3 ft 6 in gauge railways
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Railways with a track gauge of 3 ft 6 in/1,067 mm were first constructed as horse-drawn wagonways. From the mid-nineteenth century vast 3 ft 6 in gauge networks emerged in the British colonies and Japan. At the turn of the twentieth century numerous 3 ft 6 in gauge tram networks saw the light of day.
There is approximately 112,000 kilometres (70,000 mi) of 3 ft 6 in gauge track in the world.
One of the first railways to use 3 ft 6 in (1,067 mm) gauge was the Little Eaton Gangway in England, constructed as a horse-drawn wagonway in 1795. Other 3 ft 6 in gauge wagonways in England and Wales were also built in the early nineteenth century.
On 1 January 1873, the first 3 ft 6 in gauge railway was opened in New Zealand, constructed by the British firm John Brogden and Sons. Earlier built 4 ft 8 1⁄2 in (1,435 mm) standard gauge and broad gauge railways were soon converted to the narrower gauge.
Also in 1873 the Cape Colony adopted the 3 ft 6 in gauge. After conducting several studies in southern Europe, the Molteno Government selected the gauge as being the most economically suited for traversing steep mountain ranges. Beginning in 1873, under supervision of Railway engineer of the Colony William Brounger, the Cape Government Railways rapidly expanded and the gauge became the standard for southern Africa.
Natal also converted its short 10 kilometres (6.2 miles) long Durban network from 4 ft 8 1⁄2 in (1,435 mm) broad gauge prior to commencing with construction of a network across the entire colony in 1876.
Other new railways in Southern Africa, notably Mozambique, Bechuanaland, the Rhodesias, Nyasaland and Angola, were also constructed in 3 ft 6 in gauge during that time.
- After 1876
Cape gauge is named after the Cape Colony in what is now South Africa, which adopted it in 1873. The term Cape Gauge is used in other languages, such as the Dutch kaapspoor, German kapspur, Norwegian kappspor and French voie cape. After metrication in the 1960s, the gauge was referred to in official South African Railways publications as 1065 mm instead of 1067 mm.
3 foot 6 inch or medium gauge
In Australia the imperial (pre-metric) term 3 foot 6 inch is used. In some Australian publications the term medium gauge is also used, while in Australian states where 4 ft 8 1⁄2 in (1,435 mm) standard gauge is the norm, 1,067 mm (3 ft 6 in) gauge is often referred to as narrow gauge.
In Japan 1,067 mm (3 ft 6 in) gauge is referred to as kyōki (狭軌?), which directly translates as narrow gauge. It is defined in metric units.
Similar rail gauges in respect of aspects such as cost of construction, practical minimum radius curves and the maximum physical dimensions of rolling stock are:
- 1,100 mm (3 ft 7 5⁄16 in),
- 1,093 mm (3 ft 7 in),
- 1,055 mm (3 ft 5 1⁄2 in),
- 1,050 mm (3 ft 5 11⁄32 in), and
- 1,000 mm (3 ft 3 3⁄8 in).
|Angola||Rail transport in Angola, some converted from 2 ft (610 mm) gauge and 1,000 mm (3 ft 3 3⁄8 in) metre gauge. Some isolated.|
|Australia||See also: Rail gauge in Australia. 15,160 km (9,420 mi). New South Wales on the heritage Zig Zag Railway line, Queensland 8,313 km (5,165 mi), South Australia: the isolated Port Lincoln network and The Pichi Richi, Tasmania 632 km (393 mi), Western Australia, Northern Territory (closed).|
Barbados Railway (converted to 2 ft 6 in/762 mm gauge) (defunct)
|Botswana||The Botswana Railways system consists of 888 kilometres (552 mi) of 3 ft 6 in gauge track.|
|Canada||Western New Brunswick until gauge conversion in the 1880s; the Newfoundland Railway until abandonment in September 1988, and the Prince Edward Island Railway until gauge conversion in 1930 following a car ferry connection with the main North America system, until abandonment in December 1989; see Narrow gauge railways in Canada.|
|China||South Manchuria Railway — built to 1,520 mm (4 ft 11 27⁄32 in) Russian gauge as part of the Chinese Eastern Railway, converted by advancing Japanese troops during the Russo-Japanese War of 1904–1905 to Japanese 1,067 mm (3 ft 6 in) gauge, converted to standard gauge after the war by the new South Manchuria Railway Company.|
|Costa Rica||Operation of the national railway network was suspended in 1995 after an earthquake. As of 2013, some suburban lines are operational.|
|Democratic Republic of the Congo||3621 km 3 ft 6 in gauge (858 km or 533 mi electrified). Some converted from 1,000 mm (3 ft 3 3⁄8 in) and 2 ft 6 in (762 mm) gauge.|
|Ecuador||Empresa de Ferrocarriles Ecuatorianos 965 km (600 mi)|
