Template talk:West Rail Line RDT

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Extra parameters[edit]

It may be worthwhile to import parameters from Template:Infobox rail line such as, among others, {{{el}}} which gives the electrification which in this case is catenary. See also |STROME= in template:BS-daten. Peter Horn User talk 21:53, 3 May 2012 (UTC)

Use blue for metro line[edit]

West Rail Line is a line in a metro system. According to Wikipedia:Route diagram template/Catalog of pictograms, it should be colored blue instead of red. Whether Light Rail exists or not it won't change its status. Just like Los Angeles Metro Rail, the existence of the Expo Line does not change the other line to red.Xeror (talk) 07:57, 18 August 2017 (UTC)

@Xeror: I had a discussion on the OpenStreetMap mailing lists about this a while ago. I had tagged the East Rail Line tracks as a railway, but everything else as metro/subway. The general consensus was:
  • East Rail Line is unquestionably a railway, as opposed to a metro line
  • Ma On Shan Line and West Rail Line were also built roughly to that loading gauge and tunnel size and use regular-sized trains
  • Therefore, all three are classified as railways.
So on OSM, all three are now tagged as railway=rail and not railway=subway. (On the other hand, the services' relations are tagged subway=yes to reflect the high service frequency.)
It also helps to distinguish the West Rail Line from the Light Rail, as noted. They also share characteristics like relatively long distances between stops (like e.g. the RER of Paris), and using AC electrification identical to that of the Mainland railway system instead of DC.
Arguably, some of these points could be used to classify the TCL/AEL ("Airport Railway") as a railway rather than a metro line, but it does not share the loading gauge, track gauge or electrification, and it has a track connection to the Tsuen Wan Line. Jc86035 (talk) 08:13, 18 August 2017 (UTC)
The Expo Line in LA is not really very different to other light rail systems, and shares almost all of its operating parameters with the Docklands Light Railway (aside from a lower top speed). Jc86035 (talk) 08:21, 18 August 2017 (UTC)
@Jc86035: The loading gauge and tunnel size have nothing to do with the classification of the rail line. The metros all over the world have different loading gauge and tunnel sizes. The classification is based on the train frequency, the design of the carriages for high capacity and frequent boarding and alighting. As you mentioned above, everyone else was right: it is a metro!Xeror (talk) 08:36, 18 August 2017 (UTC)
@Xeror: The S-Bahn lines in Germany and Switzerland are often designed for high capacity and frequent boarding and alighting (some stations even use the Spanish solution for through platforms), yet they are all certainly railways. Do you think the West Rail Line would be classified as U-Bahn or S-Bahn? Who is "everyone else"?
Useddenim, Sameboat, Citobun, do you have any opinions on this? Jc86035 (talk) 08:46, 18 August 2017 (UTC)
@Jc86035: Nope. The Berlin S-Bahn is classified as "Rapid Transit", which is another name for subway/metro. Xeror (talk) 08:57, 18 August 2017 (UTC)
Regarding AC/DC, Delhi Metro uses AC as well. Hamburg S-Bahn, which is a rapid transit (metro), uses AC/DC hybrid. Regarding relatively long distance between stations, Moscow Metro Kalininsko-Solntsevskaya Line has an average of over 2km between stations, comparable to the RER, but is considered a metro. Regarding the track gauge, the JR East lines share the same gauge as Tokyo Metro. Using a particular technology does not automatically classify the railway type. Just like using a diesel engine does not make a car to be a truck. Xeror (talk) 10:10, 18 August 2017 (UTC)
@Xeror: S-Bahn lines e.g. S3 (Munich) are coloured red in all maps. U-Bahn lines e.g. U3 (Berlin) are coloured blue.
Obviously there are cases in the middle, but their other characteristics make them metro lines, such as the third rail of Moscow's line 8 (most railways do not use third rails). Compare it to line 14. The Delhi Metro lines are arguably commuter rail lines like the A Line of Denver (red), though the diagrams use the actual line colours instead of red or blue. Jc86035 (talk) 10:22, 18 August 2017 (UTC)
By the way, the Hamburg S-Bahn (according to its article) is the only railway in Germany which uses both AC and DC (compare North London line and Thameslink; both red in RDTs), so it's the exception rather than the rule. Jc86035 (talk) 10:27, 18 August 2017 (UTC)
@Jc86035: I wasn't saying that all S-Bahns are metros, but some are and some are not. Delhi Metro is definitely a metro system. I don't see why it is not one. British Rail Class 373 (Eurostar) used to use DC third rail for some sections but it is definitely not a metro. Some UK and US commuter railways use DC third rail too. Like I said, choosing a particular technology rather than the others does not automatically classify its type. BTW, North London line uses both red and blue. It is a mixed line from a couple former lines. Some of the coloring in other pages may not be correctly reflecting the type since wikipedia can be edited by anyone and some might have chosen a wrong color. Xeror (talk) 11:20, 18 August 2017 (UTC)
