|List of rail gauges|
Rail gauge is the distance between the inner sides of the two parallel rails that make up a railway track. A Rail profile is a Hot rolled Steel profile of a specific Shape or cross section (an asymmetrical I-beam) designed "Railroad" and "Railway" both redirect here For other uses see Railroad (disambiguation. Sixty percent of the world's railways use a gauge of 4 ft 8½ in (1,435 mm), which is known as the standard or international gauge. The standard gauge (also named the Stephenson gauge after George Stephenson, or Normal gauge) is a widely-used Rail gauge. Gauges wider than standard gauge are called broad gauge, those smaller are called narrow gauge. Broad gauge Railways use a Rail gauge (distance between the rails greater than the Standard gauge of. A narrow gauge railway (or narrow gauge railroad) is a Railway that has a Track gauge narrower than the of Standard gauge railways Some stretches of track are dual gauge, with three (or sometimes four) parallel rails in place of the usual two, to allow trains of two different gauges to share the same path. Dual-gauge or mixed-gauge Railway is a special configuration of railway track, allowing trains of different gauges to use the same track The term break-of-gauge refers to the situation at a place where different gauges meet. With railways a break-of-gauge is where a line of one gauge meets a line of a different gauge
New railways are usually built to standard gauge unless there is a compelling reason (e. g. compatibility with existing railways) to adopt another gauge. The advantages of using standard gauge are:
Historically, the choice of gauge has been partly arbitrary and partly a response to local conditions. Narrow-gauge railways are cheaper to build and can negotiate sharper curves but broad-gauge railways give greater stability and permit higher speeds. The standard gauge is a compromise between the narrow and broad gauges.
The standard gauge of 4 ft 8½ in (1,435 mm) was chosen for the first main-line railway, the Liverpool and Manchester Railway (L&MR), by the British engineer George Stephenson; however, the de facto standard for the colliery railways where Stephenson had worked was 4 ft 8 in. The standard gauge (also named the Stephenson gauge after George Stephenson, or Normal gauge) is a widely-used Rail gauge. The Liverpool and Manchester Railway (L&MR was the world's first inter-city passenger Railway in which all the trains were timetabled and were hauled for most of the distance The United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland, commonly known as the United Kingdom, the UK or Britain,is a Sovereign state located George Stephenson ( 9 June 1781 &ndash 12 August 1848) was an English Civil engineer and mechanical engineer Coal mining is the extraction or removal of Coal from the Earth by Mining. Whatever the origin of the gauge it seemed to be a satisfactory choice: not too narrow and not too wide.
Brunel on the Great Western Railway chose the broader gauge of 7 ft 0¼ in (2,140 mm) partly because it offered greater stability and capacity at high speed, but also because the Stephenson gauge was not scientifically selected. Isambard Kingdom Brunel, FRS (9 April 1806 &ndash 15 September 1859 (ˈɪzəmbɑrd ˈkɪŋdəm brʊˈnɛl was a British Engineer. The Great Western Railway ( GWR) was a British railway company and a notable example of Civil engineering, linking London with the West The Eastern Counties Railway chose five-foot gauge, but soon realised that lack of compatibility was a mistake and changed to Stephenson's gauge. The Eastern Counties Railway (ECR was an English railway company which began operating on 20 June 1839 with a train service running from a temporary terminus The conflict between Brunel and Stephenson is often referred to as the Gauge Wars.
In 1845 a British Royal Commission recommended adoption of 4 ft 8½ in (1,435 mm) as standard gauge, and in the following year Parliament passed the Gauge Act, which required that new railways use standard gauge. The term Royal Commission may also be used in the United Kingdom to describe the group of Lords Commissioners who may act in the stead of the The Parliament of the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland is the supreme legislative body in the United Kingdom and British overseas territories Except for the Great Western Railway's broad gauge, few main-line British railways used a different gauge, and the last Great Western line was finally converted to standard gauge in 1892.
See also Russian Broad Gauge
In the 19th century, Russia chose a broader gauge. Broad gauge Railways use a Rail gauge (distance between the rails greater than the Standard gauge of. The Russian Empire ( Pre-reform Russian: Pоссійская Имперія Modern Russian: Российская Империя translit: Rossiyskaya It is widely believed that the choice was made for military reasons, to prevent potential invaders from using the Russian rail system. Others point out that no clear standard had emerged by 1842. Engineer Pavel Melnikov hired George Washington Whistler, a prominent American railroad engineer (and father of the artist James McNeill Whistler), to be a consultant on the building of Russia's first major railroad, the Moscow – Saint Petersburg line. Pavel Melnikov could refer to some Russian figures Pavel Ivanovich Melnikov, a writer Pavel Petrovich Melnikov, an engineer George Washington Whistler ( Fort Wayne Indiana, May 19, 1800 &ndash April 7, 1849 in Saint Petersburg, Russia Moscow (Москва́ romanised: Moskvá, IPA: see also other names) is the Capital and the largest city of Saint Petersburg ( tr: Sankt-Peterburg,) is a city and a federal subject of Russia located on the Neva River The selection of 1,500 mm (4 ft 111⁄16 in) gauge was recommended by German and Austrian engineers but not adopted: it was not the same as the 5 ft (1,524 mm) gauge in common use in the southern United States at the time. Now Russia and most of the former Russian Empire, including the Baltic states, Ukraine, Belarus, the Caucasian and Central Asian republics, and Mongolia, have the Russian gauge of 1,520 mm (4 ft 11⅞ in), 4 mm (5⁄32in) narrower than 5 ft (1,524 mm), though rolling stock of both gauges is interchangeable in practice. The Baltic states (Balti riigid Baltijas valstis Baltijos valstybės or Baltic countries are three countries in Northern Europe, all members of the Ukraine (Україна Ukrayina, /ukrɑˈjinɑ/ is a country in Eastern Europe. Belarus ( Belarusian Беларусь / Biełaruś is a Landlocked country in Eastern Europe, bordered by Russia to the north and east Mongolia (mɒŋˈɡoʊliə, literally Mongol country/nation,) is a Landlocked Country in East Rolling Stock was a Newspaper of ideas and a chronicle of the 1980s published in Boulder, Colorado
Finland, which was a Grand Duchy under Russia in the 19th century, uses 5 ft (1,524 mm) gauge. Finland, officially the Republic of Finland ( is a Nordic country situated in the Fennoscandian region of northern Europe. The Grand Duchy of Finland (Magnus Ducatus Finlandiæ Великое княжество Финляндское ' Velikoe knjažestvo finljandskoe) was the Predecessor Upon gaining independence in 1917, much thought was given to converting to standard gauge, but nothing came of it.
Most of Finland's rail-freight cargo trade has remained with Russia. This trade remains because the Russian 1,520 mm (4 ft 11⅞ in) gauge is close enough to allow through-running.
