Different Gauges on Indian Railways

The East India Company intended to adopt the standard gauge of 1435 mm in India also. This proposal was, however, challenged by Mr W. Simms, Consulting Engineer to the Government of India, who recommended a wider gauge of1676 mm (5' 6”). The Court of Directors of the East India Company decided to adopt Mr Simms's recommendation and 5'6”finally became the Indian standard gauge. In 1871, the Government of India wanted to construct cheaper railways for the development of the country and the 1000-mm metre gauge was introduced. In due course of time, two more gauges with widths of 762 mm (2' 6”) and 610 mm (2'0”) were introduced for thinly populated areas, mountain railways, and other miscellaneous purposes.

The details of the various gauges existing on Indian Railways are given in Table 2.2.

Table 2.2 Various gauges on Indian Railways

Name of gauge

Width (mm)

Width (feet)

Route

kilometres

% of route kilometres

Broad gauge (BG)

1676

5'6”

39,612

63.2

Metre gauge (MG)

1000

3'3.37”

19,210

30.7

Narrow gauge (NG)

762

2'6”

3838

6.1

610

2' 0”

Total

-

-

62,660

100

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