@Xeror: Obviously not every system with third rail or DC or small intra-station distances or smaller curve radii is a metro line, but they are characteristics more common in metros than railways. Your point that loading gauge has nothing to do with the classification of a line isn't totally accurate, since although there are a few places where light rail trains use the same tracks as freight trains, almost all light rail and tram systems do actually have a loading gauge smaller than those of regular railways. (The West Rail Line was, incidentally, originally built to be able to take freight traffic for the Port Rail Link.) Of course every metro is different, but generally they have narrower tunnels and track centres and smaller curve radii.
Here is the start of the mailing list discussion (press the link to the right of "Next message" to continue through the thread). The other OSM editors essentially base their arguments on whether freight trains can run through the tracks (i.e. loading gauge). One of them helps maintain the OpenRailwayMap website, so they should probably be trusted more than me on this subject. Unfortunately, though, I never got an answer for what the SCL should ideally be tagged as.
The London Overground is, of course, somewhere in the middle, using parts of the Bakerloo and former East London Underground lines and having dual voltage, but you can't just say that the colour is wrong, because the rules are unwritten. Editors probably thought it was easiest to use red for National Rail and blue for everything else, but – as with Moscow's Central Circle and Denver's A, B and W RTD lines – this is not always the case. Likewise, S-Bahn systems in Germany are legally classified as railways (and are therefore coloured red). See also Commuter rail#Distinction between other modes of rail. Hong Kong does not have this distinction, but the West Rail Line is definitely closer to an S-Bahn line than a U-Bahn line. Service frequency has little bearing on this. S-Bahn lines are often 3 tph or less, but Crossrail will have a maximum of 28 tph and it's definitely not a Tube line. Jc86035 (talk) 14:59, 18 August 2017 (UTC)
  • In my opinion, it comes down to whether it is a regional (and therefore red) or urban (and therefore blue) route. Useddenim (talk) 15:54, 18 August 2017 (UTC)
    • @Useddenim: The Romford–Upminster line (5.4 km) and Greenford branch line (4.3 km) are still red, so I don't think this would work for everything. (Likewise, it will probably be possible to take metro trains from Shenzhen to Guangzhou in ten years' time, although at least two interchanges would be needed.) Jc86035 (talk) 16:23, 18 August 2017 (UTC)
We should focus on the discussion whether it fulfills the characteristics of a metro or not, rather than seeing which line is red or blue, since they may not be correctly reflecting the type of that line either. My observation would be a metro is frequent, rapid in boarding and alighting the trains. All three lines and other lines around the world that are classified as metro seem to fulfill this criteria. They usually have 3 doors or more as opposed to only 2 doors at the two ends of each car. They also have wider aisles in the middle of the trains. On the other hand, the Airport Express isn't really a metro under this classification. Even Tun Mun, Yuen Long and Tin Shui Wai are quite urban compared to other cities. And all the regions are within city limit as well. The only exception is that Hong Kong is unusually hilly compared to other major cities. So the long tunnel and long verdict really sketch out the line. And length does not seem to be a good indicator either. There are examples of long metro lines. Anyway, like I said, technological aspects shouldn't be used to classify a railway. Xeror (talk) 18:18, 18 August 2017 (UTC)
@Xeror: Dwell time and frequency are useful but they, again, can't be the only factors used in deciding these. S-Bahn lines are railways (red), as legally classified in Germany, and the trains usually have short dwell times (as do some regional trains). As mentioned, Crossrail will have one train every two minutes and nine seconds during peak hours. Commuter trains can also have multiple doors, like most S-Bahns and the Mumbai Suburban Railway. I guess I'm mostly criticizing your wording rather than reasoning, but if the technological aspects shouldn't be used to classify a railway then the Light Rail could be an S-Bahn.
I did tag the Airport Express as a railway in OpenStreetMap (and the Tung Chung Line tracks as subway) twice, but this was reverted twice with one editor citing the differences in loading gauge and track gauge to the ex-KCR lines and the mainland railways. The other did not give a reason. Comparable lines are Shenzhen's line 11 and Beijing's Airport Express (both blue).
