• It is the classic example of "We've always done it this way!" American railroads were built by British expatriates, so they laid the rails the same gauge as those of British railroads. The British decided that gauge because the wheels on the coaches were built on the same jigs as the wheels on horse drawn carriages. That gauge was decided so that carriage wheels would fit in the ruts of many of the dirt roads of Europe. Those roads were originally built by the ancient Romans, who decided that width because it would be convenient for their chariots. Yep...4 feet 8 and one half inches wide...
    • Thinker
      The wheels on the chariots were set by the distance across the rumps of the horses that pulled the chariots.
    • Roaring
      That's fascinating!
  • there are also narrow guage rails for mountains etc
    • Thinker
      There is also 2 foot tracks as well as broad gauge that are wider than standard gauge

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