List of gauge conversions

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Track gauges
By transport mode
Tram · Rapid transit
Miniature · Scale model
By size (list)
Graphic list of track gauges

Minimum
  Fifteen inch 381 mm (15 in)

Narrow
  Two foot and
600 mm
597 mm
600 mm
603 mm
610 mm
(1 ft 11 12 in)
(1 ft 11 58 in)
(1 ft 11 34 in)
(2 ft)
  750 mm,
Bosnian,
Two foot six inch,
800 mm
750 mm
760 mm
762 mm
800 mm
(2 ft 5 12 in)
(2 ft 5 1516 in)
(2 ft 6 in)
(2 ft 7 12 in)
  Swedish three foot,
900 mm,
Three foot
891 mm
900 mm
914 mm
(2 ft11 332 in)
(2 ft 11 716)
(3 ft)
  Metre 1,000 mm (3 ft 3 38 in)
  Three foot six inch,
Cape, CAP, Kyōki
1,067 mm (3 ft 6 in)
  Four foot six inch 1,372 mm (4 ft 6 in)

  Standard 1,435 mm (4 ft 8 12 in)

Broad
  Russian,
Five foot
1,520 mm
1,524 mm
(4 ft 11 2732 in)
(5 ft)
  Irish 1,600 mm (5 ft 3 in)
  Iberian 1,668 mm (5 ft 5 2132 in)
  Indian 1,676 mm (5 ft 6 in)
  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
World map, rail gauge by region

Track gauge conversions include:

During World War I and World War II, gauge conversion occurred backwards and forwards between Germany and Russia as the fronts and national borders chopped and changed.

Timeline[edit]

1844[edit]

1886[edit]

1892[edit]

  • United Kingdom The last GWR broad (7 ft 14 in [2,140 mm] Brunel gauge) converted to 4 ft 8 12 in (1,435 mm) gauge.

1923[edit]

  • Japan Iyo Railway, Japan, regauged from 1,435 mm (4 ft 8 12 in) to 1,067 mm (3 ft 6 in).

1934[edit]

1938[edit]

  • China China - Russian-owned line converted from 1,524 mm (5 ft) to 1,435 mm (4 ft 8 12 in).[2]

1941[edit]

  • Germany Brest-Minsk converted from 1524 to 1435 mm[3]
  • Norway / Germany Røros Line in occupied Norway converted from 1,067 mm (3 ft 6 in) gauge to 1,435 mm (4 ft 8 12 in) gauge by German forces.

1964/65[edit]

2000[edit]

  • India India conversion of 17,000 km (11,000 mi) of 1,000 mm (3 ft 3 38 in) gauge to 1,676 mm (5 ft 6 in) broad gauge under project Unigauge
  • Australia Melbourne to Adelaide – 600 km (370 mi) of convertible sleepers installed in 1990 to facilitate quick conversion in 1995.
  • Australia Adelaide – convertible sleepers installed should gauge conversion be needed in future.
  • Nigeria Port HarcourtOnne, Nigeria – convertible sleepers installed since gauge conversion not imminent.
  • Australia The Mount Gambier, South Australia line was fitted with some 3-gauge steel sleepers when it was "temporarily" converted from 1,067 mm (3 ft 6 in) to 1,600 mm (5 ft 3 in) in the 1950s, pending later proposed conversion to 1,435 mm (4 ft 8 12 in), which is yet to occur.
  • Central Asia – while China China and Europe Europe are connected by rail, and while both are mainly 1,435 mm (4 ft 8 12 in), the intervening Central Asia Railways are 1,520 mm (4 ft 11 2732 in) gauge. Intervening lines are gradually been made gauge convertible to facilitate and eventual linkage of the Chinese and European standard gauge system.
  • Tanzania Tanzania in 2008 is proposing 1,000 mm (3 ft 3 38 in)/1,067 mm (3 ft 6 in) steel sleepers and 1,000 mm (3 ft 3 38 in)/1,435 mm (4 ft 8 12 in) concrete sleepers to suit gauge conversion.

