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Re: Railroad Gauge (Mr. Adams)

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Dave,

The story is pretty humorous.  I find the most entertaining bit of such
stories to be the length to which people will subsequently go to in an
effort to make such a legend to be true.

I fully expect to see something pop up one of these days in which an x-NASA
scientist equipped with highly accurate instrumentation confirms that the
'natural' gauge of Amtrak's Acela express as it hurtles down the Northeast
Corridor and deflects the track ----- is exactly the same as that of a rut
in Hadrian's wall plus or minus 2 mils.

Amazingly, 4' 8-1/2" it's also PRECISELY the length of Moe's reach when he
dope-slapped Curly and Larry.  Coincidence?

David Sharp


David:

Thanks for the additional info.  To be honest, I really wasn't sure if
it was true or not, but I remember the story to be pretty humorous.


Thanks,
Dave



-----Original Message-----
From: David Sharp [mailto:Ausgang(--nospam--at)e46fanatics.com]
Sent: Wednesday, February 20, 2002 4:16 PM
To: seaint(--nospam--at)seaint.org
Subject: Re: Railroad Gauge


Er, uh . . . I think it's time to get out the history books . . . or
visit
one of the many urban legends websites.

For a start, railroad gauges (or even gages -- if you prefer) have been
anything but uniform and standardized during the period in question.
For
that matter, some would argue they are still not standardized today.

Even in the 21st Century --- there are at least 3 'standard' railroad
gauges
in territory once under the control of Rome.  Perhaps the answer is that
only horses with backsides that were 'narrow gage' could be employed in
the
North of England --- leading of course to Stephenson's eventual adoption
of
4' 8-1/2"  (OK, that's his post 1840 revision from 4' 8")   But, what's
an
inch here and there between friends?

The link to the bit about the boosters for the Space Shuttle is a hoot.
Unfortunately, the size of objects carried via rail is determined by the
railcar width, not the gauge.  Railcar widths also vary, with the U.S.
having comparatively 'wide' cars as a result of the space allotted
between
sets of track.

I bet if we check the website for Pontiac -- we'll find that their
'Widetrack' vehicles are proof of the continuing impact of the 'standard
width' of a Trojan Horse.

David Sharp
TurnaSure LLC
Part-owner, Brooklyn Bridge

> Here is the full story:
>
>
>  http://www.astrodigital.org/space/stshorse.html
>
>
> Ronald Hill, P.E.
> HILL Consulting Engineering
> PO BOX 26525
> Birmingham, Alabama 35260 USA
> Phone: 205.823.4784
> FAX: 205.823.4145
> Email: ronhill(--nospam--at)hillce.com
> Efax: 509.275.8095
> http:\\www.hillce.com
>
> -----Original Message-----
> From: Dave Adams [mailto:davea(--nospam--at)laneengineers.com]
> Sent: Wednesday, February 20, 2002 12:56 PM
> To: seaint(--nospam--at)seaint.org
> Subject: (Off Topic) Railroad Gauge
>
>
> I think this may have been floating around at one time, but there was
a
> history on the gauge used for railroads that had something to do with
> the ruts in the road produced by chariots (maybe I'm way off)?  Does
> anyone have a copy of this tale?
>
> Thanks,
> Dave K. Adams, S.E.
> Lane Engineers, Inc.
> PH:  (559) 688-5263
> E-mail:  davea(--nospam--at)laneengineers.com
>
>
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