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How 20" gauge was used

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  • crannyjohn
    Hi all, I will keep uprgrading the list as I get information so thanks. The list gives clues about how and why 20 gauge was used. The period around the turn
    Message 1 of 1 , Jul 1, 2007
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      Hi all,

      I will keep uprgrading the list as I get information so thanks.

      The list gives clues about how and why 20" gauge was used. The
      period around the turn of the century seems to be its peak
      popularity. It seems to be associated with medium size projects that
      used portable tracks which is how Decauville and Fowler marketed
      them. It would seem that they were the modern replacement at the
      time for small teams of horses. Some might have been the upgrading
      of already existing hand or animal worked lines.

      Uses I see include sugar cane, underground mining, surface delivery
      of mining ores etc., firewood, tempory construction lines,
      brickworks and internal industrial lines.

      2' gauge lines seemed to take over this role after WW1; I guess
      because so much 2nd hand stuff was available and it became the
      future defacto standard. Was there any real advantage for 20" gauge
      over 2'gauge anyway?

      Some lines seemed to have hung onto 20" gauge for a lot longer
      presumably because they had so much existing equipment tied up in
      the gauge that it was uneconomic to convert.

      In my case my plans are to model a Pacific island phosphate line
      [see my article on Angaur in Locomotives International No 78]. There
      seems a lot of info on line about these phoshate lines. I haven't
      heard of one being built for 20" though. I hope someone can tell me
      of a prototype for this. Not that it matters; it could have been
      because it fits the overall critera above.

      Cheers
      John
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