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The STANDARD GAUGE (also STEPHENSON GAUGE after George Stephenson , INTERNATIONAL GAUGE, or NORMAL GAUGE) is a widely used railway track gauge . Approximately 55% of the lines in the world are this gauge. All high-speed rail lines, except those in Russia , Uzbekistan , and Finland , are standard gauge. The distance between the inside edges of the rails is defined to be 1435 mm except in the United States, where it is still defined in Imperial and US customary units as approximately 4 ft 8½ in. It is also called the UIC GAUGE or UIC TRACK GAUGE, the EUROPEAN GAUGE in the EU and Russia, or UNIFORM GAUGE in Queensland, Australia .

CONTENTS

* 1 History

* 1.1 Origins

* 1.1.1 Non-standard gauge * 1.1.2 Almost standard gauge * 1.1.3 Standard gauge
Standard gauge
* 1.1.4 Dual gauge

* 1.2 The Royal Commission * 1.3 Regrets

* 2 Modern almost-standard gauge railways * 3 Road vehicles * 4 Legislation * 5 Installations * 6 See also * 7 Notes * 8 References * 9 Further reading * 10 External links

HISTORY

As railways developed and expanded, one of the key issues was the track gauge (the distance, or width , between the inner sides of the rails) to be used. The result was the adoption throughout a large part of the world of a "standard gauge" of 1435 mm (4 ft 8½ in), allowing inter-connectivity and inter-operability.

In North East England, some early lines in colliery (coal mining ) areas were 4 ft 8 in (1,422 mm), while in Scotland
Scotland
some early lines were 4 ft 6 in (1,372 mm). All these lines had been widened to standard gauge by 1846. Parts of the United States, mainly in the Northeast, adopted the same gauge, because some early trains were purchased from Britain. However, until well into the second half of the 19th century, Britain and the USA used several different track gauges. The American gauges converged as the advantages of equipment interchange became increasingly apparent. Notably, all the 5 ft (1,524 mm) broad gauge track in the South was converted to standard gauge over the course of two days beginning on 31 May 1886. See Track gauge in the United States .

ORIGINS

A popular legend that has been around since at least 1937 traces the origin of the 1435 mm (4 ft 8½ in) gauge even further back than the coalfields of northern England, pointing to the evidence of rutted roads marked by chariot wheels dating from the Roman Empire
Roman Empire
. Snopes categorized this legend as "false", but commented that "... it is perhaps more fairly labelled as 'True, but for trivial and unremarkable reasons.'" The historical tendency to place the wheels of horse-drawn vehicles approximately 5 feet (1,500 mm) apart probably derives from the width needed to fit a carthorse in between the shafts. In addition, while road-traveling vehicles are typically measured from the outermost portions of the wheel rims (and there is some evidence that the first railroads were measured in this way as well), it became apparent that for vehicles travelling on rails it was better to have the wheel flanges located inside the rails, and thus the distance measured on the inside of the wheels (and, by extension, the inside faces of the rail heads ), was the important one.

There was no standard gauge for horse railways, but there were rough groupings: in the north of England none was less than 4 ft (1,219 mm). Wylam colliery's system, built before 1763, was 5 ft (1,524 mm), as was John Blenkinsop 's Middleton Railway
Railway
; the old 4 ft (1,219 mm) plateway was relaid to 5 ft (1,524 mm) so that Blenkinsop's engine could be used. Others were 4 ft 4 in (1,321 mm) (in Beamish ) or 4 ft 7½ in (Bigges Main and Kenton and Coxlodge ).

The English railway pioneer George Stephenson spent much of his early engineering career working for the coal mines of County Durham
County Durham
. He favoured 4 ft 8 in (1,422 mm) for wagonways in Northumberland
Northumberland
and Durham , and used it on his Killingworth
Killingworth
line. The Hetton and Springwell wagonways also used this gauge.