|Estonia||Tallinn tram 38 km (24 mi)|
|Ghana||The national rail network of 935 km (581 mi) is presently undergoing major rehabilitation.|
|Haiti||Saint-Marc line (defunct)|
Main article: Rail transport in Honduras
|Hong Kong||Hong Kong Tramways|
|Indonesia||5,961 km (3,704 mi). Most common gauge for Indonesian Railways. The first railway was built to standard gauge (the Semarang - Solo - Yogyakarta corridor), regauged by Japanese army during WWII to 3 ft 6 in gauge, with parts using standard gauge sleepers.|
Main article: List of narrow gauge railways in Ireland
|Isle of Man||Snaefell Mountain Railway|
|Japan||22,301 km (13,857 mi). First track gauge introduced. All JR Group lines use this gauge except for high-speed shinkansen lines which use standard gauge.|
|Malawi||Malawi Railways has 797 km (495 mi) of 3 ft 6 in gauge railways.|
|Mozambique||Mozambique Ports and Railways operates 2,983 km (1,854 mi) of 3 ft 6 in gauge.|
|Namibia||TransNamib operates 2,883 km (1,791 mi) of 3 ft 6 in gauge, partly converted from 600 mm (1 ft 11 5⁄8 in) gauge.|
|Netherlands||Some tramway systems (all defunct)|
|New Zealand||3,900 km (2,400 mi), standardized by the Public Works Act 1870|
|Nicaragua||373 km (232 mi) of track until closure of the national rail network in 1993. All lifted and scrapped.|
|Nigeria||Nigerian Railway Corporation operates an isolated network of 3,505 kilometers (2,178 mi) 3 ft 6 in gauge single track lines.|
|Norway||The gauge was first used by C A Pihl on the Hamar-Grundset Line, opened 23 June 1862. The nickname CAP-gauge may be from his initials and not from the use of the gauge in the Cape Province in South Africa. Most lines were 3 ft 6 in gauge lines built in the 19th century were rebuilt to standard gauge between 1904 and 1949. The Setesdal Line, a heritage railway line of about eight km remains 3 ft 6 in gauge.|
|Panama||Panama Tramways Company (1913–1917) and the Panama Electric Company (1917–1941).|
|Philippines||Philippine National Railways has 1,140 km (710 mi) on Luzon; From 1907-85 the now-Panay Railways had 117 km (73 mi) on Panay and from 1911-41 57 mi (92 km) on Cebu|
|Republic of the Congo||The Congo–Ocean Railway, 502 kilometres (312 mi) long (operating).|
|Russia||Sakhalin Railway – as of 2010[update] in the process of conversion to 1,520 mm (4 ft 11 27⁄32 in) Russian gauge.|
|Sierra Leone||There are 84 kilometres of 3 ft 6 in gauge private railways in Sierra Leone.|
|South Africa||About 20,500 route-km. Gautrain (80 km) is 4 ft 8 1⁄2 in (1,435 mm) broad gauge and there were several limited 2 ft (610 mm) narrow gauge systems.|
|South Sudan||Isolated, 248 kilometers (154 mi)|
|Sudan||Isolated, 4,725 kilometers (2,936 mi)|
|Swaziland||301 kilometres (187 mi), only for transportation of goods, not passengers|
|Sweden||Several during the 19th century, all closed or regauged.|
|Taiwan||1,097 km (682 mi) (Taiwan Railways Administration)|
|Tanzania||Dar es Salaam to Zambia (TAZARA Railway only, rest of the network is 1,000 mm (3 ft 3 3⁄8 in).|
|Turkey||Chemin de Fer Moudania Brousse|
Main article: Three foot six inch gauge railways in the United Kingdom
Main article: Three foot six inch gauge railways in the United States
|Venezuela||Great Venezuela Railway|
|Zambia||Railway Systems of Zambia|
|Zimbabwe||National Railways of Zimbabwe|
- Robert Fairlie - Railways Or No Railways: Narrow Gauge, Economy with Efficiency V. Broad Gauge, Costliness with Extravagance
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- Cultural, historical assessment of the Hex Pass Railway, Worcester to de Doorns
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- Kalmar, 29-03-1897 (Blekinge-spårvidd)
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- Evening Post, Issue 71, 12 May 1874, Page 2
- Track Gauges and Railway Construction (Part 1)
-  Adoption of the 3ft. 6ins. gauge for Queensland railways (1983)
- Railway and Locomotive Engineering, vol. 26 (1913), pp. 91–92
- "CIA World Factbook, Ecuador".
- "CIA World Factbook, Indonesia".
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- Bjerke, T. & Holom, F. (2004) Banedata 2004. Hamar/Oslo: Norsk Jernbanemuseum & Norsk Jernbaneklubb. p. 98
- Morrison, Allen (1 February 2008). "The Tramways of Colombia / Panama". Retrieved 1 May 2011.
- Spoornet (Transnet's predecessor), Manual for Track Maintenance, July 2000, http://www.spoornet.co.za/SpoornetWebContentSAP/documents/track_maintenance.pdf
- Transnet Annual Report 2010, Operational Review, http://www.overendstudio.co.za/online_reports/transnet_ar2011/op_freight.php