Rail USA: Infrastructure and Train Routes


Steve All 5min


In late 2014, OpenRailWayMap in the USA displayed a few tentacles originating from Kansas City and most TIGER rail data had problems. Now the USA has an early rail infrastructure network which displays well in several renderers, a few states have dedicated rail wiki pages, Amtrak status has seriously improved and many of the urban and suburban light-rail/subway/tram/commuter rail passenger networks in the USA are now correct in OSM. Well, at least in public_transport:version=1, getting to v2 will be some effort ahead.

There remains a vast amount of work yet to do so USA Rail is where it should be, especially cleaning up TIGER rail. Starting with excellent new rail data, reading (and writing or improving) good wiki, following tagging guidelines, reaching out to other volunteers, especially by setting a good example, listening to and achieving consensus with fellow mappers, getting a taste of reward as we see our efforts “blossom” on the map as we add new infrastructure and routes and developing good relationships with those who offer renderers, tile engines or other tech support all add up to terrific organic growth in OSM. One state, rail Subdivision and train route at a time: we can do this!