2001[edit]

2004[edit]

  • Portugal The Guimarães line in Portugal was electrified and converted from metre gauge to Iberian broad gauge.

2006[edit]

  • Pakistan BostanZhob 2 ft 6 in (762 mm) to 1,676 mm (5 ft 6 in). Report suggests conversion to 1,435 mm (4 ft 8 12 in) in before.[4] Conversion completed in 2006.[5]

2008[edit]

A Russian broad gauge line reaches out into Slovakia to carry minerals without the need for transshipment which would be required if the gauge changed at the border. In 2008, it is proposed to extend this line to Vienna.[6] On 9 April 2010, a four way deal was signed.[7] As a general rule, transshipment is minimised if breaks-of-gauge occur at or near major hubs or major origins and destinations of traffic.

  • Australia 4-6-4 R766 of the Victorian Railways, Australia, being designed for ease of conversion from 1,600 mm (5 ft 3 in) to 1,435 mm (4 ft 8 12 in), was so converted.

2010[edit]

In Western Australia, the iron ore railways serving or to serve Geraldton port, and the new port at Oakajee are narrow gauge, but will be designed for ease of conversion to standard gauge.[8]

By target gauge[edit]

During WWI and WWII, gauge conversion occurred backwards and forwards between Germany and Russia as the fronts and national borders changed.

Conversion to 600 mm[edit]

  • Sweden The 600 mm (1 ft 11 58 in) mm railway Östra Södermanlands Järnväg in Mariefred mostly runs on tracks which were converted from standard gauge when it was remade into a heritage railway in the 1960s.

Conversion to 891 mm[edit]

  • Sweden The short and isolated standard gauge tram line Långängsbanan built in 1911 in the northern Stockholm suburb of Stocksund, was converted to the narrow 891 mm (2 ft 11 332 in) Swedish three foot gauge of the adjacent Roslag Railway in 1934. Långängsbanan was closed in 1966.

Conversion to 1000 mm (metre gauge)[edit]

  • Thailand From 1920, the standard gauge part of the Siam railway amounting to 1,000 km (620 mi) was converted first to third rail, and then to 1,000 mm (3 ft 3 38 in) (metre gauge) making the whole system metre gauge.[9]

Conversion to 1067 mm[edit]

Integrated with Southern African railways[edit]

Isolated[edit]

  • Democratic Republic of the Congo Matadi–Kinshasa Railway – 1932 – was 762 mm (2 ft 6 in) ; converted to 1,067 mm (3 ft 6 in) on new alignment.
  • Angola Luanda Railway, Angola, was 1,000 mm (3 ft 3 38 in)
  • Angola Angola Namibe Railway, 1950s, was 600 mm (1 ft 11 58 in)
  • Democratic Republic of the Congo Kindu (Lualaba River port) – Kibombo – Kongolo – Kabalo (Lualaba River port and junction with Katanga line) – Nyunzu – Niemba – Kalemie (the port on Lake Tanganika), 3 ft 6 in (1,067 mm). This line was isolated 1,000 mm (3 ft 3 38 in) until 1955, when the gauge was changed for the connection with the Katanga line in 1956.
  • Norway 1915 Sulitjelma Line in Norway converted from 750 mm (2 ft 5 12 in) to dual gauge with 1,067 mm (3 ft 6 in) and when later closed was converted to a road.

Conversions to 1435 mm (standard gauge)[edit]

  • (in date order)

1840-1879[edit]

1880-1919[edit]

  • United StatesColorado 1881 Denver to Pueblo from 3 ft (914 mm) to dual gauge on Denver & Rio Grande Railroad.[11] This began a progressive and gradual conversion to standard gauge across Colorado, wherever the traffic justified the conversion
  • Canada 1880's Numerous Provincial Gauge railways in Canada from 1,676 mm (5 ft 6 in) to 1,435 mm (4 ft 8 12 in).
  • United Kingdom 1892 The last GWR broad (7 ft 14 in [2,140 mm] Brunel gauge) converted to 4 ft 8 12 in (1,435 mm) gauge.