Stephenson's Stockton and Darlington railway (S both gauges are within the tolerance for standard gauge. * the trams in Nuremberg nominally used 1,432 mm (4 ft 8⅜ in) during much of their existence, but have since been converted to standard gauge in name as well as fact * the Grand Junction Railway
Railway
, authorised 1833, opened 1837, connected to LMR. * the Newcastle & Carlisle Railway
Railway

Standard Gauge

* the Bolton and Leigh Railway
Railway
, authorised 1825, opened 1828, connected to LMR . * the Saint-Étienne–Lyon railway , commenced 1826, opened 1833. * the Grand Junction Railway
Railway
, authorised 1833, opened 1837, connected to LMR. * the Newcastle it also made no comments about future gauges in British colonies.

REGRETS

Robert Stephenson
Robert Stephenson
was reported to have said that if he had had a second chance to choose a standard gauge, he would have chosen one wider than 1,435 mm (4 ft 8 1⁄2 in). "I would take a few inches more, but a very few".

MODERN ALMOST-STANDARD GAUGE RAILWAYS

* The Mount Washington Cog Railway
Railway
, the world's oldest rack-and-pinion railway , uses a slightly-narrower 4 ft 8 in (1,422 mm) gauge . * The MTR
MTR
in Hong Kong uses 1,432 mm (4 ft 8⅜ in) gauge on lines owned by the MTR
MTR
Corporation . However, lines formerly operated (but which continue to be owned) by the Kowloon-Canton Railway
Railway
Corporation , including the Light Rail network , use 1,435 mm (4ft 8½ in) gauge. * The Washington Metro
Washington Metro
uses 4 ft 8¼ (1,429 mm), ¼ inch (6.4 mm) narrower than standard gauge.

* 1,445 mm (4 ft 8⅞ in) gauge is in use on several urban rail transit systems in Europe:

* Trams in Italy * Part of the Madrid Metro
Madrid Metro
* Trams in Dresden , Germany

ROAD VEHICLES

Several states in the United States had laws requiring road vehicles to have a consistent gauge to allow them to follow ruts in the road. These gauges were similar to railway standard gauge.

LEGISLATION

* United Kingdom: Regulating the Gauge of Railways Act 1846

INSTALLATIONS

COUNTRY/TERRITORY RAILWAY NOTES

Albania
Albania
National rail network 339 km (211 mi)

Algeria
Algeria
National rail network

Algiers Metro , Algiers tramway , Constantine tramway , Oran tramway , Oran Metro 3,973 km (2,469 mi)

Argentina General Urquiza Railway
Railway
(except for Ferrocarril Económico Correntino , which uses 600 mm or 1 ft 11 5⁄8 in) Buenos Aires Underground Metrotranvía Mendoza Tren de la Costa Other major lines are mostly 1,676 mm (5 ft 6 in) broad gauge , with the exception of the 1,000 mm (3 ft 3 3⁄8 in) metre gauge General Belgrano Railway
Railway
. Further information: Rail transport in Argentina

Australia Pacific National , Pilbara Railways , Sydney Metro
Sydney Metro
Further information: List of Australian railway companies Victoria (Australia)
Victoria (Australia)
built the first railways to the Irish broad gauge. New South Wales
New South Wales
then built to the standard gauge, so trains had to stop on the border and passengers transferred, which was only rectified in the 1960s. Queensland still runs on a narrow gauge but there is a standard gauge line from NSW to Brisbane. Further information: Rail gauge in Australia
Rail gauge in Australia

Austria Österreichische Bundesbahnen The Semmering railway has UNESCO World Heritage Site
World Heritage Site
status.

Bangladesh
Bangladesh
Only used for rapid transit systems: Dhaka Metro

Belgium NMBS/SNCB , Brussels Metro and tramway

Bosnia and Herzegovina
Bosnia and Herzegovina
Željeznice Federacije Bosne i Hercegovine and Željeznice Republike Srpske , Sarajevo
Sarajevo
tramways Further information: Rail transport in Bosnia and Herzegovina

Brazil Estrada de Ferro do Amapá ; from Uruguaiana to the border with Argentina and from Santana do Livramento to the border with Uruguay (both mixed gauge 1,435 mm and 1,000 mm or 3 ft 3 3⁄8 in metre gauge ); remaining tracks at Jaguarão, Rio Grande do Sul (currently inoperable); Rio de Janeiro Light Rail ; São Paulo Metro lines 4 and 5 ; Salvador Metro
Salvador Metro
194 km (121 mi)

