Newspaper article The Christian Science Monitor

Narrow Is Beautiful ; the Old Patagonian Express in Argentina and the Glacier Express in Switzerland (Page 19) Run on Narrow-Gauge Tracks. Here's More about This Old- Fashioned Type of Railway

Newspaper article The Christian Science Monitor

Narrow Is Beautiful ; the Old Patagonian Express in Argentina and the Glacier Express in Switzerland (Page 19) Run on Narrow-Gauge Tracks. Here's More about This Old- Fashioned Type of Railway

Article excerpt

The short lifespan of the narrow-gauge railway began during the golden age of rail, in the first half of the 19th century. Cheaper to lay and better at penetrating rugged terrains than broader rails, tracks measuring between 24 and 30 inches wide became a common feature on lines leading to remote mining pits and lumber mills.

But that was before the rail barons got involved.

As early as the 1870s in the US, competing railroads recognized the need for a standardized gauge that would help create a national rail network and eliminate the logistical hassle of loading and unloading cargo at every new junction.

At the end of World War I, the narrow-gauge system fell into steep decline, and by the 1940s, only a handful of such railroads remained.

Although it's still possible in parts of Asia and Africa to find trains operating on rails narrower than the 56.5-inch international standard, few compare with the extra-small, 29.5-inch gauge used by La Trochita. …

Search by... Author
Show... All Results Primary Sources Peer-reviewed

Oops!

An unknown error has occurred. Please click the button below to reload the page. If the problem persists, please try again in a little while.