The main railway networks of Spain and Portugal were constructed to gauges of six Castilian feet (1,672 mm) and five Portuguese feet (1,664 mm). Spain () or the Kingdom of Spain (Reino de España is a country located mostly in southwestern Europe on the Iberian Peninsula. Portugal, officially the Portuguese Republic (República Portuguesa is a country on the Iberian Peninsula. The two gauges were sufficiently close to allow inter-operation of trains, and in recent years they have both been adjusted to a common "Iberian gauge" (ancho ibérico or trocha ibérica in Spanish, bitola ibérica in Portuguese) of 1,668 mm. Portuguese ( or língua portuguesa) is a Romance language that originated in what is now Galicia (Spain and northern Portugal. Although it has been said that the main reason for the adoption of this non-standard gauge was to obstruct any French invasion attempts, it was in fact a technical decision, to allow for the running of larger, more powerful locomotives in a mountainous country. 
Since the beginning of the 1990s new high-speed passenger lines in Spain have been built to the international standard gauge of 1,435 mm (4 ft 8½ in), to allow these lines to link to the European high-speed network. Although the 22 km from Tardienta to Huesca (part of a branch from the Madrid to Barcelona high-speed line) has been reconstructed as mixed Iberic and standard gauge, in general the interface between the two gauges in Spain is dealt with by means of gauge-changing installations, which can adjust the gauge of appropriately designed wheelsets on the move. Huesca (Uesca Latin: Osca; Greek:, Ptol ii 6 § 68 is a city in Aragon, Spain. Madrid (pronounced in English in Spanish and colloquially in Spain) is the Capital and largest city of Spain. Barcelona ( Catalan bəɾsəˈlonə Spanish baɾθeˈlona is the capital and most populous city of the Autonomous Community of Catalonia Dual-gauge or mixed-gauge Railway is a special configuration of railway track, allowing trains of different gauges to use the same track Variable gauge axles (VGA are Axles that allow railway vehicles to pass from tracks of one Rail gauge to a different gauge A wheelset is the Wheel - Axle ( Wheel and axle) assembly of a Railroad car.  
There are plans to convert the whole broad gauge network to standard gauge, but so far the only visible indication is the use of dual gauge concrete sleepers (with two positions of bolt holes) on stretches of relaid broad-gauge track.
Originally, various gauges were used in the United States and Canada. The United States of America —commonly referred to as the Country to "Dominion of Canada" or "Canadian Federation" or anything else please read the Talk Page Some railways, primarily in the northeast, used standard gauge; others used gauges ranging from 4 ft (1,219 mm) to 6 ft (1,829 mm). Given the nation's recent independence from the United Kingdom, arguments based on British standards had little weight. The United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland, commonly known as the United Kingdom, the UK or Britain,is a Sovereign state located Problems began as soon as lines began to meet and in much of the north-eastern United States, standard gauge was adopted. Most Southern states used 5 ft (1,524 mm) gauge. Following the American Civil War, trade between the South and North grew and the break of gauge became a major economic nuisance. Causes of the war See also Origins of the American Civil War, Timeline of events leading to the American Civil War The coexistence of a slave-owning South With railways a break-of-gauge is where a line of one gauge meets a line of a different gauge Competitive pressures had forced all the Canadian railways to convert to standard gauge by 1880, and Illinois Central converted its south line to New Orleans to standard gauge in 1881, putting pressure on the southern railways.
After considerable debate and planning, most of the southern rail network was converted from 5 ft (1,524 mm) gauge to 4 ft 9 in (1,448 mm) gauge, then the standard of the Pennsylvania Railroad, over two remarkable days beginning on Monday, May 31, 1886. The Pennsylvania Railroad was an American Railroad, founded in 1846 Events 1279 BC - Rameses II (The Great (19th dynasty becomes pharaoh of Ancient Egypt. Year 1886 ( MDCCCLXXXVI) was a Common year starting on Friday (link will display the full calendar of the Gregorian calendar (or a Common Over a period of 36 hours, tens of thousands of workers pulled the spikes from the west rail of all the broad gauge lines in the South, moved them 3 inches (76 mm) east and spiked them back in place. The new gauge was close enough that standard gauge equipment could run on it without problem. By June, 1886, all major railroads in North America were using approximately the same gauge. The final conversion to true standard gauge took place gradually as track was maintained. 
In modern uses certain isolated occurrences of non-standard gauges can still be found, such as the 5 ft 2¼ in (1,581 mm) and 5 ft 2½ in (1,588 mm) gauge tracks of the Philadelphia streetcars, the Philadelphia subway cars and the New Orleans streetcars. The Southeastern Pennsylvania Transportation Authority ( SEPTA) is a regional public authority that operates various forms of public transit &mdash bus The Southeastern Pennsylvania Transportation Authority ( SEPTA) is a regional public authority that operates various forms of public transit &mdash bus Streetcars in New Orleans have been an integral part of the city's Public transportation network since the first half of the 19th century The Bay Area Rapid Transit system in the San Francisco Bay Area, chose 5 ft 6 in (1,676 mm) gauge. The San Francisco cable cars use a gauge of 3 ft 6 in (1,067 mm). The San Francisco cable car system is the world's last permanently operational manually-operated cable car system and is an icon of San Francisco, California A cable car or cable railway is a Mass transit system using rail cars that are propelled by a continuously moving cable running at a constant speed
In the 19th century, Australia's three mainland states adopted standard gauge, but due to political differences, a break of gauge 30 years in the future was created. With railways a break-of-gauge is where a line of one gauge meets a line of a different gauge After instigating a change to 1,600 mm (5 ft 3 in) agreed to by all, New South Wales reverted to standard gauge while Victoria and South Australia stayed with broad gauge. The standard gauge (also named the Stephenson gauge after George Stephenson, or Normal gauge) is a widely-used Rail gauge. South Australia is a state of Australia in the southern central part of the country Broad gauge Railways use a Rail gauge (distance between the rails greater than the Standard gauge of. Three different gauges are currently in wide use in Australia, and there is little prospect of full standardisation, though the main interstate routes are now standard gauge. This article is part of the History of rail transport by country series Following the British model Australians generally assumed in the 1850s
See also: History of rail transport in Australia
The first railway in British North America, the Champlain and St. Lawrence Railroad, was built in the 1830s to 5 ft 6 in (1,676 mm) gauge, setting the standard for Britain's colonies for several decades. This article is part of the History of rail transport by country series Following the British model Australians generally assumed in the 1850s British North America consisted of the colonies and territories of the British Empire in continental North America after the end of the American Revolutionary The Champlain and St Lawrence Railroad (C&SL was a historic railway in Lower Canada and one of the first railways built in British North America Well-known colonial systems such as the Grand Trunk Railway and Great Western Railway, along with the European and North American Railway and Nova Scotia Railway later expanded the use of broad gauge. The Grand Trunk Railway (GTR was a railway system which operated in the Canadian provinces of Quebec and Ontario, as well as the American This article is about a historic railway which operated in the British colony of Canada West later the Canadian province of Ontario The European and North American Railway (E&NA is the name for three historic Canadian and American railways which were built in New Brunswick The Nova Scotia Railway is a historic Canadian railway. It was composed of two lines one connecting Richmond (immediately north of Halifax In 1851 the 5 ft 6 in (1,676 mm) broad gauge was universally adopted as the standard gauge for the Province of Canada, and government subsidies were unavailable for railways that chose other gauges. The Province of Canada or the United Province of Canada was a British colony in North America from 1841 to 1867 The broad gauge was used until the early 1870s, after which time there was a gradual change of the industry to standard gauge over several years. Events and Trends Technology The invention of the prototype telephone by Alexander G However, each railway had to change quickly, coordinating locomotive and track replacement with rolling stock replacements or upgrades. The notion that rolling stock could earn money while on other railways had become attractive, and this spurred standardization.
