Commons:Icons for railway descriptions/Policies

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A complete version can be found under de:Wikipedia:Formatvorlage Bahnstrecke/Richtlinien.

These policies are based on discussion about railway line templates, mostly from german wikipedia.

last update: 12:57, Apr 2 2007 (UTC)



Only official symbols from commons Catalog are to be used in articles. If local Wikipedias create their own icon catalog (e.g. Bilderkatalog on German Wikipedia) or use a different policy other icons may also be available for these Wikipedias.

When icons or icon sets shall be included in the official catalog, a preceding discussion is required.

Naming conventions[edit]

The (abbreviated) name for newly created icons is to be expedient and must not contain special characters (for international use). Three characters are suggested to be enough in most cases. Additional characters can be put at the beginning or the end of the icon name:

  • preceding characters describe type and status of the railway line
  • subsequent characters describe the kind of the symbol

These additional characters are in a fix order (non-applicable are left out):

  1. prefix (lowercase):
    1. u: underground/metro/light rail track (de: U-Bahn)
    2. e: erstwhile (or planned) station/stop/crossing track (de: ehemalig)
    3. x: ex (or planned) track
    4. m: mixed heavy and light rail track (de: Mischbetrieb)
    5. b: broad (double) width icon (de: breit)
      d: slender (half) width icon (de: dünn)
      v: parallel tracks
      (maybe derived from converging?)
    6. t: tunnel track (de: Tunnel)
      h: high level track (de: Hochbahn)
  2. abbreviated NAME (uppercase)
    some icons might require additional modifiers:
    1. K: terminal (de: Kopfbahnhof)
    2. S: Suburban commuter service (de: S-Bahn)
    3. T: spliTlevel (de: Turmbahnhof)
    4. W: Water (de: Wasser)
    5. M: Museum (de: Museumsbahn)
    6. D: Embankment (de: Damm)
  3. suffix (lowercase):
    1. a: track starting (de: Anfang)
    2. e: track ending (de: Ende)
    3. l: track running to left (de: links)
    4. r: track running to right (de: rechts)
    5. +: track from instead of to
    6. x: ex (or planned) track
    7. f: forward driving direction (i. e. “from top to bottom”, Fahrtrichtung)
    8. g: "against" driving direction (i. e. “from bottom to top”, Gegenrichtung) or
      g:track running straight (de: geradeaus)
    9. q: track running aqross (de: quer)
    10. o: vertical overhead (de: oben)
    11. u: vertical underneath (de: unten)


direction of travel
BSicon ABZrf.svgBSicon ABZlf.svg “<name of line> (to <city>)”
opposite direction
BSicon ABZlg.svgBSicon ABZrg.svg “<name of line> (from city)”

Junctions with different gauges[edit]

separated tracks
BSicon KBHFe.svg KBHF + Annotation
BSicon ABZlg.svg ABZ + Annotation


BSicon GRENZE.svg border between countries
BSicon STR+GRZq.svg other border (e. g. former border, border between federal states)


short branch lines can be created using multi-column templates (BS2, BS3 etc.) to avoid complicated and extensive subdivisions. these templates shall only be used for track separated by open ground; parallel tracks have just one column.

Status of line[edit]

Additional differentiations would result in additional expenses and complexity, so these six types of lines may be enough:

BSicon STR.svg red symbols stand for line in operation
BSicon exSTR.svg pale red symbols stand for line out of use, which means shut down, removed, projected or construction in progress
BSicon uSTR.svg blue symbols stand for underground/metro/light rail line/canal
BSicon uexSTR.svg pale blue symbols stand for underground/metro/light rail line/canal out of use
BSicon fSTR.svg green symbols are used for footpath diagrams, but can also be used for special circumstances
BSicon gSTR.svg pale green symbols are used for unwatered canals, but can also be used for special circumstances (e.g. fare-free zones on a light-rail line)

bridge / tunnel[edit]

It should generally not all bridges / tunnels or overpasses be represented in a range table. Relevance for roads from main road (or similar highway) where, for flows in a similar size scale. Differentiation is of course necessary (e.g. for a small car may also lower the criteria used, a city with dozens of distance would be too crowded highway bridges). Generally, buildings of any size with special meaning (for the line, structurally, historically,...) relevant.

talk: bridge over water courses

For avalanche (rock falls) canopy, slope, etc. no bridge there own symbols. With sufficient relevance: Tunnel / Bridge + Note

talk: avalanche (rock falls) canopy, slope bridge

Passing points[edit]

Passing points are stations without passenger traffic BSicon DST.svg

See also[edit]