- Narrow gauge - in 1905
Re: Narrow gauge - in 1905
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The original proponent of the narrow gauge interurban missed several issues associated with interurbans... particularly the use of public street right of way, and the ability to operate on streetcar tracks into or through cities... Adopting a strange gauge would prevent sharing tracks with local streetcars. I would also suggest that interurbans were in many cases the "new narrow gauge" serving communities which could not justify a conventional railroad line...
As for Russ... The East Broad Top was successful in part because the coal already had to be unloaded for cleaning and sizing, so the break of gauge was not an issue.
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.
I have recently been combing the technical press for articles on tunnel construction, and ran across a 1905 evaluation of the cost savings to be expected, in constructing and operating light railways on a narrow gauge.
This is by the editor of Engineering News, probably the leading engineering publication in North America at that time. It begins on the lower left of the following page:
Russ Norris, MMR
Cape Cod, Massachusetts
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