The rise in standardization with the US came about because of increasing trade across the border after the American Civil War. Causes of the war See also Origins of the American Civil War, Timeline of events leading to the American Civil War The coexistence of a slave-owning South Some railways had installed dual gauge track, which was expensive, and others used variable gauge wheels, which proved unreliable. Variable gauge axles (VGA are Axles that allow railway vehicles to pass from tracks of one Rail gauge to a different gauge The Grand Trunk system started converting its border lines in 1872 and finished converting its lines east of Montreal in 1874. The Canadian government-owned Intercolonial Railway converted from broad to standard gauge in 1875 while still under construction. The Intercolonial Railway of Canada ( IRC or ICR) also referred to as the Intercolonial Railway, was a historic Canadian railway that operated
After the 1870s, the Canadian Pacific Railway (1880) and most major new lines were built to the standard gauge, including all the railways built through the Canadian Rocky Mountains to the Pacific coast. Events and Trends Technology The invention of the prototype telephone by Alexander G The Canadian Pacific Railway ( In addition to the CPR these included the Grand Trunk Pacific Railway, the Canadian Northern Railway and the Pacific Great Eastern Railway. The Grand Trunk Pacific Railway (GTPR was a historical Canadian railway The Canadian Northern Railway ( CNoR) is a historic Canadian The latter three were eventually acquired by Canadian National Railway, which is now the largest railway in Canada. All remaining Canadian freight railways use standard gauge.
In Toronto the Toronto Transit Commission subways and streetcars use 4 ft 10⅞ in (1,495 mm) gauge, making their equipment incompatible with standard gauge rail systems, including Toronto's own Scarborough RT system. Toronto (təˈrɒntoʊ colloquially pronounced or) is the largest city in Canada and is the provincial capital of Ontario The Toronto Transit Commission ( TTC) is a Public transport authority that operates Buses streetcars, subways and Rapid transit The Toronto subway and RT is the main Rapid transit (RT railway system in Toronto, Ontario, Canada operated by the Toronto The Scarborough RT (sometimes shortened to SRT or RT) is a Rapid transit line in the Scarborough district of Toronto, Ontario Ten years before standard gauge was established in Canada, but after it had been established in England, this unusual gauge was chosen to accommodate horse-drawn wagons on the streetcar tracks. The Articles of Agreement signed in 1861 between the City of Toronto and the Toronto Street Railways required "That the gauge of the said railways shall be such that the ordinary vehicles now in use may travel on the said tracks". After the Williams Omnibus Bus Line had become heavily loaded in 1861 the city of Toronto issued a transit franchise (Resolution 14 By-law 353 for a street railway There was no mention of a specific track gauge, but because ordinary wagon wheels did not have a flange, they could not travel on the same rails as conventional streetcars. To meet the requirement, the streetcar tracks were placed wide enough apart so that ordinary wagon wheels could run on the inside step of the tracks. (In practice, the five miles of T rail had no such step. ) This resulted in Toronto streetcar tracks being slightly broader gauge than standard-gauge tracks. Later, when the Toronto subway was built, it was designed to use the same track gauge as the streetcars. The Toronto subway and RT is the main Rapid transit (RT railway system in Toronto, Ontario, Canada operated by the Toronto This provided for sharing of rail equipment and maintenance facilities, and provided for future use of 'subway-surface' cars that could pass between systems. However, only a few streetcars have ever been used on the subway system.
Bangladesh, India, Pakistan and Sri Lanka inherited a diversity of rail gauges, of which 5 ft 6 in (1,676 mm) was predominant. Rail gauge is the distance between the inner sides of the two parallel rails that make up a railway track. ( Bengali: বাংলাদেশ inc-Latn Bangladesh) officially India, officially the Republic of India (भारत गणराज्य inc-Latn Bhārat Gaṇarājya; see also other Indian languages) is a country Pakistan () officially the Islamic Republic of Pakistan, is a country located in South Asia, Southwest Asia, Middle East and Sri Lanka, officially the Democratic Socialist Republic of Sri Lanka ( Sinhalese:, இலங்கை known as Ceylon before 1972 is an Island Indian Railways has adopted Project Unigauge, which seeks to systematically convert most of its narrower gauge railways to 1,676 mm. Indian Railways (भारतीय रेल Bhāratīya Rail) abbreviated as IR (hi भारे is a Department of the Government of India under the Ministry Project Unigauge is an ongoing exercise of the Indian Railways to standardise most of the Rail gauge in India towards a single 1676 mm (5 ft 6 in
The track gauge adopted by the mainline railways in Ireland is 5 ft 3 in (1,600 mm). Ireland (pronounced /ˈaɾlənd/ Éire) is the third largest island in Europe, and the twentieth-largest island in the world This unusual gauge is otherwise found only in the Australian states of Victoria, southern New South Wales (as part of the Victorian rail network) and South Australia (where it was introduced by the Irish railway engineer F. For a topic outline on this subject see List of basic Australia topics. South Australia is a state of Australia in the southern central part of the country W. Shields), and in Brazil. |utc_offset = -2 to -4 |time_zone_DST = BRST |utc_offset_DST = -2 to -5 |cctld
The first three railways all had different gauges: the Dublin and Kingstown Railway, 4 ft 8 in (1,422 mm); the Ulster Railway, 6 ft 2 in (1,880 mm); and the Dublin and Drogheda Railway, 5 ft 2 in (1,575 mm). The Dublin and Kingstown Railway (D&KR which opened in 1834, was Ireland ’s first railway This is a historical article For other information see Ulster Railways Ulster Railway was a railway company operating in Ireland. Dublin and Drogheda Railway (D&D was a railway company in Ireland. The Board of Trade, recognising the chaos that would ensue, asked one of their officers to advise. After consulting widely he eliminated both the widest and narrowest gauges (Brunel's 7 ft 0¼ in (2,140 mm) and Stephenson's 4 ft 8½ in (1,435 mm)), leaving gauges between 5 ft 3 in (1,600 mm) and 5 ft 6 in (1,676 mm). By splitting the difference, a compromise Irish gauge of 5 ft 3 in (1,600 mm) in was adopted.
