Route=shuttle_train - deprecation of 13/11 year old (never activated) proposal


I came across a strange set of mapping for the shuttle train between Niebüll and Sylt island.
This train carries cars and provides the only way to ride by car from Germany (continent) to Sylt, Germany (island).
This does not apply to this single spot only: the Eurotunnel between France and England seems to have the same issue.

The proposal seems to support this mapping at least it can be misunderstood to do so.


What I saw:

  1. There is railway=track infrastructure mapped in OSM for two tracks (e.g. on the damm)

  2. The tracks are used by some (normal) trains mapped as route relations: IC 26.1 and RE6

  3. The tracks are used also by the shuttle train (route=train) Sylt-Shuttle. The relation has some extra tags (shuttle=yes, motor_car=yes, …)

  4. There was (I deleted that) additional route=shuttle_rain infrastructure mapped in OSM as ways (!) following the railway=track infrastructure of 1. (between and in parallel, single and double) representing the tracks of/for the shuttle train (render=no)

  5. There was (I deleted that) an additional route=shuttle_train relation in OSM based on the infrastructure mentioned in 4.

  6. Either 4. or 5. are used by at least one routing engine (ADAC), maybe also by others.

  7. For the Eurotunnel it seems similar, there is additional route=shuttle_train infrastructure in OSM as ways: way1 and way2 having also a strange turn restriction

  8. This kind of mapping refers to a proposal route=shuttle_train which was introduced 13/11 years ago and never completed: it is abandoned (inactive).
    a. this proposal introduces ways and relations as valid objects


  1. The mapping of the additional infrastructure is against the mantra “one feature, one object”.
    I.e. if there is only one object in reality then there must not be more than one object in OSM.

  2. The observed mapping/tagging follows/supports the approach “mapping for the routing engine”

  3. Routes should not be mapped on ways/nodes. The agreed method to do this are relations as for all other public transport routes-
    “route=shuttle_train” tagged on ways (railway=track) which are also used by normal trains is completely wrong, that would apply to all trains using the tracks.

  4. There is no need for a new type of route: route=shuttle_train. A train is a train is train, … A “shuttle train” is a train which provides a special or an additional service, tagged with: service=shuttle_train or shuttle=yes and/or hgv=yes, bicycle=yes, motor_car=yes, …


  1. Mark the proposal as deprecated (do not use at all) providing hints why and how to map that correctly

  2. Let the routing engines learn how to use route relations: route=train + shuttle=yes + motor_car=yes, …
    a. they would also learn how to use route=ferry relations for those ferries carrying cars, … and even trains

  3. Delete those strange OSM objects

To be involved:

@ADAC_Touristische_InfoSysteme (first CS comment on my edit)
vng_me (contributed to CS comment) seems not to be on community server
@chris66 (the author of the proposal)
@Skippern (commented on proposal in 2012)
@pimapper (commented on proposal in 2012)
@emvee (commented on proposal in 2022)
“Alv”, “Sladen” and “Aceman444” (commented on proposal) seem not to be on community server

Edit: 2023-03-23 13:17 UTC - fix link to Eurotunnel
Edit: 2023-03-23 13:40 UTC - add “: route=train + shuttle=yes + motor_car=yes, …” to “Let routing engines learn …”

22 posts - 8 participants

Read full topic

Ce sujet de discussion accompagne la publication sur