Re: Best gauge

Michael J


Michael, are you able to give an indication of the curves used and
maybe the clearances or the size of the rolling stock used on the
mountain Simla line in India?
Always happy to oblige. The minimum radius of the Shimla line was 45
degrees, which I understand is 123ft radius. This compares with the
minimum radius on the VRNG, which was 2 chains, or 132ft.

Most of the locos I've seen seem to be a little narrower - about 7'6"
but overall size about the same. So maybe a slightly smaller loading
gauge. For the Shimla 2-6-2T locos:

Wheelbase Rigid 6'
Wheelbase overall 17'6"
TF 14,112lb
Weight total 34.97
Max axle weight 8.55

For a VR NA:

Wheelbase Rigid 8'
Wheelbase overall ?
TF 12,515lb
Weight total 35.3
Max axle weight 9.2

So there is not much difference. The Shimla loco acheves a greater TF
despite being a fraction lighter, probably because of better
distribution of weight.

Rolling stock is almost univerally smaller than the locos, and most
Indian designs I have seen are 7' wide.

I suspect that in other cases the gauge chosen was for more arbitary
reasons. Mention was made that in certain industries had a tradition
of certain gauges.
And for industrial lines I've came across a huge variety of gauges.
There do seem to traditions - for 2'6" gauge in Britain, peat railways
(one built as recently as 2000), military instilations, gasworks, and
others , in Pensylvania steel milla and coal mines, in Lousianna sugar
lines. There seem to have been a "nest" of 2'6" logging lines around
the Erica district.



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