Afghanistan is in an interesting position, because it is at the cross-roads of Asia and is almost completely without railways. This article is part of the History of rail transport by country series The history of rail transport in Ireland began only a decade Afghanistan /æfˈgænɪstæn/ officially the Islamic Republic of Afghanistan ( Pashto: د افغانستان اسلامي جمهوریت,  Should it decide to build anything more than the two current short lines from the former USSR, the choice of gauge will be complicated by its being surrounded by three different gauges. Iran to the west uses standard gauge, as does China to the east; to the south, Pakistan uses 5 ft 6 in (1,676 mm) gauge, while to the north, the central Asian republics of Turkmenistan, Uzbekistan, and Tajikistan use 1,520 mm gauge. For a topic outline on this subject see List of basic Iran topics. China ( Wade-Giles ( Mandarin) Chung¹kuo² is a cultural region, an ancient Civilization, and depending on perspective a National Turkmenistan ( Türkmenistan; also known as Turkmenia) is a Turkic country in Central Asia. Uzbekistan, officially the Republic of Uzbekistan ( Uzbek: O‘zbekiston Respublikasi or Ўзбекистон Республикаси is a doubly Tajikistan (təˈdʒɪkɨstæn or /təˈdʒiːkɨstæn/ Тоҷикистон tɔʤikɪsˈtɔn or, Persian تاجیکستان taajikestaan officially the Republic of The Afghan gauge issue is discussed in more detail at Transport in Afghanistan. Landlocked Afghanistan has almost no railways but the Amu Darya (Oxus River which forms part of Afghanistan's border with Turkmenistan, Uzbekistan, and
Most of the railway network of the People's Republic of China is standard gauge. Talk People's Republic of China) PEOPLE'S REPUBLIC OF CHINA ARTICLE GUIDELINES
In Hong Kong, the Kowloon-Canton Railway Corporation (KCRC), which currently running East Rail, West Rail and Light Rail uses 1,435 mm (4 ft 8½ in).
The Mass Transit Railway uses 1,432 mm (4 ft 8⅜ in) gauge, 3 mm (⅛in) narrower than standard gauge. MTR, or Mass Transit Railway, is the Rapid transit Railway system in Hong Kong. A new railway line across the Tsing Ma Bridge, an extension to the 1,432 mm gauge Tung Chung Line. Tsing Ma Bridge is a Bridge in Hong Kong, China. It is the world's seventh-longest span Suspension bridge. The is one of the 10 lines of the MTR system in Hong Kong. It links Tung Chung with Hong Kong Island. This 3 mm difference should cause no more problems than the 4 mm (5⁄32in) difference causes between Russia and Finland or the former 8 mm (5⁄16in) difference between Spain and Portugal.
Hong Kong Tramways, which has been operating tram service on Hong Kong Island since 1904, uses 3 ft 6 in (1,067 mm) gauge.
Mostly standard gauge.
Argentina and Chile use 5 ft 6 in (1,676 mm) gauge. For a topic outline on this subject see List of basic Argentina topics. Chile, officially the Republic of Chile ( Spanish:) is a country in South America occupying a long and narrow Coastal strip wedged between the Brazil uses 5 ft 3 in (1,600 mm) (known as "broad gauge", most common for passenger services and a few corridors in the Southeast) and 1,000 mm (3 ft 3⅜ in) (known as "narrow gauge" or "metre gauge", most common for cargo services). |utc_offset = -2 to -4 |time_zone_DST = BRST |utc_offset_DST = -2 to -5 |cctld Exceptions are the Estrada de Ferro do Amapá North of the River Amazon, which has 1,440 mm gauge and the new Line 5 of São Paulo Metro, which uses standard gauge. The São Paulo Metro ( Portuguese: Metropolitano de São Paulo, commonly called Metro) is the city of São Paulo 's Rapid transit The São Paulo Metro ( Portuguese: Metropolitano de São Paulo, commonly called Metro) is the city of São Paulo 's Rapid transit Argentina, Paraguay, Uruguay and Peru use standard gauge. Peru (Perú Piruw Piruw officially the Republic of Peru ( reˈpuβlika del peˈɾu is a country in western South America. In the past a few lines in Northern Chile also had standard gauge, as the only international railway between Arica (Chile) and Tacna (Peru) a bit more than 60 km has standard gauge. The El Cerrejón Coal Railway and Venezuelan Railways are also 4 ft 8½ in (1,435 mm).
In many areas, a much narrower gauge was chosen. While narrow gauge generally cannot handle as much tonnage, it is less costly to construct, particularly in mountainous regions. A narrow gauge railway (or narrow gauge railroad) is a Railway that has a Track gauge narrower than the of Standard gauge railways Sugar cane and bananas plantations are appropriately served by narrow gauges such as 2 ft (610 mm), as there is little through traffic to other systems. A narrow gauge railway (or narrow gauge railroad) is a Railway that has a Track gauge narrower than the of Standard gauge railways
There were also many narrow gauge lines, as the 1904 Railway Clearing House Railway Atlas shows:
|Southwold Railway||3 ft (914 mm)|
|Ffestiniog Railway||1 ft 11½ in (597 mm)|
|Croesor Tramway||2 ft (610 mm)|
|Welsh Highland Railway||1 ft 11½ in (597 mm)|
|Talyllyn Railway||2 ft 3 in (686 mm)|
|Welshpool & Llanfair Railway||2 ft 6 in (762 mm)|
|Vale of Rheidol Railway||1 ft 11½ in (597 mm)|
|Lynton and Barnstaple Railway|
|East Cornwall Mineral Railway||3 ft 6 in (1,067 mm)|
later converted to
4 ft 8½ in (1,435 mm) standard gauge
|Pentewan Railway||2 ft 6 in (762 mm)|
See the main article British narrow gauge railways
The United States has almost entirely converted to Standard Gauge. The Southwold Railway was a Narrow gauge railway line between Halesworth and Southwold in the English county of Suffolk. The Ffestiniog Railway (Rheilffordd Ffestiniog is a narrow gauge Heritage railway, located in North West Wales. The Croesor Tramway was a Welsh Narrow gauge railway line built to carry Slate from the Croesor slate mines to Porthmadog. The Welsh Highland Railway (WHR is a Narrow gauge railway in Wales, which originally ran from Dinas near Caernarfon to Porthmadog The Talyllyn Railway (Rheilffordd Talyllyn is a narrow-gauge preserved railway running for from Tywyn on the Mid-Wales coast to Nant Gwernol The Corris Railway (Welsh Rheilffordd Corris) is a narrow gauge preserved Railway based in Corris on the border between Merionethshire History The W&LLR was one of the few narrow gauge branch lines to be built under the provisions of the 1896 Light Railways Act. The Vale of Rheidol Railway (VoR Welsh: Rheilffordd Dyffryn Rheidol) is a Narrow-gauge gauge Heritage railway that runs for 11¾ miles between The Lynton & Barnstaple Railway (L&B opened as an independent railway in May 1898 The East Cornwall Mineral Railway was a narrow gauge Industrial railway opened in 1872 to serve the Iron ore and stone quarries around The standard gauge (also named the Stephenson gauge after George Stephenson, or Normal gauge) is a widely-used Rail gauge. The Pentewan Railway was a British Narrow gauge railway in Cornwall. There were more than a thousand British narrow gauge railways ranging from large historically significant Common carriers The standard gauge (also named the Stephenson gauge after George Stephenson, or Normal gauge) is a widely-used Rail gauge.
