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Hi, in Hannover, Germany there is a rail based transit system. It is been called Stadtbahn and it is a combinition of tram and subway. So I would call - and in OSM define - it as Light rail. My question now is whether it would not be better to transform all the remaining tram and subway to light rail (therefor look at

asked 05 Jun '13, 00:33

Nobelium's gravatar image

accept rate: 0%

edited 05 Jun '13, 00:34

There are subtle differences. In Germany the consensus seems to be to use rail/light_rail for train systems regulated by the EBO (Eisenbahn-Bau- und Betriebsordnung), and tram/subway for systems where the BOStrab (Verordnung über den Bau und Betrieb der Straßenbahnen) applies.

Regarding railway tagging in Germany it is usually safe to assume that people have thought about what they are doing and why, and that if you dig deep enough you'll find endless mailing list discussions on the topic. It would therefore likely attract criticism if you were to simply change the railway type for half of Hannover without discussing your plan in the German community first.

Suggested reading:; suggested place for discussing: or the German forum on, or even the Hannover mailing list

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answered 05 Jun '13, 00:56

Frederik%20Ramm's gravatar image

Frederik Ramm ♦
accept rate: 23%

Semantically correct would be indeed railway=light_rail, as explains in its first paragraph.

However, there is a whole ecosystem of both users and tools like http://ö that got used to tag light rails as railway=subway or occasionally railway=tram and to track some random rail lines as railway=light_rail.

On the other hand, given the situation in Hannover as shown by ITO, I think nobody would protest if you convert the few remaining lines to "light_rail". For the "Geibelstraße" section (part of line 8) I can confirm from local knowledge that it in fact is a light_rail the same way like the rest of line 8.

If you change the tags, you will have to deal with all these people, and the gain in clarity is in general considered less important than the harm to the community. So the advice would be to leave it as it is.

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answered 05 Jun '13, 07:09

Roland%20Olbricht's gravatar image

Roland Olbricht
accept rate: 36%

edited 06 Jun '13, 06:53

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question asked: 05 Jun '13, 00:33

question was seen: 3,064 times

last updated: 06 Jun '13, 06:53

NOTICE: is no longer in use from 1st March 2024. Please use the OpenStreetMap Community Forum