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[openrailwaymap] Station importance

JJJ Wegdam jwegdam at
Sun Apr 12 01:04:35 MEST 2015

[TLDR] I'm in favor of railway:station_grade while keeping the usage of numbers as gradations

Good evening everyone,

as this is my very first post to the mailing list, I'll use the opportunity to introduce myself. My name is Jeroen Wegdam (etwa wie 'Jerun Weckdamm' in Deutsch). I'm Dutch, live in the Netherlands and I study railway engineering. The last part explains my interest in ORM. I hope that my knowledge of railway technology and of the Dutch systems will come in handy. The good news is that I can read German very well. The bad news is that my German grammar is terrible; which makes me prefer to write back in English. ;)

Regarding the mail's subject, I'd like to propose 'railway:station_grade'. This because grade is a little bit more specific; category could also be 'station used for events' for example. 'Grade' really depicts the existence of a certain gradation of importance-levels between stations.

For the possible grades I think that we could actually still use numbers. I don't see how different systems per country (e.g. the Netherlands has 5 levels) would cause problems. As long as they are well-defined on the wiki, mappers will know how to handle them.

Concluding, to give you guys more reference material, I'll describe the Dutch gradation. It is based on the trains that stop at the station; stations with level 3 for example are served by levels 3 and lower. Stations with level 1 are served by all trains. The train service levels are:

1. Intercity Direct / Thalys / ICE
    (Eurostar will be added in 2016)
2. Intercity services
    (Amsterdam-Berlin treated like intercity)
3. Regional services
    (category 2 with a few extra stops)
4. Sprinter services 
    (local trains)
5. Event services
    (e.g. ice skating arena Thialf)

Best regards,

> Op 11 apr. 2015 om 15:02 heeft Alexander Matheisen <AlexanderMatheisen at> het volgende geschreven:
>> On Sa, 2015-04-11 at 09:18 +0200, danmey at wrote:
>> this second mail is to think about other ways to determine the 
>> importance of a station without any specific tag.
>> I have to say that I have no idea about how difficult it is to render a 
>> map and define render rules. So throw eggs if these ideas are not really 
>> thought through...
>> One way to define the importance of a station could be to have a look a 
>> the route relations.
>> How many different route relations are conected with the stop_positions 
>> of the station? Do these relations have a range of service tags (from 
>> commuter to long_distance?)
>> Perhaps we could define a system to evaluate this.
> theoretically this could work, but it needs a lot of calculation.
> Especially for rendering this is would require preprocessing of the
> data.
> But there is also another problem: This would work just for passenger
> stations. A tagging solution would also be appliable on non-passenger
> stations like freight yards. There are very important freight yards like
> Maschen, Seelze, Gremberg, etc., but also freight yards in rural areas
> that are just used e.g. for irregular wood or military transports. A
> tagging solution would allow us to map their importance too.
>> A different way could be the number of platforms: more platforms means 
>> higher importance.
>> Either with the platform*s*-Tag 
>> ( But it is not in 
>> really wide use. I don't use it, either.
>> But there could be a way to determine the number of platforms through 
>> the stop_area relation.
> Same problem for non-passenger stations as describe above.
> Also the number of platforms does not indicate the importance of the
> station. See this example:
> Bonn Hbf
> - 5 platform tracks
> - DB category 2
> - 70 long distance trains per day (according to Wikipedia)
> - international traffic with EuroCity trains
> Neuss Hbf
> - 8 platform tracks
> - DB category 2
> - just 4 long distance trains per week (3x ICE, 1x IC)
> - no international traffic (except from a regional express train that
> ends in Venlo, the border station between Germany and the Netherlands)
> Zwickau Hbf
> - 8 platform tracks
> - DB category 3
> - no long distance trains
> - no international traffic
>> Of course, you can show me a lot of examples where a station with few 
>> route relations / platforms has higher importance than another station 
>> with more of these.
>> But as far as I understand the question, the problem is a render problem 
>> in cases of  collision. This happens with a small number of stations per 
>> case. So, we don't need absolute importance of stations here, but a 
>> relative ranking of these few stations.
> For collisions, relative importance of the stations would be enough. But
> when you want to render e.g. just international stations in low zoom
> levels, you need an absolute ranking.
> Regards
> Alex
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