Track standards for larger scales

David Nebenzahl wrote:


I have a French book from the 1880s (aimed at engineers) describing (Fr) railway practice which states track gauges in terms of rail centre to rail centre, so it lasted well after the "Neolithic Railroad Epoche". It also has dimensioned drawings from very early times that threw me as they are in feet and inches. I started building a model and realized that they weren't British feet and inches!
Greg.P.
Greg.P.
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In the Paleolithic Railroad Epoch there were ruts in the roads for the wheels. Then someone came up with plateways: rails with flanges to guide the unflanged wheels. C to C distance would be a good measure for these.
Then somebody must have come up with the idea of putting the flanges on the wheels, and measuring the gauge between the insides of the rails, and making gauge bars for track laying. This may have caught on everywhere except in France, and this is where the thread diverts into French jokes.
--
Bill Kaiser
snipped-for-privacy@mtholyoke.edu
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Greg Procter wrote:

No-one has questioned the original statement, that the French gauge was 1500mm. That has me wondering. Erik, where did you get that figure from?
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marknewton wrote:

Frankly I don't remember where but as it was unusual compared to the practise in England and Denmark at that time I did notice the figure.
If you calculate the internal track gauge, you should remember that at that time (1870-1900) steel rail head width was appr. 2ฝin (prior to appr. 1870 iron rail was used). Added to the internal gauge of 4ft 8ฝin we get 4ft 11in between centres which is equal to 1498.6mm or very close to 1500mm. In other words, the different way of measuring gauge did not lead to any practical discrepency. The practise was only changed to the current when heavier rail came into use.
I may search for the information if you like.
--
Venlig hilsen
Erik Olsen
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Erik Olsen DK wrote:

Erik, please don't go to any trouble on my account. I certainly didn't doubt you, I was just rather intrigued by the idea of measuring centre to centre. But the way you explain it it *sort* of makes sense! ;-)
And I've since found reference to it in one of my own books. As someone else noted, it's just one of things that just is...
All the best,
Mark.
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marknewton wrote:

I've found a reference to the French 1500mm centre-to-centre gauge in a Danish booklet from 1984, "Fra skinne til skinne" (From rail to rail) by Povl Wind Skadhauge, but i'm certain that I've seen it somewere else in an older book.
--
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Erik Olsen
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David Nebenzahl wrote:
>>> On the first prototype French railways, the gauge was 1500mm > >>> centre-to-centre. >>> >>> Again: why? >> >> Hook your tape measure over the outside of one rail and measure to >> the inside of the other rail - Center to center distance. >> Measuring from inside to inside you might need long arms or an >> assistant. > > Still doesn't make sense. As I understand it, laying track isn't the > same as, say, spacing roof trusses or some other carpentry job. > Don't they make fixed track gauges for laying rail, instead of > depending on someone's tape measure?
Yes. Whenever I've seen it done, or been involved myself, gauge bars were used. In my part of the workshop at the tramway museum I also have a selection of fixed gauges for measuring the back-to-back dimension - very useful when you are running cars from a variety of different operators, or indeed different countries.
Cheers,
Mark.
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They sure do. And they have gauges that have little short steps on them to handle superelevation on curves, and ones that have ways to handle the widening of gauges on curves as well.
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Wolf Kirchmeir wrote:

Lionel tried to manufacture to the European standard but failed to recognise that it was measured rail centre to rail centre and therefore created a gauge that was 1/8" over the correct gauge. As he couldn't use the number designation he coined the term "Standard Gauge".
Greg.P.
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Wolf Kirchmeir wrote:

Thanks for the responses, guys. I should have known there was no simple answer :)
My primary concern is safety. Boilers full of steam and hot water departing the rails uncommanded is not my idea of a Good Thingฎ.
Dan, U. Air Force, retired
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Dan wrote:

Isn't there a uniform code for model boilers in the US? Leaving the rails is not so much of a problem as poor boiler construction, maintenance and operation.
Mark.
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On 10/13/2007 5:42 AM marknewton spake thus:

Do you mean "code" as in building code or as in "model railroad advisory guidelines which are enforced by no one and which you are free to ignore"?
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David Nebenzahl wrote:

No, code as in legal code. Steam boilers are subject to regulations, one of which requires regular testing and certification by a qualified inspector. Etc.
HTH
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David Nebenzahl wrote:

I mean code as in building code. Here in Australia full-sized boilers are regulated and licensed by the respective states - model loco boilers are similarly regulated and licensed by a national organsiation.
Cheers,
Mark.
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On 10/13/2007 2:36 PM marknewton spake thus:

I wonder if we (Merkins) have such rules. Given our laissez faire approach to just about everything, I kind of doubt it, but I just don't know.
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David Nebenzahl wrote:

There are such laws and ordinances in the U.S., I'm not sure they apply to running a small steam engine in one's own yard. I know live steam clubs won't allow one to run their own steam locomotives on their tracks unless they comply with a bunch of rules including boiler certification. Industrial boilers, including steam tractors, require certification.
I have built boilers for stationary engines and always do a hydrostatic test. I have seen what hand grenades do to the human body and would rather not experience similar damage with scalding steam added. It's a simple test, just don't get stupid and use compressed air.
Dan, U.S. Air Force, retired
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Dan wrote:

The way this reads to me is that the hydro is optional, or at the discretion of the builder - hopefully I'm wrong, and it's mandatory?
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marknewton wrote:

Hi Mark, If one builds one's own boiler and never presents it for testing then even if testing is mandatory how would anyone know, in particular the builder?
Greg.P.
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Greg Procter wrote:

I'm not sure I understand the question - but I see what you're getting at, I think. Someone working in isolation could conceivably build a boiler and be unaware of the need to test it, and they would fall through the cracks of the regulatory system. They would only be caught out if they were to attempt to run a small-scale steam loco at a club track without documentation, for example. Or maybe if they turned up at a rally with an uncertified traction engine or the like.
But, you'd assume that anyone with enough nous to build a boiler would be aware of the code, and know what the test requirements are. I say this knowing that live steamers and their ilk are social creatures who tend to congregate with like-minded types. Anyone who was daft enough to build a boiler and *NOT* test it would be placing themselves, and anyone around them, at great risk.
Cheers,
Mark.
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marknewton wrote:

I built a steam roller at a high school evening class. The tutor told us that no certification was required as the size and pressure were below that requiring certification. The boiler is a pot boiler from seamless copper tube with soldered ends and is larger than I'd consider usable in G gauge. Then there's the likes of Mamod and MSS live steamers available over the counter, which aren't necessarily in the "sociable" category. Who do I ask and why would I bother? (I know the answers but it's not obvious without a lot of research)
Greg.P.
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