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Track gauge

Spacing of the rails on a railway track / From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

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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.


Track gauge
By transport mode
Tram · Rapid transit
Miniature · Scale model
By size (list)

Minimum
  Minimum
  Fifteen inch 381 mm (15 in)

Narrow
 
  • 600 mm
  • 610 mm
  • (1 ft 11+58 in)
  • (2 ft)
 
  • 750 mm
  • 760 mm
  • 762 mm
  • (2 ft 5+12 in)
  • (2 ft 5+1516 in)
  • (2 ft 6 in)
 
  • 891 mm
  • 900 mm
  • 914 mm
  • 950 mm
  • (2 ft 11+332 in)
  • (2 ft 11+716 in)
  • (3 ft)
  • (3 ft1+1332 in)
  Metre 1,000 mm (3 ft 3+38 in)
  Three foot six inch 1,067 mm (3 ft 6 in)
  Four foot 1,219 mm (4 ft 0 in)
  Four foot six inch 1,372 mm (4 ft 6 in)
  1432 mm 1,432 mm (4 ft 8+38 in)

  Standard 1,435 mm (4 ft 8+12 in)

Broad
 
  • 1,445 mm
  • 1,450 mm
  • (4 ft 8+78 in)
  • (4 ft 9+332 in)
  Leipzig gauge 1,458 mm (4 ft 9+1332 in)
  Toronto gauge 1,495 mm (4 ft 10+78 in)
 
  • 1,520 mm
  • 1,524 mm
  • (4 ft 11+2732 in)
  • (5 ft)
 
  • 1,581 mm
  • 1,588 mm
  • 1,600 mm
  • (5 ft 2+14 in)
  • (5 ft 2+12 in)
  • (5 ft 3 in)
  Baltimore gauge 1,638 mm (5 ft 4+12 in)
 
  • 1,668 mm
  • 1,676 mm
  • (5 ft 5+2132 in)
  • (5 ft 6 in)
  Six foot 1,829 mm (6 ft)
  Brunel 2,140 mm (7 ft 14 in)
Change of gauge
Break-of-gauge · Dual gauge ·
Conversion (list) · Bogie exchange · Variable gauge
By location
North America · South America · Europe · Australia

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.