Bulgaria
Bulgaria
National Railway
Railway
Infrastructure Company (NRIC), Bulgarian State Railways
Bulgarian State Railways
(BDZ), Sofia Underground, part of Sofia Tramway system

Canada National rail network (including commuter rail operators like GO Transit , West Coast Express , AMT ), Line 5 Eglinton , Union Pearson Express 49,422 km (30,709 mi)

China National rail network 103,144 km (64,091 mi)

Croatia
Croatia
Hrvatske Željeznice Further information: Transport in Croatia
Croatia

Colombia
Colombia
Metro de Medellín , Tren del Cerrejón, Metro de Bogotá

Cuba
Cuba
Ferrocarriles de Cuba
Cuba

Czech Republic
Czech Republic
České dráhy , Prague metro , all tram systems in the country ( Liberec
Liberec
has dual gauge 1,000/1,435 mm, with one meter-gauge interurban line to Jablonec nad Nisou ), funicular in Prague
Prague

Denmark Banedanmark and Copenhagen Metro

Djibouti
Djibouti
Addis Ababa- Djibouti
Djibouti
Railway
Railway

Egypt
Egypt
Egyptian National Railways

Ethiopia
Ethiopia
Addis Ababa- Djibouti
Djibouti
Railway
Railway
; Addis Ababa Light Rail Other standard gauge lines under construction.

France SNCF
SNCF
, RATP (on RER lines)

Germany Deutsche Bahn
Deutsche Bahn
, numerous local public transport providers 43,468 km

Greece Hellenic Railways Organisation (operated by TrainOSE
TrainOSE
) All modern Greek network, except in the Peloponnese

Hong Kong MTR
MTR
(former KCR network – East Rail Line , West Rail Line , Ma On Shan Line , Light Rail ) Other MTR
MTR
lines use 1,432 mm (4 ft  8 3⁄8 in) instead of 4 ft  8 1⁄2 in

Hungary MÁV , GySEV , Budapest metro , HÉV (Suburban railway), Tram
Tram
systems in Budapest
Budapest
, Debrecen
Debrecen
, Miskolc , Szeged
Szeged
, Budapest
Budapest
Cog-wheel Railway
Railway

India Only used for rapid transit systems: Bangalore Metro , Chennai Metro , Delhi Metro
Delhi Metro
(Phase 2 onwards), Gurgaon Metro , Hyderabad Metro Rail , Jaipur Metro , Kochi Metro , Kolkata Metro
Kolkata Metro
(Line 2 onwards), Trams in Kolkata , Lucknow Metro
Lucknow Metro
, Mumbai Metro , Navi Mumbai Metro . All of the under-construction and future rapid transit systems would be in standard gauge. Indian country-wide rail system ( Indian Railways
Indian Railways
) uses 1,676 mm (5 ft 6 in) broad gauge. Any future additions to this system would also be in broad gauge.

Indonesia
Indonesia
Railways in Aceh Province and Sulawesi Rest of the country uses 1,067 mm (3 ft 6 in).

Iran
Iran
Islamic Republic of Iran
Iran
Railways

Iraq
Iraq
Iraqi Republic Railways

Ireland Railway
Railway
Procurement Agency Luas
Luas
in Dublin
Dublin

Israel
Israel
Israel
Israel
Railways , CTS, operating the Jerusalem Light Rail

Italy Ferrovie dello Stato

Japan Shinkansen , JR Hokkaido Naebo Works (see Train on Train ), Keisei Line , Keikyu Line , Tokyo Metro (Ginza and Marunouchi lines), Toei Subway (Asakusa and Oedo lines), Kintetsu Railway
Railway
(Osaka , Nara , Nagoya , Yamada , Kyoto , and Keihanna lines and their associated branches), Keihan Railway
Railway
, Hankyu Railway
Railway
, Hanshin Railway
Railway
, Kyoto Municipal Subway , Kobe Municipal Subway , Osaka Municipal Subway (including the Kita-Osaka Kyuko Railway
Railway
), Fukuoka City Subway ( Nanakuma Line ), Sendai Subway (Tozai Line ), Nagoya Municipal Subway (Higashiyama , Meijō , and Meikō lines), Nose Electric Railway
Railway
, Yokohama Municipal Subway (Blue and Green lines) 4,251 km (2,641 mi), all electrified