Queensland, Tasmania, Western Australia and parts of South Australia adopted 3 ft 6 in (1,067 mm) gauge to cover greater distances at lower costs. A narrow gauge railway (or narrow gauge railroad) is a Railway that has a Track gauge narrower than the of Standard gauge railways Queensland is a state of Australia, occupying the north-eastern corner of the mainland continent Tasmania is an Australian island and state of the same name It is located south of the eastern side of the Continent, being separated from it by Bass Western Australia is a state occupying the entire western third of the Australian continent. South Australia is a state of Australia in the southern central part of the country Most industrial railways are built to 2 ft (610 mm) gauge. Three different rail gauges are currently in wide use in Australia, and there is little prospect of full standardisation. For a topic outline on this subject see List of basic Australia topics.
In Ontario, the Toronto Grey and Bruce Railway and the Toronto and Nipissing Railway, were the first public passenger carrying narrow gauge railways on the continent of North America, coming into service in the summer of 1871. Although most Railways of central and eastern Canada were initially built to a Broad gauge, there were several especially on Canada's Atlantic coast which were Ontario (ɒnˈtɛrioʊ is a province located in the central part of Canada, the largest by population and second largest after Quebec The Toronto Grey and Bruce Railway was chartered in 1868 to build a narrow gauge railway from Toronto to Grey and Bruce Counties in The Toronto and Nipissing Railway was chartered in 1868 to build a narrow gauge railway in Ontario, Canada from Toronto to Lake Nipissing The gauge of 3ft 6in (1,067mm) was chosen on the recommendation of Carl Abraham Pihl, Chief Engineer of the Norwegian State Railways, who had adopted this gauge in Norway in the early 1860’s. Carl Abraham Pihl ( 16 January 1825, Stavanger – 1897 was a Norwegian Civil engineer and director of the Norwegian State Norges Statsbaner commonly know as NSB or the Norwegian State Railways is a Norwegian transport company The lines were converted to standard gauge in 1881-1882 and later absorbed by the Grand Trunk Railway (T&NR) and the Canadian Pacific Railway (TG&BR. The Grand Trunk Railway (GTR was a railway system which operated in the Canadian provinces of Quebec and Ontario, as well as the American The Canadian Pacific Railway ( Most of the trackage is abandoned but twenty miles of the T&NR from Toronto to Stouffville carries GO Transit commuter trains and a further twelve miles from Stouffville to Uxbridge, Ontario is operated as a tourist line by the York Durham Heritage Railway. Toronto (təˈrɒntoʊ colloquially pronounced or) is the largest city in Canada and is the provincial capital of Ontario Stouffville (ˈstoʊvɪl is the primary urban area within the Town of Whitchurch-Stouffville, Ontario in Canada. Stouffville (ˈstoʊvɪl is the primary urban area within the Town of Whitchurch-Stouffville, Ontario in Canada. Uxbridge is a township in south-central Ontario, in the Regional Municipality of Durham in the Greater Toronto Area, Canada. The York Durham Heritage Railway is a Heritage railway in Uxbridge Ontario, just north of Toronto. Twenty-six miles of the TG&BR from Toronto to Bolton, Ontario carries CPR freight trains, and about three miles from Melville Junction to Orangeville is operated by the Orangeville-Brampton Railway. Bolton is the most populated community in the town of Caledon, located in the Region of Peel, approximately 50 kilometers north-west of Toronto, in Orangeville is the name of several places In Australia: Orangeville New South Wales In Canada: Orangeville The Orangeville-Brampton Railway is a 55 Kilometre (34 Mile) long Short line Railway between Orangeville and Streetsville Junction
The Prince Edward Island Railway used 3 ft 6 in (1,067 mm) Cape gauge from its opening in 1874 until it merged with the Canadian National Railways in 1918, the same time as a new ferry permitted interchange with North America's rail network. The Prince Edward Island Railway (PEIR was a historic Canadian railway. From 1918-1930 there was a mix of standard, dual and narrow gauge in the province until CNR's standardization was completed; standard gauge being maintained until abandonment in 1989.
The Newfoundland Railway was constructed to Cape gauge as well, beginning in the 1880s, and this gauge was maintained under CNR ownership post-1949 until abandonment in 1988, except for some dual Cape/standard gauge track used at the ferry terminal to North America's rail network; standard gauge rolling stock was hauled in Newfoundland by changing out standard gauge wheelsets (or trucks) for Cape gauge wheelsets/trucks in Port aux Basques. The Newfoundland Railway was a railway which operated on the island of Newfoundland from 1898 to 1988 See also Merchant ship A train ferry is a Ship designed to carry railway vehicles A wheelset is the Wheel - Axle ( Wheel and axle) assembly of a Railroad car. A bogie (ˈboʊgi (BŌ-gē is a Wheeled wagon or trolley In mechanics terms a bogie is a Chassis or framework carrying wheels attached to a vehicle Channel-Port aux Basques (also Port aux Basques) is a town at the extreme southwestern tip of the island of Newfoundland
The New Brunswick Railway used Cape gauge until the 1880s when it was acquired by the Canadian Pacific Railway, after which time standard gauge prevailed. The New Brunswick Railway (NBR was a historic Canadian railway operating in western New Brunswick. The Canadian Pacific Railway (
A number of 3 ft (914 mm) narrow gauge mining and logging railways were built in the mountains and islands of British Columbia in the late 19th century, including the Kaslo and Slocan Railway, but all have since been either converted to standard gauge or abandoned. The Kaslo and Slocan Railway was a narrow gauge gauge railway between Kaslo, Slocan, and the mining community of Sandon in the Kootenay
The 3 ft (914 mm) White Pass and Yukon Railroad which was completed in 1900 at the end of the Klondike gold rush is Canada's last remaining narrow gauge carrier. The White Pass and Yukon Route ( WP&Y, WP&YR) is a Canadian and U The Klondike Gold Rush, infrequently referred to as the Yukon Gold Rush or Alaska Gold Rush, was a frenzy of Gold rush Immigration to and for It no longer carries freight, but is the busiest tourist railroad in North America. Its tracks connect to no other railroad but do connect to the cruise ship docks at Skagway, Alaska, which provide it with most of its passengers. Skagway (ˈskægweɪ is a first-class borough in Alaska, on the Alaska Panhandle.
