators in some countries have two different definitions of a "speed limit". On the one hand, there is the speed limit of a whole railway line which is either the the fastest speed limit of the whole line (even if this section is relatively short). On the other hand, there is the — I call it real speed limit — which train drivers have to obey to prevent damages. These real speed limits depend on the radius of curves, the distance between distant and main signals, the quality of the track and ballast and other factors. If you know a few locations with relatively low speed limit, check them in the dataset.

Btw, you might cross-post to

Comment from Legolash2oLiam on 15 January 2018 at 11:04

I sent them an email based on the templates and made sure to include all the numerical points including "[5] We formally attribute all such sources at, using any specific wording if you request. We also try to provide a link to this page with any extract of data from our database. However, for reasons of practicality, we do not require end-users to repeat such attribution since it runs into hundreds."

I did not know about tilting maxspeed. I'll be sure to use that. The ones I'm not sure about is when there are loading gauge restrictions and Route Availability (1-10).

An example would be LOR NW9001:

The following traffic and combinations only are permitted: Up to 2438(h) x 2438(w)

on FIA, IFA, FEA, FRA, KFA wagons

Sometimes they are individually listed. So would loading_gauge:fia:height=2438 and loading_gauge:fia:width=2438 suffice or is there a standard?

Also in regards to loading gauge. I put the full loading gauge i.e. W6A, W7, W8, W9, W10 as sometimes I route can be W10 but not W9. I'm also sure I've seen routes that are W7 but not W6 for an odd reason.

Comment from DevonshireBoy42 on 15 January 2018 at 16:41

The wiki says this on the matter:

I'm afraid I don't know what FIA is. Is there a reason you suggest it as a suffix on a tag? it suggests you can have different widths and heights on one feature?

Is loading_gauge:height=2438 missing something critical?

Comment from Legolash2oLiam on 15 January 2018 at 17:21

I don't know why it made some of my text bold from my previous response.

I was the one who created that page and it still needs some work.

FIA, IFA, FEA, etc.. are different types of wagons. Currently I just find the highest dimension and add "loading_gauge:maxheight=xxxx" if xxx is the highest out of all the restrictions. Luckily so far, it's a small amount and easily fixable if a new standard is chosen.

2438 is the length in millimeters (stated on the wiki).

Comment from Legolash2oLiam on 15 January 2018 at 17:23

There are other things within the NESA data that states a train must stop at ABC crossing before it can proceed. Not sure if there is a tag for that?

Comment from Legolash2oLiam on 15 January 2018 at 17:26

Sorry for triple posting.

I'm actually glad we are discussing this, as I'm planning a huge railway project that involves adding all the speed limits, references, restrictions, TIPLOCs, crossing and restrictions all into a standard consistent format.

Comment from SomeoneElse on 15 January 2018 at 17:55

As an aside:

I don't know why it made some of my text bold from my previous response.

Comments here use Markdown, and sometimes things in "ordinary text" get interpreted as formatting. If you hit "preview" before "save" you should get a chance to review and correct.

Comment from Legolash2oLiam on 16 January 2018 at 00:32

I did preview it lol :D

Anyways, I've created an import page for the project for discussion.

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