Kenya
Kenya
Mombasa-Nairobi Standard Gauge Railway
Railway
Inaugurated May 31, 2017

Lebanon
Lebanon

All lines out of service and essentially dismantled

Libya
Libya
Network under construction

Lithuania
Lithuania
Rail Baltica First phase, from Kaunas
Kaunas
to the Polish border, completed in 2015. Second phase, from Kaunas
Kaunas
north to Talinn, Estonia, is in planning stage.

Luxembourg
Luxembourg
Société Nationale des Chemins de Fer Luxembourgeois
Société Nationale des Chemins de Fer Luxembourgeois

Macedonia Macedonian Railways

Malaysia
Malaysia
RapidKL
RapidKL
( Kelana Jaya Line
Kelana Jaya Line
, Ampang Line , MRT Sungai Buloh-Kajang Line , MRT Sungai Buloh-Serdang-Putrajaya Line ), KLIA Ekspres

Mexico Further information: List of Mexican railroads

Monaco
Monaco

Montenegro
Montenegro
Željeznice Crne Gore 3

Morocco
Morocco
Rail transport in Morocco
Morocco

Netherlands Nederlandse Spoorwegen and regional railways.

Nigeria
Nigeria
Lagos-Kano Standard Gauge Railway
Railway
; Lagos Rail Mass Transit Under construction; Abuja to Kaduna section operational.

North Korea
North Korea
Railways of the DPRK .

Norway Norwegian National Rail Administration , Rail transport in Norway

Panama
Panama
Panama
Panama
Railway
Railway
; Panama
Panama
Metro Regauged from 5 ft (1,524 mm) in 2001

Paraguay
Paraguay
Ferrocarril Presidente Don Carlos Antonio López, now Ferrocarril de Paraguay
Paraguay
S.A. (FEPASA) 36 km out of Asunción (used as a tourist steam line), plus 5 km from Encarnación to the border with Argentina, carrying mainly exported soy; the rest of the 441-km line awaits its fate, while redevelopment plans come and go with regularity. The section from west of Encarnación to north of San Salvador, plus the entire San Salvador–Abaí branch, have been dismantled by the railway itself and sold for scrap to raise funds.

Peru
Peru
Railroad Development Corporation , Ferrocarril Central Andino (Callao–Lima–La Oroya–Huancayo and La Oroya–Cerro del Pasco lines), Ferrocarril del sur de Peru
Peru
(operated by Peru
Peru
Rail) Matarani– Arequipa
Arequipa
Puno and Puno–Cuzco, Ilo–Moquegua mining railroad, Tacna–Arica (Chile) international line, (operated by Tacna province), Lima electric suburban railway

Philippines
Philippines
Manila LRT Lines 1 and 2 , and Manila MRT Line 3 .

Poland Polskie Koleje Państwowe , Warsaw Metro , most tramway systems throughout the country

Portugal Planned high-speed lines, Braga
Braga
and Oporto
Oporto
(Guindais) funiculars , Lisbon Metro , Oporto
Oporto
Metro (partly adapted from former 1,000 mm (3 ft 3 3⁄8 in) metre gauge ; tracks), Metro Transportes do Sul light rail in Almada
Almada
. All other railways use 1,668 mm (5 ft 5 21⁄32 in) (broad gauge ); some use 1,000 mm (3 ft 3 3⁄8 in) metre gauge ; Decauville
Decauville
uses 500 mm (19 3⁄4 in) gauge.

