Re: [MedievalSawdust] Re: looking for tidbits of history
- The Connections claim about chariots to solid rocket boosters is shaky,
at best. Railroad gauges around the world vary way too much for
someone to come to that conclusion.
US Standard Gauge is 4'8.5" = 1435mm, but that was not standard until
May 31, 1886 when all the southern railroads shifted their western
rails over by 3" from 5' = 1520mm.
Canada used 5'6" broad gauge until the 1870s when their railways
gradually shifted to 4'8.5"/1435mm standard.
In GB - standard gauge is 4'8.5" = 1435mm - started by George
Stephenson (no-one really knows why he added the extra half inch over
the colliery trams he built before the Liverpool and Manchester
Railway). Isembard Brunel built the Great Western Railway (second in
GB) at 7' 1/4" = 2140mm. The gauge wars in GB lasted until 1892.
Ireland started with three gauges - Stephenson's 4'8.5", Brunel's
7'1/4" and 5'3" but has standardized on 5'3".
Australia had settled on 4'8.5" in the 19th century, then the three
major states decided to shift to the Irish 5'3" - then New South Wales
reneged and stayed with 4'8.5" - now Australia has three different
Russia started with 5'/1524mm because an American Southerner engineered
the first major railroad between St. Petersburg and Moscow. Russia now
uses 4'12 7/8"/1520mm (although Finland still uses the original Russian
The Indian sub-continent had many gauges but is standardizing on
UniGauge - 5'6"/1676mm.
Basically, the world is a mess of different gauges - there has never
been a standardization around the world on a gauge. Even the original
4'8.5"/1435mm gauge was not original - the colliery trams that the
Connections article cites were actually 4'8". Chariot ruts in Pompeii
were 4'9" center to center - but gauge is measured between the inside
of the rails, which was 4'6" in the Roman chariot ruts.
--- eamonnmaccampbell <celticdragon_68@...> wrote:
> --- In firstname.lastname@example.org, Alex Haugland <ahauglan@...>
> With the invention of the railroad in England,
> > Carriage axles were used for the first trains, thus setting the
> width of
> > the tracks to be the same as that of the Roman chariot axle.
> > railroad technology was imported into the US, leading to us using
> > same width,
> > --Alysaundre Weldon d'Ath
> > Barony of Adiantum, An Tir
> I believe the US and European rail gauges are different. Europe is
> narrower if I'm thinking correctly.