Regular visitors may have noticed that wherever possible I use open source images and maps when creating posts on my website. Once I’ve identified an area with some interesting operations I’ll use the transport layer maps on OpenStreetMap to get a better understanding of the layout of the tracks in the area.
As an example, here’s an OpenStreetMap transport layer map of an area of Basel, Switzerland with some interesting intermodal (ship to rail) facilities:
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The OpenStreetMap map is great but today I stumbled across an open source mapping website that focuses specifically on railways and covers the entire World!
The website is called OpenRailwayMap. It’s built on the same data as OpenStreetMap but it has some nice features not available on the OpenStreetMap website.
Here’s a screenshot from OpenRailwayMap of the same area in Basel:
As you can see, each of the different types of tracks (high-speed, mainline, branch line, spur, etc) in the area is marked by a different colour which is a pretty useful feature in areas with lots of tracks.
You can also use the menu on the left to change layers and show additional information such as track speed limits and even signals.
I’ll definitely be making use of these maps in the future and I’d recommend heading over to OpenRailwayMap to do a bit of exploring yourself.