On the other hand, I once tagged the Lok Ma Chau Spur Line as a metro since through trains don't use it. This was changed, since the East Rail Line uses "full-size passenger trains" and so on as in the mailing list. I'm not totally sure about this, since "urban lines" trains are only slightly smaller (maybe the overhead lines are lower?), but there are obviously other factors like faster acceleration, electrification, and so on. Jc86035 (talk) 07:00, 19 August 2017 (UTC)
@Jc86035: I'm not saying they are the only factors. They are in fact part of the factors. Can you provide the legal classification of all S-Bahns not being a rapid urban transit in Germany? As far as I know, S-Bahn was originally an abbreviation of Stadtschnellbahn, which is the German word for City Rapid Railway (Stadt = city, Schnell = Rapid/Fast, Bahn = Railway). But I'm not saying that all S-Bahns are rapid transit but some are, e.g. Berlin. I don't think there is a one-to-one correspondence between U-Bahn = metro and likewise S-Bahn = commuter. Mumbai Suburban Railway lacks another feature for rapid transit, which is the interior design of narrow aisle not suitable for rapid boarding and alighting. All the criteria need to be met to be classified as a rapid transit. Hence, Crossrail is not a metro. And light rails cannot be classified as metros because they don't have an exclusive right of way (sharing with road vehicles, but there is an exception for this: Chicago "L") and they are not high capacity. I still couldn't believe that gauge sizes are used for the classification. There are so many different sizes for metros and commuter railways all over the world. Just taking Japan as an example would quickly rule out this classification criterion. They can't even be considered as exceptions. Electrification can't be the factors either. The first metro in London was using steam. For faster acceleration, I'm not sure if there is a threshold to differentiate the two types using this. Xeror (talk) 07:54, 19 August 2017 (UTC)
@Jc86035: I'm not saying they are the only factors. They are in fact part of the factors. Can you provide the legal classification of all S-Bahns not being a rapid urban transit in Germany? As far as I know, S-Bahn was originally an abbreviation of Stadtschnellbahn, which is the German word for City Rapid Railway (Stadt = city, Schnell = Rapid/Fast, Bahn = Railway). But I'm not saying that all S-Bahns are rapid transit but some are, e.g. Berlin. I don't think there is a one-to-one correspondence between U-Bahn = metro and likewise S-Bahn = commuter. Mumbai Suburban Railway lacks another feature for rapid transit, which is the interior design of narrow aisle not suitable for rapid boarding and alighting. All the criteria need to be met to be classified as a rapid transit. Hence, Crossrail is not a metro. And light rails cannot be classified as metros because they don't have an exclusive right of way and they are not high capacity. I still couldn't believe that gauge sizes are used for the classification. There are so many different sizes for metros and commuter railways all over the world. Just taking Japan as an example would quickly rule out this classification criterion. They can't even be considered as exceptions. Electrification can't be the factors either. The first metro in London was using steam. For faster acceleration, I'm not sure if there is a threshold to differentiate the two types using this. Xeror (talk) 07:54, 19 August 2017 (UTC)
@Xeror: I think the rail gauge thing for HK in particular is that it's apparently just different enough to make it incompatible with standard gauge for some reason, not that it's usually a good differentiator on its own. The loading gauge is probably relevant though. For electrification, the UK is probably exceptional due to the age of its railways and the railways' being controlled solely by competing private companies until the mid-20th century. Again, just because some S-Bahns are rapid transit does not make them metros, although the Commuter rail article mentions the line is blurrier in the case of Berlin.
Are you sure all the criteria, however defined, should be met? The Kensington (Olympia) District line branch should then (due to its very low service frequency) be classified a railway the same as the West London Line. I don't think it should be black and white, since – as you mentioned – there will be exceptions to a lot of criteria.
The faster acceleration of "urban lines" trains is probably due to the trains being designed for smaller stopping distances. As one would expect the Tung Chung Line trains have the slower 1 km/(h·s) rather than 1.3 km/(h·s).
If the West Rail Line is still firmly somewhere in the middle, then a possible alternate solution would be to change all the MTR diagrams to use the line colours (sets azure, fuchsia, brown, red, green, blue, purple, orange, teal, pink, lime, and golden) rather than red/blue. Jc86035 (talk) 08:24, 19 August 2017 (UTC)