1920-1939[edit]

1940-1949[edit]

  • Germany 1941 Brest-Minsk[14]
  • Norway 1944 Ålgård Line in Norway (was 1,067 mm (3 ft 6 in))
  • Norway / Germany Røros Line in occupied Norway converted from 1,067 mm (3 ft 6 in) gauge to 1,435 mm (4 ft 8 12 in) gauge by German forces.
  • Norway 1949 Grevskap Line in Norway (was 1,067 mm (3 ft 6 in))

1950-1969[edit]

  • Germany 1964/65 Zabergäu Railway 750 mm (2 ft 5 12 in) to 1,435 mm (4 ft 8 12 in)

1970-1979[edit]

1980-1989[edit]

2000-2009[edit]

  • Panama 2001 The Panama Canal Railroad, by then dilapidated state, was reconstructed and relaid, from 5 ft (1,524 mm) to 1,435 mm (4 ft 8 12 in).
  • Spain 2000s Spain is building its High Speed lines to 1,435 mm (4 ft 8 12 in) gauge, even though the existing system is 1,668 mm (5 ft 5 2132 in); new cutoff lines are being built with gauge convertible sleepers for easy conversion to standard gauge when required.
  • Victoria (Australia) 2008 to 2010 – North East railway line in Victoria. A 200 km (120 mi) section between Seymour and Albury was converted from 1,600 mm (5 ft 3 in), changing two parallel tracks of different gauges to double track. The Oaklands branchline that would otherwise have been left as an orphan was converted in 2009.
  • Peru 2009 Peru from Huancayo to Huancavelica from 3 ft (914 mm) to 1,435 mm (4 ft 8 12 in); 147 km.[15]

since 2010[edit]

  • Victoria (Australia) 2012 South Australia planned to convert its suburban 1,600 mm (5 ft 3 in) (broad gauge) network to 1,435 mm (4 ft 8 12 in) (standard gauge), in 2012, in conjunction with proposed electrification works. The Outer Harbour Line and Belair Lines have already been rebuilt with gauge convertible sleepers, whilst resleepering of the Gawler Central line commenced in 2010. The Noarlunga Line Gawler Central line will commence once the Gawler line is completed.[16] However both gauge conversion and electrification works have been suspended due to funding constraints, with work unlikely to proceed for the foreseeable future.

Proposed[edit]

  • Sierra Leone Port Pepel iron ore line, from derelict 1,067 mm (3 ft 6 in) to 1,435 mm (4 ft 8 12 in)[17]
  • Syria Hejaz Railway - convert from 1,050 mm (3 ft 5 1132 in) to 1,435 mm (4 ft 8 12 in)

Conversions to 1520 mm (broad gauge)[edit]

  • Russia The railways of Sakhalin Island are to be converted from 3 ft 6 in (1,067 mm) to 1,520 mm (4 ft 11 2732 in). As the conversion is going to be done in sections, the conversion plans provide for first laying the third (outer) rail, making rail lines usable by both Japanese- and Russian-gauge trains. Once the railways throughout the island have been converted to the Russian gauge (by 2012), the inner rail will be removed.[18]

Conversions to 1668 mm (broad gauge)[edit]

  • Portugal The Guimarães line in Portugal was electrified and converted from metre gauge to Iberian broad gauge in 2004.

Conversions to 1676 mm (broad gauge)[edit]

  • India India conversion of 17,000 km (11,000 mi) of 1,000 mm (3 ft 3 38 in) meter gauge to 1,676 mm (5 ft 6 in) broad gauge under project Unigauge

Other[edit]