New Zealand adopted narrow gauge 3 ft 6 in (1,067 mm) due to the need to cross mountainous terrain in the country's interior. New Zealand is an Island country in the south-western Pacific Ocean comprising two main landmasses (the North Island and the South Island Rail transport in New Zealand consists of a network of gauge ( Cape gauge) Railway lines in both the North and South Islands of New Zealand This terrain has necessitated a number of complicated engineering feats, notably the Raurimu Spiral. Background During the construction of the central section of the North Island Main Trunk railway between Wellington and Auckland a major obstacle was faced - how to cross the steep There are 1787 bridges and 150 tunnels in less than 4,000 km of track. Around 500 km of this track is electrified, on the North Island Main Trunk, between Palmerston North and Hamilton. Railway electrification supplies electrical energy to railway Locomotives and Multiple units so they can operate without having a Reciprocating
Bangladesh, India, Pakistan and Sri Lanka inherited a diversity of rail gauges, some of which was 1,000 mm (3 ft 3⅜ in). ( Bengali: বাংলাদেশ inc-Latn Bangladesh) officially India, officially the Republic of India (भारत गणराज्य inc-Latn Bhārat Gaṇarājya; see also other Indian languages) is a country Pakistan () officially the Islamic Republic of Pakistan, is a country located in South Asia, Southwest Asia, Middle East and Sri Lanka, officially the Democratic Socialist Republic of Sri Lanka ( Sinhalese:, இலங்கை known as Ceylon before 1972 is an Island Indian Railways has adopted Project unigauge, which seeks to systematically convert most of its narrower gauge railways to 5 ft 6 in (1,676 mm). Indian Railways (भारतीय रेल Bhāratīya Rail) abbreviated as IR (hi भारे is a Department of the Government of India under the Ministry
Some of the railway network of the People's Republic of China is 1,000 mm (3 ft 3⅜ in) gauge. Talk People's Republic of China) PEOPLE'S REPUBLIC OF CHINA ARTICLE GUIDELINES
The railways of Southeast Asia, including Vietnam, Cambodia, Laos, Thailand, Myanmar and Malaysia are predominantly 1,000 mm (3 ft 3⅜ in) gauge. Vietnam (ˌviːɛtˈnɑːm Việt Nam) officially The Kingdom of Cambodia ( formerly known as Kampuchea (, transliterated: Preăh Réachéanachâkr Kâmpŭchea) is a country in South East Laos (ˈlɑːoʊs or /ˈlaʊs/ officially the Lao People's Democratic Republic, is a Landlocked country in Southeast Asia, bordered by Burma The Kingdom of Thailand (ˈtaɪlænd ราชอาณาจักรไทย, râːtɕʰa-ʔaːnaːtɕɑ̀k-tʰɑj Burma, officially the Union of Myanmar ( pjìdàunzṵ mjàmmà nàinŋàndɔ̀ is the largest country by geographical area in mainland Southeast Asia. For the biogeographical region see Malesia Malaysia (məˈleɪʒə or /məˈleɪziə/ is a country that consists of thirteen states and The proposed ASEAN Railway would be a standard-gauge or dual-gauge, using both metre and standard gauge regional railway networks, linking Singapore at the southern tip of the Malay Peninsula, through the Association of Southeast Asian Nations region Malaysia, Thailand, Laos and Vietnam to the standard-gauge railway network of the People's Republic of China. Singapore The Association of Southeast Asian Nations, commonly referred to as ASEAN, ˈɑːsiːɑːn AH-see-ahn in English (the Official language For the biogeographical region see Malesia Malaysia (məˈleɪʒə or /məˈleɪziə/ is a country that consists of thirteen states and The Kingdom of Thailand (ˈtaɪlænd ราชอาณาจักรไทย, râːtɕʰa-ʔaːnaːtɕɑ̀k-tʰɑj Laos (ˈlɑːoʊs or /ˈlaʊs/ officially the Lao People's Democratic Republic, is a Landlocked country in Southeast Asia, bordered by Burma Vietnam (ˌviːɛtˈnɑːm Việt Nam) officially Talk People's Republic of China) PEOPLE'S REPUBLIC OF CHINA ARTICLE GUIDELINES Indonesia's railways are predominantly 3 ft 6 in (1,067 mm). The Republic of Indonesia ( (Republik Indonesia is a Country in Southeast Asia.
Except for the high-speed Shinkansen lines (which uses standard gauge), all of Japan Railways Group's network is narrow gauge, built to a gauge of 3 ft 6 in (1,067 mm). The is a Network of High-speed railway lines in Japan operated by four Japan Railways Group companies The Japan Railways Group, more commonly known as, consists of seven for-profit companies that took over most of the Assets and Operations of the government-owned The Shinjuku Line applies exceptional rail gauge, 1372 mm, to allow through operations to Keiō network, the tramway lines in Tokyo and Hakodate use the same gauge. The is a subway line of the Tokyo Metropolitan Bureau of Transportation ("Toei" network in Tokyo, Japan. officially, is one of the 47 prefectures of Japan and located on the eastern side of the main island Honshū. is a city and port located in Oshima, Hokkaidō, Japan. It is the capital city of Oshima Subprefecture
Taiwan started to build up railway in the Qing dynasty using 3 ft 6 in (1,067 mm) gauge. Taiwan ( Taiwanese: Tâi-oân/Tāi-oân (historically 大灣/台員/大員/台圓/大圓/台窩灣 is an Island in East Asia. The Japanese colonial government, which ruled from 1895 to 1945, continued using 3 ft 6 in (1,067 mm). The system is now under Taiwan Railway Administration. The Taiwan Railway Administration (abbreviated TRA is an agency of the Republic of China Ministry of Transportation and Communications responsible for managing maintaining The new Taipei Rapid Transit System and the metro system under construction in Kaohsiung use standard gauge. The Taipei Rapid Transit System ( also known as the MRT (Metropolitan Rapid Transit or the Taipei Metro ( is a Rapid transit system serving a The standard gauge (also named the Stephenson gauge after George Stephenson, or Normal gauge) is a widely-used Rail gauge. The Taiwan High Speed Rail (HSR) which started operation in January 2007 also uses standard gauge. The Taiwan High Speed Rail ( also known as the THSR) is a High-speed rail network that runs along the west coast of Taiwan. An isolated 2 ft (610 mm) gauge line on the east coast was regauged to 3 ft 6 in (1,067 mm) when the line was interconnected. The Alishan forest railway is narrow gauge 2 ft 6 in (762 mm).