Without reading thoroughly all previous discussion because it's just tiring, here are my 2 cents: The very reason I support red-set icons for former-KCR lines is that they distinguish well with former-MTR lines. I personally prefer to compare East Rail Line with TfL Rail, colloquially as "Shenfield Metro" but obviously the Britons use the red-set icons. If for the sake of absolute consistency of service type, I would actually support changing Tung Chung Line and Airport Express to use red-set icons as well. There is really no professional standard to draw the line between "regional rail" and "metro/subway", so I prefer to avoid it altogether. My ultimate solution is the way of Russian Wikipedians: use icons of livery color matching the line in question. This simply removes all unnecessary debate of service type to justified whether we use the red or blue-set icons. -- Sameboat - 同舟 (talk · contri.) 09:09, 19 August 2017 (UTC)

@Sameboat: If the whole point is to distinguish former KCR lines from former MTR lines, my question would be why? Is there any good reason you need to distinguish them on the map? For TfL Rail, it seems to still fit my way of differentiating metros from commuter railways: the trains lack the feature for rapid boarding and alighting since they have narrow aisles. Using icons matching the line color is one way to avoid the classification but it needs multiple sets of icons for each color. Not sure if there is any way on Wikipedia to do it but there is a way you can use CSS or Javascript to change color of an SVG image. Xeror (talk) 10:46, 19 August 2017 (UTC)
You can't change color of SVG image on Wikimedia. Even if it's possible, the related CSS commands would likely be disabled by wiki software intentionally for the sake of performance. If there are not enough icons of the desired color set, you need to create a new one and upload to Commons. -- Sameboat - 同舟 (talk · contri.) 11:44, 19 August 2017 (UTC)
(besides, MediaWiki renders them as PNGs so I don't think it would be possible here. Jc86035 (talk) 12:35, 19 August 2017 (UTC))
The <switch> tags in SVG work in Wikipedia though. There may be some way to use it to change color. Some experiments need to be done though. Xeror (talk) 22:10, 19 August 2017 (UTC)
Even if it's technically possible with the lang switch tag, I suspect it would severely compromise article loading time when you have bunch of icons need to be switched to the desired color variant, not to mention it is against the original purpose of the lang tag. -- Sameboat - 同舟 (talk · contri.) 00:30, 20 August 2017 (UTC)
There are more than just the lang attribute for the <switch> tags. Not sure how expensive the <switch> tag is. I don't think it would be too expensive though. Need to do some tests to find out. There may be some other ways to achieve this. If there is a computationally inexpensive way to do this, it'd mean that there's no need for multiple sets of icons in the future. Xeror (talk) 01:33, 20 August 2017 (UTC)
About the SVG code itself, see my File:Sameboat temp cc0.svg. systemLanguage attribute doesn't work with <style>. It works with <path> and possibly all other shape commands. But the point is, to have all the variants stored in one SVG file requires repeating the exact shape data with different systemLanguage tags, the file will swell multiplicatively as we add more color variants. I don't know if it's worth it, and this needs to be discussed more thoroughly with other RDT participants. -- Sameboat - 同舟 (talk · contri.) 03:32, 20 August 2017 (UTC)
default red blue green black white
@Xeror and Sameboat: I don't think this is a very good idea. This is basically abusing a tag which is actually supposed to do something else to avoid uploading a bunch of files (I have a sort-of-Bash script which can duplicate set bahn icons into the 30 other sets and the not-uploaded-yet set olive, FWIW). It would also require us to reupload all 55,000 BSicons and change all the RDT templates over the 60 wikis.
Using the line colours, by the way, is already done on some of the line extension diagrams like {{Sha Tin to Central Link RDT}}. I would still prefer using red and blue on the other diagrams though, since otherwise we would have to differentiate the existing line and extension by using   (GRZq) or something else. Jc86035 (talk) 05:26, 20 August 2017 (UTC)