  • Australia Melbourne to Adelaide – 600 km (370 mi) of convertible sleepers installed in 1990 to facilitate quick conversion in 1995.
  • Australia Adelaide – convertible sleepers installed should gauge conversion be needed in future.
  • Nigeria Port HarcourtOnne, Nigeria – convertible sleepers installed since gauge conversion not imminent.
  • Australia The Mount Gambier line in South Australia was fitted with some 3-gauge steel sleepers when it was "temporarily" converted from 1,067 mm (3 ft 6 in) to 1,600 mm (5 ft 3 in) in the 1950s, pending later proposed conversion to 1,435 mm (4 ft 8 12 in), which is yet to occur.
  • Central Asia – while China China and Europe Europe are connected by rail, and while both are mainly 1,435 mm (4 ft 8 12 in), the intervening Central Asia Railways are 1,520 mm (4 ft 11 2732 in) gauge. Intervening lines are gradually being made gauge convertible[citation needed] to facilitate an eventual linkage of the Chinese and European standard gauge system. (variable gauge trains)
  • Tanzania Tanzania in 2008 is proposing 1,000 mm (3 ft 3 38 in)/1,067 mm (3 ft 6 in) steel sleepers and 1,000 mm (3 ft 3 38 in)/1,435 mm (4 ft 8 12 in) concrete sleepers to suit gauge conversion.

Variable gauge axles[edit]

Gauge conversion may become less important with the development of a number of different variable gauge axle systems, also called Automatic Track Gauge Changeover Systems, such as the SUW 2000.

See also[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ http://southern.railfan.net/ties/1966/66-8/gauge.html
  2. ^ "ABOUT BOOKS.". Morning Bulletin (Rockhampton, Qld. : 1878 - 1954) (Rockhampton, Qld.: National Library of Australia). 6 October 1939. p. 9. Retrieved 19 March 2014. 
  3. ^ Stolfi, Russel H. S. (1991). "Chapter Eleven. German Logistics: Could the Germans Support an Advance into the Moscow-Gorki Space in the Summer of 1941?". Hitler's Panzers East: World War II Reinterpreted. Norman and London: University of Oklahoma Press. Retrieved March 21, 2009. 
  4. ^ [1][dead link]
  5. ^ "Zhob – Balochistan – Pakistan". Forum.urduworld.com. Retrieved 6 May 2012. 
  6. ^ "RUSSIA | Railways – Page 3". SkyscraperCity. Retrieved 6 May 2012. 
  7. ^ "Russian Railways Signs Track Extension Contract". Railway Technology. Retrieved 6 May 2012. 
  8. ^ "Murchison Metals Ltd – Projects : Oakajee Port and Rail". Mml.net.au. Retrieved 6 May 2012. 
  9. ^ "13 Jun 1938 – BREAK OF GAUGE. TO THE EDITOR OF THE HERALD". Trove.nla.gov.au. 13 June 1938. Retrieved 6 May 2012. 
  10. ^ http://query.nytimes.com/mem/archive-free/pdf?res=FA0F11FD3E59137A93C1A9178CD85F428684F9 New York Times, July 3, 1866
  11. ^ Wilkins, Tivis (Tiv) E. (1974). "Part II – Expansion And Consolidation". Colorado Railroads. Pruett Publishing Company. 
  12. ^ http://southern.railfan.net/ties/1966/66-8/gauge.html
  13. ^ "ABOUT BOOKS.". Morning Bulletin (Rockhampton, Qld. : 1878 - 1954) (Rockhampton, Qld.: National Library of Australia). 6 October 1939. p. 9. Retrieved 19 March 2014. 
  14. ^ Stolfi, Russel H. S. (1991). "Chapter Eleven. German Logistics: Could the Germans Support an Advance into the Moscow-Gorki Space in the Summer of 1941?". Hitler's Panzers East: World War II Reinterpreted. Norman and London: University of Oklahoma Press. Retrieved 21 March 2009. 
  15. ^ Trains, March 2009, p68
  16. ^ "Rail Revitalisation". South Australian Department of Transport, Energy and Infrastructure. Retrieved 2008-08-25. 
  17. ^ http://allafrica.com/stories/200805191261.html
  18. ^ Сахалинская узкоколейная железная дорога (The narrow-gauge railways of Sakhalin) (Russian)

External links[edit]