Re: Rail Gauge.


Brunel's Broad Gauge (the REAL broad gauge...!) was 7ft, and was in
use on the Great Western Railway (and some of its branches) in
England for nearly 60yrs, until 1892 or thereabouts; in latter years
it was dual-gauged with standard to allow "compatibility" with other

"Red For Danger" was a book on all significant railway disasters from
the beginning of railways through to the mid-1950s. It includes such
disasters as the Tay Bridge collapse, Shrewsbury and Hawes Junction,
to name just a few. It was written by L. T. C. Rolt, who also wrote a
very comprehensive biography on Brunel.

Brunel was plagued regards the Great Western and Broad Gauge, by a
quasi-scientific heckler with the grandiose name of Dionysius
Lardner, who was always trying to prove (and always unsuccessfully)
how unsafe and generally useless Broad Gauge was in comparison to
standard gauge. Rolt makes continued references to this personage in
the Brunel biography.

--- In, "Dick Holland" <rholland@...> wrote:


Just as a 'throw in'. In the art gallery at Broken Hill there is a
painting of some harbour on the southern coast of England. On the
quay illustrated the rail gauge is that extreme broad gauge used by
Brunel (8ft???).

The picture is worth looking at if ever in BHQ.

Incidentally, I believe that this was regauged to standard in one
hit and done over a very short time. And, I remember reading in a
book called Red for Danger that on one occasion this broad gauge was
responsible for minimum damage/casualties in some 'corn field meet'
that took place in the latter years of its existence.
Richard Holland

Regional Inspector
Far West - Broken Hill

Mobile : 0427 010 184

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