Romania
Romania
Căile Ferate Române , Bucharest Metro , Tram
Tram
systems in Botoşani , Brăila
Brăila
, Bucharest
Bucharest
, Cluj-Napoca , Craiova
Craiova
, Galaţi , Oradea
Oradea
, Ploieşti and Timișoara

Russia Rostov-on-Don tramway, lines connecting Kaliningrad with Poland

Saudi Arabia
Saudi Arabia
Rail transport in Saudi Arabia
Saudi Arabia

Serbia
Serbia
Serbian Railways

Singapore
Singapore
MRT

Slovakia
Slovakia
Železnice Slovenskej republiky
Železnice Slovenskej republiky
, Košice tramway system

Slovenia
Slovenia
Slovenske železnice

South Africa
South Africa
Gautrain
Gautrain
in Gauteng Province
Gauteng Province
Rest of country uses 1,067 mm (3 ft 6 in)

South Korea
South Korea
KRNA

Spain AVE
AVE
high-speed rail lines from Madrid to Seville, Málaga, Saragossa, Barcelona (-Perthus), Toledo, Huesca, and Valladolid, Barcelona Metro
Barcelona Metro
(L2 , L3 , L4 , and L5 lines), Barcelona FGC (lines L6 and L7 ), and Metro Vallès (lines S1 , S2 , S5 , and S55 ). All other railways use 1,668 mm (5 ft 5 21⁄32 in) (broad gauge ) and/or 1,000 mm (3 ft 3 3⁄8 in) metre gauge ).

Sweden Swedish Transport Administration
Swedish Transport Administration
, Storstockholms Lokaltrafik ( Stockholm metro , commuter and light rail lines ), tram networks in Gothenburg and Norrköping

Switzerland Swiss Federal Railways , BLS , Rigi Railways
Rigi Railways
(rack railway)

Syria
Syria
Chemins de Fer Syriens

Taiwan
Taiwan
Taipei Rapid Transit System , Taiwan
Taiwan
High Speed Rail , and Kaohsiung Mass Rapid Transit

Thailand
Thailand
BTS Skytrain , MRT , and Suvarnabhumi Airport Link

Tunisia
Tunisia
Northern part of the network

Turkey Turkish State Railways (also operates Marmaray ), metro networks, and tram networks Some tram networks use 1,000 mm (3 ft 3 3⁄8 in) metre gauge . Further information: Rail transport in Turkey

United Arab Emirates
United Arab Emirates
Rail transport in the United Arab Emirates
United Arab Emirates

United Kingdom (Great Britain) Entire rail network in Great Britain (but not Ireland) since standardisation by the Regulating the Gauge of Railways Act 1846

United States Modern national railroad network ; see Track gauge
Track gauge
in the United States The Washington Metro
Washington Metro
uses 4 ft 8 1⁄4 in (1,429 mm) gauge, which is 6 mm (0.24 in) narrower than standard gauge.

Uruguay
Uruguay
National rail network

Vietnam
Vietnam
North of Hanoi
Hanoi
Includes dual gauge (standard/metre) to the Chinese border.

SEE ALSO

* Trains portal

* Standard Gauge (toy trains)

NOTES

* ^ The gaps in the pedestrian crossings in Pompeii
Pompeii
could give credence or otherwise to this statement, but no relevant studies appear to have been made.

