The standard gauge and a horse's a$$

The standard gauge and a horse's a$$

Postby ConducTTor » Thu Jan 02, 2014 7:04 pm

From www.nonsensefactory.com/a-horses-behind ... ad-tracks/

The U.S. Standard railroad gauge (distance between the 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 English expatriates designed the U.S. Railroads.

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 had used for building wagons, which used that wheel spacing.

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?
Imperial Rome built the first long distance roads in Europe (including England ) for their legions. Those roads have been used ever since.

And the ruts in the roads? Roman war chariots formed the initial ruts, which everyone else had to match for fear of destroying their wagon wheels.

Since the chariots were made for Imperial Rome , they were all alike in the matter of wheel spacing. Therefore, the United States standard railroad gauge of 4 feet, 8.5 inches is derived from the original specifications for an Imperial Roman war chariot. In other words, bureaucracies live forever.

So the next time you are handed a specification, procedure, or process, and wonder, ‘What horse’s Haggis came up with this?’ , you may be exactly right.

Imperial Roman army chariots were made just wide enough to accommodate the rear ends of two war horses .

Now, the twist to the story:

When you saw a Space Shuttle sitting on its launch pad, you will notice that 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 would have preferred to make them a bit larger, but the SRBs had to be shipped by train from the factory to the launch site. The railroad line from the factory happens to run through a tunnel in the mountains and the SRBs had to fit through that tunnel. The tunnel is slightly wider than the railroad track, and the railroad track, as you now know, is about as wide as two horses’ behinds.

So, a major Space Shuttle 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 Haggis.

And you thought being a horse’s Haggis wasn’t important!

Now you know, Horses’ Asses control almost everything.
What people think: "liberals/conservatives are ruining my country"
What the ruling class know: divide and conquer
User avatar
ConducTTor
Site Admin
 
Posts: 8608
Images: 13
Joined: Sat May 23, 2009 4:52 pm
Location: Atlanta GA USA

Re: The standard gauge and a horse's a$$

Postby CaTTwoman281 » Thu Jan 02, 2014 7:18 pm

There actually was a multi-page article in Trains Magazine some years ago that covered the hows and whys of standard gauge, and it more or less boiled down to rivalries and connections to those in power.

Other than that, it was a rather funny diatribe.
Real Women Not Only Drive Diesel Trucks, They Drive Diesel Tractors!
User avatar
CaTTwoman281
 
Posts: 518
Joined: Wed Jan 06, 2010 2:12 am
Location: Bowdon, Georgia, USA

Re: The standard gauge and a horse's a$$

Postby ConducTTor » Thu Jan 02, 2014 11:25 pm

So is the above true (the horse part)?
What people think: "liberals/conservatives are ruining my country"
What the ruling class know: divide and conquer
User avatar
ConducTTor
Site Admin
 
Posts: 8608
Images: 13
Joined: Sat May 23, 2009 4:52 pm
Location: Atlanta GA USA

Re: The standard gauge and a horse's a$$

Postby CaTTwoman281 » Thu Jan 02, 2014 11:37 pm

ConducTTor wrote:So is the above true (the horse part)?


The horse part is false.

The "original standard" gauge was 5', measured from the outside of the rails, as most rail carts of the time rode outside the rails. When George Stephenson developed his track, he went for the same track, but went for between the rails, which came up with around 4' 8.5", to which he added 1/2" to allow for movement of the axles to preclude excessive binding of flanges on curves.

The influence of Stephenson on early railroads is the key for why 1435mm is the "standard".
Real Women Not Only Drive Diesel Trucks, They Drive Diesel Tractors!
User avatar
CaTTwoman281
 
Posts: 518
Joined: Wed Jan 06, 2010 2:12 am
Location: Bowdon, Georgia, USA

Re: The standard gauge and a horse's a$$

Postby ConducTTor » Fri Jan 03, 2014 12:30 am

Ah, I see. Thanks. Well, fun story any way.
What people think: "liberals/conservatives are ruining my country"
What the ruling class know: divide and conquer
User avatar
ConducTTor
Site Admin
 
Posts: 8608
Images: 13
Joined: Sat May 23, 2009 4:52 pm
Location: Atlanta GA USA

Re: The standard gauge and a horse's a$$

Postby CaTTwoman281 » Fri Jan 03, 2014 12:44 am

ConducTTor wrote:Ah, I see. Thanks. Well, fun story any way.


Never forget: behind every tall tale and anecdote is cold hard facts that are often lengthy.
Real Women Not Only Drive Diesel Trucks, They Drive Diesel Tractors!
User avatar
CaTTwoman281
 
Posts: 518
Joined: Wed Jan 06, 2010 2:12 am
Location: Bowdon, Georgia, USA

Re: The standard gauge and a horse's a$$

Postby Arseny » Fri Jan 03, 2014 2:51 am

As for us, we still use 5ft gauge. BTW, we got it from the American South.

And do you know WHY? :lol:

A long time ago, when the first Russian railroad Saint-Petersburg - Moscow had been being built, the engineers came to the Tsar Nikolay I and asked him, if they should make the railroad gauge the same as European gauge, or maybe they should make it a bit wider.
"What?!" - asked Tsar - "Wider?! For a f#cking dick you should make it wider?!"

But engineers understood him too literally...

Since that time russian gauge is 9 cm wider...
:wink:
User avatar
Arseny
 
Posts: 2711
Joined: Fri Jul 03, 2009 4:42 am
Location: Saint-Petersburg, Russia

Re: The standard gauge and a horse's a$$

Postby TTTerrific » Fri Jan 03, 2014 7:16 pm

Arseny,

Really!? :crazy:
TTTerrific
 
Posts: 148
Joined: Mon Feb 14, 2011 2:14 am
Location: Hollister, California

Re: The standard gauge and a horse's a$$

Postby CaTTwoman281 » Fri Jan 03, 2014 7:25 pm

And this is how tall tales and legends begin...
Real Women Not Only Drive Diesel Trucks, They Drive Diesel Tractors!
User avatar
CaTTwoman281
 
Posts: 518
Joined: Wed Jan 06, 2010 2:12 am
Location: Bowdon, Georgia, USA

Re: The standard gauge and a horse's a$$

Postby Arseny » Sat Jan 04, 2014 2:29 am

TTTerrific wrote:Really!? :crazy:


The fact is that we got the 5ft gauge from the American South.
Who knows why some planter decided to make it 9cm wider... :wink:

BTW, the Finland got the same gauge, as part of Russian Empire.
As a result, now we have high-speed "Allegro" train and can use it without wheels/trucks change.
But technical specifications for this train requires 1522 mm - non-existing gauge at all. :roll:
User avatar
Arseny
 
Posts: 2711
Joined: Fri Jul 03, 2009 4:42 am
Location: Saint-Petersburg, Russia

Next

Return to General Discussion

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 0 guests