Re: Narrow gauge - in 1905

Ken Martin

By 1905 the fervor for narrow gauge was over. While there may have been some savings in construction as he points out the cost of maintenance is the same and where costs really add up is interchange where you have to unload one car and then load another car. It was one thing in the 1870’s where you have 27’ ng and 28’ sg cars but by 1905 standard gauge cars are 34’ and starting to get 40’ cars and you get to having two narrow gauge cars to one standard gauge car. By 1905 many narrow gauge roads were converting to standard gauge. Even the Rio Grande was building standard gauge also look at the South Pacific Coast (1906). 

The EBT was unique in that it’s main traffic was coal to the breaker in narrow gauge hoppers, unloaded, sorted and then loaded into standard gauge cars. So you avoided much of the interchange expense.

Ken Martin

On Jun 16, 2021, at 12:43 PM, Russ Norris <rbnorrisjr@...> wrote:

Really interesting, John, that the author has absolutely nothing good to say about "the narrow gage myth".  I model the East Broad Top, which ran successfully from 1875 until 1956, and for much of its lifetime showed a profit for the shareholders.  I'm sure you could think of other narrow gauge railroads for which the same could be said.  And this was written at a time when the country was covered with narrow gauge railroads.  Amazing.

Russ Norris

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