REFERENCES

* ^ Francesco FALCO (23 January 2013). "EU support to help convert the Port of Barcelona\'s rail network to UIC gauge". TEN-T Executive Agency. Retrieved 20 August 2013. * ^ "Spain: opening of the first standard UIC gauge cross-border corridor between Spain and France". UIC Communications. Retrieved 20 August 2013. * ^ "Displaceable rolling bogie for railway vehicles". IP.com. Retrieved 20 August 2013. * ^ Francesco FALCO (31 December 2012). "2007-EE-27010-S". TEN-T Executive Agency. Retrieved 20 August 2013. * ^ "Japan". Speedrail.ru. 1 October 1964. Retrieved 20 August 2013. * ^ "The Days They Changed the Gauge". Retrieved 1 June 2016. * ^ "Standard Railway
Railway
Gauge". Townsville Bulletin . 5 October 1937. p. 12. Retrieved 3 June 2011 – via National Library of Australia. * ^ "Standard Rail Gauge Set By Old Ox-Carts". The Worker . 58 (3122). Queensland,. 19 May 1947. p. 17. Retrieved 13 April 2016 – via National Library of Australia. * ^ A B "Railroad Gauges and Roman Chariots". Urban Legends Reference Pages. Snopes.com . * ^ A B C D E Baxter, Bertram (1966). Stone Blocks and Iron Rails. Newton Abbot: David and Charles . ISBN 0 715340 04 2 . OCLC
OCLC
643482298 . p.56. * ^ Tyne and Wear HER(1128) * ^ "http://www.drcm.org.uk/Content/Collections/The%20Wagons.htm". Retrieved 1 June 2016. External link in title= (help ) * ^ A B Vaughan (1997) . * ^ Whishaw (1842) , p. 91. * ^ "Public transport in and about the parish". London: St George-in-the-East Church. London and Blackwall Railway; London, Tilbury & Southend Railway. * ^ "http://www.mernick.org.uk/dlr/documents/09.pdf" (PDF). Retrieved 1 June 2016. External link in title= (help ) * ^ Whishaw (1842) , p. 260. * ^ Whishaw (1842) , p. 363. * ^ A B Jones (2013) , p. 33. * ^ Whishaw (1842) , p. 54. * ^ Whishaw (1842) , p. 273. * ^ Whishaw (1842) , p. 303. * ^ Whishaw (1842) , p. 319. * ^ "Trans-Australian Railway. Bill Before The Senate". Western Mail (Western Australia) . Perth. 2 December 1911. p. 17. Retrieved 15 March 2013 – via National Library of Australia. * ^ "Peoples\' Liberal Party". Bendigo Advertiser . 27 February 1912. p. 5. Retrieved 21 November 2013 – via National Library of Australia. * ^ Jones (2009) , pp. 64–65. * ^ "The Narrow-Gauge Question". The Argus. Melbourne. 2 October 1872. Retrieved 14 April 2012 – via Trove.nla.gov.au. * ^ "The World Factbook". Retrieved 1 June 2016. * ^ "The World Factbook". Retrieved 1 June 2016. * ^ Setti (2008) , p. 25. * ^ "http://www.metropolitan.bg/index_eng.html". Retrieved 1 June 2016. External link in title= (help ) * ^ "http://www.skgt-bg.com/index_en.htm". Retrieved 1 June 2016. External link in title= (help ) * ^ "香港鐵路(MTR)". 2427junction.com. 15 February 2006. Retrieved 20 August 2013. * ^ * ^ Allen (1987) . * ^ "Mexlist". 2007. Retrieved 29 November 2007. * ^ "Ferrocarril Central Andino". Railroad Development Corporation. 2007. Retrieved 29 November 2007. * ^ " Railway
Railway
Infrastructure". Vietnam
Vietnam
Railways. 2005. Retrieved 29 November 2007.

FURTHER READING

* Pomeranz, Kenneth; Topik, Steven (1999). The World that Trade Created: Society, Culture, and World Economy, 1400 to the Present. Armonk, New York: M.E. Sharpe. ISBN 0-7656-0250-4 . * Puffert, Douglas J. (2009). Tracks across Continents, Paths through History: The Economic Dynamics of Standardization in Railway Gauge. University of Chicago Press. ISBN 978-0-226-68509-0 . * Allen, Geoffrey Freeman (1987). Jane's World Railways, 1987–88. Jane's Information Group. ISBN 9780710608482 . * Baxter, Bertran (1966). Stone Blocks and Iron Rails (Tramroads). Industrial Archaeology of the British Isles. Newton Abbot: David & Charles . * Jones, Robin (2013). The Rocket Men. Mortons Media Group. ISBN 9781909128279 . * Jones, Stephen K. (2009). Brunel in South Wales. vol. II: Communications and Coal. Stroud: The History Press. pp. 64–65. ISBN 9780752449128 . * Setti, João Bosco (2008). Brazilian Railroads. Rio de Janeiro: Memória do Trem. ISBN 9788586094095 – via Google Books. * Vaughan, A. (1997). Railwaymen, Politics and Money. London: John Murray. ISBN 0-7195-5150-1 . * Whishaw, Francis (1842). The Railways of Great Britain and Ireland: Practically Described and Illustrated. London: John Weale (republished 1969, David & Charles reprints: Newton Abbot). ISBN 0-7153-4786-1 .

EXTERNAL LINKS

* "The Sydney Morning Herald". The Sydney Morning Herald
The Sydney Morning Herald
. 23 May 1892. p. 4. Retrieved 14 August 2011 – via National

.