Gauges on World Railways

Various gauges have been adopted by different railways in the world due to historical and other considerations. In British Railways, a gauge of 1525 mm (5 feet) was initially adopted, but the wheel flanges at that time were on the outside of the rails. Subsequently, in order to guide the wheels better, the flanges were made inside the rails. The gauge then became 1435 mm (4'8.5"), as at that time the width of the rail at the top was 45 mm (1.75 "). The 1435-mm gauge became the standard gauge in most European Railways. The approximate proportions of various gauges on world railways are given in Table 2.1.

Table 2.1 Various gauges on world railways

Type of gauge

Gauge

Gauge

% of total

Countries

(mm)

(feet)

length

Standard gauge

1435

4' 8.5"

62

England, USA, Canada, Turkey, Persia, and China

Table 2.1 (contd)

Type of gauge

Gauge

(mm)

Gauge

(feet)

% of total length

Countries

Broad gauge

1676

5'6

6

India, Pakistan, Ceylon, Brazil, Argentina

Broad gauge

1524

5'0

9

Russia, Finland

Cape gauge

1067

3'6

8

Africa, Japan, Java, Australia, and New Zealand

Metre gauge

1000

3'3.5

9

India, France, Switzerland, and Argentina

23 various other gauges

Different

gauges

Different

gauges

6

Various countries

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