Feb 26, 2016

Feb 26, 2016

Feb 26, 2016

# Railway Gauges - Types of Railway Gauges

/ On: Nov 30, 2017 /

## Definition

Gauge is the measure of distance between the railroad rails. The distance is usually measured from the inside top edge of the parallel rails.

## Standard Gauge

• Standard gauge probably in many countries of the world is 1435 mm. This measurement was developed by George Stephenson, a British railway engineer, using the width of coal wagons that were in use before the invention of the steam locomotive.
• In the United States, gauge can vary slightly between 4 feet, 8.5 inches to 4 feet, 9.5 inches (1,460 mm).
• All rail cars and locomotives built to this specification can use any standard gauge railroad line in the world. However, not all railroads have been built to standard gauge.

## Types of Gauges

### Narrow Gauge (2 ft to 2 ft 6 inches)

Some railroads use smaller distances, known as narrow gauge railroads. Narrow-gauge railways are cheaper to build and better adapted to mountainous terrain. Some narrow gauges are in use in mining operations, and in short-run railroads that must account for sharp curves and steep slopes. However, narrow-gauge railways are limited in their weight capacity and operating speed.

### Meter Gauge

• This type is 3 ft 6 inches or 1.069 meter, mostly used in Japan, South Africa and New Zealand

### Broad Gauge (5 ft to 5 ft 6 inches)

• Broad gauges are useful for heavy loads and higher rates of speed. Broad-gauge railways are standard in Russia, Finland, Ireland, India, Sri Lanka, Pakistan, Nepal, Bangladesh, Portugal, and Spain.
• When different gauges adjoin, for example at a nation's border, a break of gauge occurs. Some lines solve the problem by building dual gauge lines, which contain several different rails on a single rail bed for different gauges.
• Dual-gauge railways are in use in Australia, Argentina, Brazil, Vietnam, and Switzerland. Some locomotives and rail cars are built with adjustable wheels that can adapt to different gauge sizes.

## Difference in Gauges

• Gauge should be uniform otherwise it will cause problem for passengers as they have to change train where there are two different gauges
• No suitable for commercial goods. There will be load and unload of goods and will increase the cost of goods imported or exported
• Will require wagons of different gauges, thus create shortage or over crowed of wagons
• Difficult in an emergency or in war if it is needed to transfer army or people from one corner of the country to the other
• For different gauges, there will require a station consist of duplicate facilities such as platform, siding etc.