The railways of South Africa and many other African countries, including Angola, Botswana, Congo, Ghana, Mozambique, Namibia, Nigeria, Zambia and Zimbabwe, use 3 ft 6 in (1,067 mm) gauge, sometimes referred to as Cape gauge. The Republic of South Africa (also known by other official names) is a country located at the southern tip of the continent of Africa Angola, officially the Republic of Angola (República de Angola Pronounced ʁɛˈpublikɐ dɨ ɐ̃ˈgɔlɐ Repubilika ya Ngola is a country in south-central The Republic of Botswana (Lefatshe la Botswana is a Landlocked nation in Southern Africa. The Democratic Republic of the Congo (République démocratique du Congo often referred to as DR Congo, DRC or RDC, and formerly known or referred to The Republic of Ghana is a country in West Africa. It borders Côte d'Ivoire (Ivory Coast to the west Burkina Faso to the north Togo to the Mozambique, officially the Republic of Mozambique (Moçambique or República de Moçambique, ʁɛ'publikɐ d musɐ̃'bik is a country in southeastern Africa Namibia, officially the Republic of Namibia, is a country in Southern Africa on the Atlantic coast Nigeria, officially named the Federal Republic of Nigeria, is a federal Constitutional republic comprising thirty-six states and one Federal The Republic of Zambia (ˈzæmbɪə is a Landlocked country in Southern Africa. See also Great Zimbabwe National Monument. For information about the March and June 2008 presidential elections see Zimbabwean presidential election Kenya, Uganda and others use 1,000 mm (3 ft 3⅜ in) gauge lines. The Republic of Kenya is a country in East Africa. It is bordered by Ethiopia to the north Somalia to the northeast Tanzania to the south The Republic of Uganda is a Landlocked country in East Africa. In Tanzania former East African Railways lines are metre gauge while the Tazara line is 3ft6in. Tanzania ˌtænzəˈniːə officially the United Republic of Tanzania (Jamhuri ya Muungano wa Tanzania is a country in East Africa bordered by Kenya The TAZARA Railway (also called the Uhuru Railway from the Swahili word for Freedom, and the Tanzam Railway) was built between 1970 and 1975
Haiti has had two different gauges on its railroads. Haiti ( English: ˈheɪ·tiː or haɪ·ˈjiː·tiː French Haïti a·i·ti Haitian Creole: The capital of Haiti, Port-au-Prince, has had two urban Railroad eras a Horsecar network between 1878 and 1888 and a second system which started with 130 km of rural line between Port-au-Prince, Saint-Marc, and Verrettes (1905–about 1960s) used 3 ft (914 mm) gauge. PortAuPrinceTapTapjpg|right|thumb|270px|A taptap (shared taxi in central Port-au-Prince Saint-Marc (Sen Mak is a coastal port town in western Haiti. It is in the Department of the Artibonite. Tramlines in Port-au-Prince (1878–1888 and 1896–1932), which was the first known track in Haiti, and a total of 80 km of rural line west to Léogâne and east to Manneville (1896–1950s(?)) used 2 ft 6 in (762 mm) gauge. A tram, tramcar, trolley, trolley car, or streetcar is a railborne vehicle, of lighter weight and construction than a Train PortAuPrinceTapTapjpg|right|thumb|270px|A taptap (shared taxi in central Port-au-Prince Haiti ( English: ˈheɪ·tiː or haɪ·ˈjiː·tiː French Haïti a·i·ti Haitian Creole: Léogâne (Leyogàn is the name of both a coastal city and an Arrondissement in Ouest Department, Haïti. Totalling over 100 km of track, the plantation railroads in the north and north-east most likely used 2 ft 6 in (762 mm). There were at least four separate isolated lines. The story of the demise of one Haitian railroad is that it was sold and physically picked up, and shipped to Asia during the Papa Doc period (approx. Demise is an Anglo-French legal term (from French démettre, from Latin dimittere, to send away for a transfer of an estate The capital of Haiti, Port-au-Prince, has had two urban Railroad eras a Horsecar network between 1878 and 1888 and a second system which started with Dr François Duvalier, known as " Papa Doc " ( April 14, 1907 – April 21, 1971) was the President of 1957–1971). Other gauges may have been used on the plantation tracks in the north and north-east of Haiti. Haiti ( English: ˈheɪ·tiː or haɪ·ˈjiː·tiː French Haïti a·i·ti Haitian Creole: The CIA fact book suggests that in the 1990s there were only 40 km of abandoned track left(?). History of Haitian railroads. The capital of Haiti, Port-au-Prince, has had two urban Railroad eras a Horsecar network between 1878 and 1888 and a second system which started with
Argentina, Bolivia, Brazil and Chile have 1,000 mm (3 ft 3⅜ in) gauge lines. For a topic outline on this subject see List of basic Argentina topics. The Republic of Bolivia (República de Bolivia) named after Simón Bolívar, is a Landlocked country in central South America. |utc_offset = -2 to -4 |time_zone_DST = BRST |utc_offset_DST = -2 to -5 |cctld Chile, officially the Republic of Chile ( Spanish:) is a country in South America occupying a long and narrow Coastal strip wedged between the Colombia and Peru have 3 ft 4 in (914 mm) gauge lines. Colombia (kəˈlʌmbɪə officially the Republic of Colombia () is a country in northwestern South America. Peru (Perú Piruw Piruw officially the Republic of Peru ( reˈpuβlika del peˈɾu is a country in western South America.
Dual gauge allows trains of different gauges to share the same track. Dual-gauge or mixed-gauge Railway is a special configuration of railway track, allowing trains of different gauges to use the same track This can save considerable expense compared to using separate tracks for each gauge, but introduces complexities in track maintenance and signalling, as well as requiring speed restrictions for some trains. If the difference between the two gauges is large enough, for example between 4 ft 8 in (1,422 mm) and 3 ft 6 in (1,067 mm), three-rail dual-gauge is possible, but if the difference is not large enough, for example between 3 ft 6 in (1,067 mm) and 1,000 mm (3 ft 3⅜ in), four-rail dual-gauge is used. Dual-gauge rail lines are used in the railway networks of Switzerland, Australia, Argentina, Brazil, North Korea, Tunisia and Vietnam. Switzerland (English pronunciation; Schweiz Swiss German: Schwyz or Schwiiz Suisse Svizzera Svizra officially the Swiss Confederation For a topic outline on this subject see List of basic Australia topics. For a topic outline on this subject see List of basic Argentina topics. |utc_offset = -2 to -4 |time_zone_DST = BRST |utc_offset_DST = -2 to -5 |cctld North Korea is the commonly used short form name for the Democratic People's Republic of Korea (or DPRK) a State located in East Asia, Tunisia (تونس Tūnis officially the Tunisian Republic ( is a country located in North Africa. Vietnam (ˌviːɛtˈnɑːm Việt Nam) officially
|1,000 mm (3 ft 3⅜ in) and 3 ft 6 in (1,067 mm) gauges are too close to allow three-rail dual gauge.||1,000 mm (3 ft 3⅜ in) and 3 ft 6 in (1,067 mm) gauges can be used together, with four-rail dual gauge - note the third (useless) 1,267 mm gauge.||1,000 mm (3 ft 3⅜ in) and 3 ft 6 in (1,067 mm) gauges can be used together with four-rail dual gauge, with bonus standard gauge.|
Africa is particularly affected by gauge problems, where railways of different gauges in adjacent countries meet.
Gauge rationalisation in Africa is facilitated since four-rail dual gauge of 1,000 mm (3 ft 3⅜ in) and 3 ft 6 in (1,067 mm) contains a hidden gauge, which can be made to be standard gauge 4 ft 8 in (1,422 mm) . The standard gauge (also named the Stephenson gauge after George Stephenson, or Normal gauge) is a widely-used Rail gauge. The four-rail system reuses and doubles the effective strength of the old light rails, which might otherwise have only a low value reuse as fenceposts. Dual-gauge or mixed-gauge Railway is a special configuration of railway track, allowing trains of different gauges to use the same track
Variable gauge axles (VGA), developed by the Talgo company and Construcciones y Auxiliar de Ferrocarriles (CAF) of Spain, enable trains to change gauge with only a few minutes spent in the gauge conversion process. Variable gauge axles (VGA are Axles that allow railway vehicles to pass from tracks of one Rail gauge to a different gauge Talgo is a Spanish manufacturer of railway vehicles It is best known for a design of articulated railway passenger cars in which the wheels are mounted Construcciones y Auxiliar de Ferrocarriles (CAF is a rail equipment manufacturer based in Beasain in the Basque Country, Spain. The same system is also used between China and Central Asia, and Poland and Ukraine. Both China and Poland are standard gauge, while Central Asia and Russia are 1520 mm gauge.
