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In rail transport, track gauge (in American English, alternatively track gage) is the distance between the two rails of a railway track. All vehicles on a rail network must have wheelsets that are compatible with the track gauge. Since many different track gauges exist worldwide, gauge differences often present a barrier to wider operation on railway networks.
|By transport mode|
|Tram · Rapid transit|
Miniature · Scale model
|By size (list)|
|Change of gauge|
|Break-of-gauge · Dual gauge · |
Conversion (list) · Bogie exchange · Variable gauge
|North America · South America · Europe · Australia|
|Part of a series on|
The term derives from the metal bar, or gauge, that is used to ensure the distance between the rails is correct.
Railways also deploy two other gauges to ensure compliance with a required standard. A loading gauge is a two-dimensional profile that encompasses a cross-section of the track, a rail vehicle and a maximum-sized load: all rail vehicles and their loads must be contained in the corresponding envelope. A structure gauge specifies the outline into which structures (bridges, platforms, lineside equipment etc.) must not encroach.