Loading ...
Sorry, an error occurred while loading the content.

A smile for monday morn.

Expand Messages
  • joscelyncoolican
    Sorry Joel- I thought the list might need a Monday chuckle. jc The Canadian standard railroad gauge (width between the two rails) is 4 feet, 8.5 inches. That s
    Message 1 of 2 , Mar 7 7:18 AM
    • 0 Attachment
      Sorry Joel- I thought the list might need a Monday chuckle.
      jc

      The Canadian standard railroad gauge (width between the two rails) is
      4 feet, 8.5 inches. That's an exceedingly odd number.
      Why was that gauge used?
      Because that's the way they built them in England, and the Canadian
      railroads were designed by English expatriates.

      Why did the English build them like that?
      Because the first rail lines were built by the same people who built
      the pre-railroad tramways, and that's the gauge they used.

      Why did "they" use that gauge then?
      Because the people who built the tramways used the same jigs and
      tools that they used for building wagons which used that wheel
      spacing.
      Okay! Why did the wagons have that particular odd wheel spacing?
      Well, if they tried to use any other spacing, the wagon wheels would
      break on some of the old, long distance roads in England, because
      that's the spacing of the wheel ruts.

      So who built those old rutted roads?
      The first long distance roads in Europe (and England) were built by
      Imperial Rome for their legions. The roads have been used ever since.

      And the ruts in the roads?
      Roman war chariots first formed the initial ruts, which everyone else
      had to match for fear of destroying their wagon wheels. Since the
      chariots were made for (or by) Imperial Rome, they were all alike in
      the matter of wheel spacing.

      The Canadian standard railroad gauge of 4 feet, 8.5 inches derives
      from the original specification for an Imperial Roman war chariot.
      Specifications and bureaucracies live forever. So the next time you
      are handed a specification and wonder what horse's ass came up with
      it, you may be exactly right, because the Imperial Roman war chariots
      were made just wide enough to accommodate the back ends of two war
      horses. Thus, we have the answer to the original question.

      Now the extra-terrestrial twist to the story...
      When we see a Space Shuttle sitting on its launch pad, there are two
      big booster rockets attached to the sides of the main fuel tank.
      These are solid rocket boosters, or SRBs. The SRBs are made by
      Thiokol at their factory in Utah. The engineers who designed the SRBs
      might have preferred to make them a bit fatter, but the SRBs had to
      be shipped by train from the factory to the launch site.

      The railroad line from the factory had to run through a tunnel in the
      mountains. The SRBs had to fit through that tunnel. The tunnel is
      slightly wider than the railroad track, and the railroad track is
      about as wide as two horses' behinds.
      So, the major design feature of what is arguably the world's most
      advanced transportation system was determined over two thousand years
      ago by the width of a horse's ass.
      And you wonder why it's so hard to get ahead in this world...
    • CEB
      Hi Jocelyn, Thanks for long story showing what is BEHIND Canadian track gauge... There is probably some equally interesting story about SRBs, V-2s, etc. (It is
      Message 2 of 2 , Mar 7 10:56 AM
      • 0 Attachment
        Hi Jocelyn,

        Thanks for long story showing what is BEHIND Canadian track gauge...

        There is probably some equally interesting story about SRBs, V-2s, etc. (It is apples and oranges I suppose but some might argue that some new trains are way more advanced than Shuttle boosters designed in the 70s...)

        Todd
        ______________________________________________________________
        > Od: "joscelyncoolican" <joscelyn.coolican@...>
        > Komu: carfree_cities@yahoogroups.com
        > Datum: Mon, 07 Mar 2005 15:18:50 -0000
        > Předmět: [carfree_cities] A smile for monday morn.
        >
        >
        >
        > Sorry Joel- I thought the list might need a Monday chuckle.
        > jc
        >
        > The Canadian standard railroad gauge (width between the two rails) is
        > 4 feet, 8.5 inches. That's an exceedingly odd number.
        > Why was that gauge used?
        > Because that's the way they built them in England, and the Canadian
        > railroads were designed by English expatriates.
        >
        > Why did the English build them like that?
        > Because the first rail lines were built by the same people who built
        > the pre-railroad tramways, and that's the gauge they used.
        >
        > Why did "they" use that gauge then?
        > Because the people who built the tramways used the same jigs and
        > tools that they used for building wagons which used that wheel
        > spacing.
        > Okay! Why did the wagons have that particular odd wheel spacing?
        > Well, if they tried to use any other spacing, the wagon wheels would
        > break on some of the old, long distance roads in England, because
        > that's the spacing of the wheel ruts.
        >
        > So who built those old rutted roads?
        > The first long distance roads in Europe (and England) were built by
        > Imperial Rome for their legions. The roads have been used ever since.
        >
        > And the ruts in the roads?
        > Roman war chariots first formed the initial ruts, which everyone else
        > had to match for fear of destroying their wagon wheels. Since the
        > chariots were made for (or by) Imperial Rome, they were all alike in
        > the matter of wheel spacing.
        >
        > The Canadian standard railroad gauge of 4 feet, 8.5 inches derives
        > from the original specification for an Imperial Roman war chariot.
        > Specifications and bureaucracies live forever. So the next time you
        > are handed a specification and wonder what horse's ass came up with
        > it, you may be exactly right, because the Imperial Roman war chariots
        > were made just wide enough to accommodate the back ends of two war
        > horses. Thus, we have the answer to the original question.
        >
        > Now the extra-terrestrial twist to the story...
        > When we see a Space Shuttle sitting on its launch pad, there are two
        > big booster rockets attached to the sides of the main fuel tank.
        > These are solid rocket boosters, or SRBs. The SRBs are made by
        > Thiokol at their factory in Utah. The engineers who designed the SRBs
        > might have preferred to make them a bit fatter, but the SRBs had to
        > be shipped by train from the factory to the launch site.
        >
        > The railroad line from the factory had to run through a tunnel in the
        > mountains. The SRBs had to fit through that tunnel. The tunnel is
        > slightly wider than the railroad track, and the railroad track is
        > about as wide as two horses' behinds.
        > So, the major design feature of what is arguably the world's most
        > advanced transportation system was determined over two thousand years
        > ago by the width of a horse's ass.
        > And you wonder why it's so hard to get ahead in this world...
        >
        >
        >
        >
        >
        >
        > To Post a message, send it to: carfree_cities@...
        > To Unsubscribe, send a blank message to: carfree_cities-unsubscribe@...
        > Group address: http://www.egroups.com/group/carfree_cities/
        > Yahoo! Groups Links
        >
        >
        >
        >
        >
        >
        >
      Your message has been successfully submitted and would be delivered to recipients shortly.