Possible reasons why the VGA system is not more widely used could include:
Further standardization of rail gauges seems likely, as individual countries seek to build inter-operable national networks, and international organizations seek to build macro-regional and continental networks. National projects include the Australian and Indian efforts mentioned above to create a uniform gauge in their national networks. The European Union has set out to develop inter-operable freight and passenger rail networks across the EU area, and is seeking to standardize not only track gauge, but also signalling and electrical power systems. The European Union ( EU) is a political and economic union of twenty-seven member states, located primarily in EU funds have been dedicated to convert key railway lines in the Baltic states of Lithuania, Latvia, and Estonia from 1,520 mm gauge to standard gauge, and to assist Spain and Portugal in the construction of high-speed rail lines to connect Iberian cities to one another and to the French high-speed lines. Lithuania, officially the Republic of Lithuania (Lietuvos Respublika is a Country in Eastern often referred to as Northern Europe or in the Latvia ( Latvija officially the Republic of Latvia (Latvijas Republika is a Country in Northern Europe in the Baltic region. Estonia, officially the Republic of Estonia ( Eesti or Eesti Vabariik) is a Country in Northern Europe in the Baltic region The EU has also developed plans for improved freight rail links between Spain, Portugal, and the rest of Europe.
All high-speed rail systems around the world have been built using or planning to use standard gauge, even in countries like Japan, Taiwan, Spain and Portugal where most of the country's existing rail lines use a different gauge (save for Russia and Finland that have 5 ft high-speed rail, very recent). Once standard gauge high-speed networks exist, they may provide the impetus for gauge conversion of existing passenger lines to allow for interoperability. All high speed lines have adopted 25 kV, 50 Hz AC., Overhead Line as the standard electrification system, except Germany, Sweden, Norway and Switzerland (15 kV AC) and the first high speed lines in Italy (3000 V DC). 25 kV 50 Hz AC is a type of Railway electrification system. The volt (symbol V) is the SI derived unit of electric Potential difference or Electromotive force. Direct current ( DC) is the unidirectional flow of Electric charge.
Mining railways which have little interconnection with other lines also tend to choose standard gauge to allow them to use off-the-shelf equipment, especially heavy-duty rolling stock.
The United Nations Economic and Social Commission for Asia and the Pacific (UNESCAP) is planning a Trans-Asian Railway that will link Europe and the Pacific, with a Northern Corridor from Europe to the Korean Peninsula, a Southern Corridor from Europe to Southeast Asia, and a North-South corridor from Northern Europe to the Persian Gulf. The United Nations ( UN) is an International organization whose stated aims are to facilitate cooperation in International law, International security The Economic and Social Commission for Asia and the Pacific ( UNESCAP or ESCAP) located in Bangkok, Thailand, is the regional arm of the The Trans-Asian Railway (TAR is a project to create an integrated freight Railway network across Europe and Asia All the proposed corridors would encounter one or more breaks of gauge as they cross Asia. Current plans do not call for widespread gauge conversion; instead, mechanized facilities would be built to move shipping containers from train to train at the breaks of gauge.
A proposal was aired in October 2004     to build a high-speed electrified line to connect Kenya with southern Sudan. Kenya has a relatively well-developed transport system compared to neighbouring countries in Africa Transport in Sudan during the early 1990s included an extensive Railroad system that served the more important populated areas except in the far south a meager road network Kenya and Uganda use 1,000 mm (3 ft 3⅜ in) gauge, while Sudan uses 3 ft 6 in (1,067 mm) gauge. The Republic of Uganda is a Landlocked country in East Africa. By choosing standard gauge for the project, the gauge incompatibility is overcome. The standard gauge (also named the Stephenson gauge after George Stephenson, or Normal gauge) is a widely-used Rail gauge. A bonus is that Egypt, further north, uses standard gauge. This article is about the country of Egypt For a topic outline on this subject see List of basic Egypt topics. Since the existing narrow gauge track is quite likely of a "pioneer" standard, with sharp curves and low-capacity light rails, substantial reconstruction of the existing lines are needed, so gauge unification would be reasonable.
Developments in 2007 may see several lines of different gauges, 1000 mm and 1067 mm meet in a hub in Rwanda
There is a story that rail gauge was derived from the rutways created by war chariots used by Imperial Rome, which everyone else had to follow to preserve their wagon wheels, and because Julius Caesar set this width under Roman law so that vehicles could traverse Roman villages and towns without getting caught in stone ruts of differing widths (another example is Qin Shihuang's law of a standard gauge for carriages and chariots after his unification of China). The chariot is the earliest and simplest type of Carriage, used in both peace and war as the chief vehicle of many ancient peoples Rome ( Roma ˈroma Roma is the capital city of Italy and Lazio, and is Italy's largest and most populous city with more than 2 Qin Shi Huang ( (259 BC – September 10 210 BC personal name Yíng Zhèng, was king of the Chinese State of Qin from 247 BCE to 221 BCE (during the A carriage is a wheeled vehicle for people usually horse-drawn The chariot is the earliest and simplest type of Carriage, used in both peace and war as the chief vehicle of many ancient peoples China ( Wade-Giles ( Mandarin) Chung¹kuo² is a cultural region, an ancient Civilization, and depending on perspective a National A problem with this story is that the Roman military did not use chariots in battle. However, an equal gauge is probably coincidence. Excavations at the buried cities of Pompeii and Herculaneum revealed ruts averaged 4 ft 9 in (1,448 mm) center to center, with a gauge of 4 ft 6 in (1,372 mm). Pompeii is a ruined and partially buried Roman town-city near modern Naples and Caserta in the Italian region of Campania, in Herculaneum (in modern Italian Ercolano) is an ancient Roman town located in the territory of the current commune of Ercolano.
The designers of both chariots and trams and trains were dealing with a similar issue, namely hauling wheeled vehicles behind draft animals. A tram, tramcar, trolley, trolley car, or streetcar is a railborne vehicle, of lighter weight and construction than a Train A train is a connected series of vehicles that move along a track ( Permanent way) to transport freight or passengers from one place to another A more likely theory as to why the 1,435 mm (4 ft 8½ in) measurement was chosen is that it reflects vehicles with a 5 ft (1,524 mm) outside gauge.
Italy defined its gauges from the centres of each rail , rather than the inside edges of the rails, giving some unusual measurements (950 mm instead of 1000 mm). According to the law of 28. VII. 1879, the only legal gauge widths in Italy were 1500, 1000, and 750 measured on the middle of the rail, corresponding to 1445, 950, and 700 mm inside the rail.