2 ft and 600 mm gauge railways

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Track gauges
By transport mode
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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
A BL 9.2-inch howitzer with shells lined up on the ground recently delivered from the trench railway in the foreground during World War I.
A steam outline Schöma diesel locomotive on the Pelion railway in Greece.
The Groudle Glen Railway Sea Lion locomotive c. 1910 on the Isle of Man.
The gasoline engine Crown Prince of the Otavi Mining and Railway Company in South West Africa (now Namibia). This railcar was able to reach a speed of 137 kilometres (85 mi) per hour.
The Efteling Steam Train Company, located in Efteling in the Netherlands, runs some locomotives that are more than a century old.
A locomotive and turntable on the Östra Södermanlands Järnväg in Sweden.

Two foot and 600 mm gauge railways are narrow gauge railways with track gauges of 2 ft (610 mm) and 600 mm (1 ft 11 58 in) respectively. Railways with similar, less common track gauges such as 1 ft 11 34 in (603 mm) and 1 ft 11 12 in (597 mm) are grouped with 2ft and 600mm gauge railways.

Overview[edit]

Many of these railways were industrial lines rather than common carriers, though there were exceptions such as the "Maine two footer" lines in New England (some are still operating), the Chicago Tunnel Company's 60-mile (97 km) network under the Chicago Loop, and the Chemins de Fer du Calvados in Normandy. There are also non-industrial railroads utilizing these gauges that are operating in the present day, such as the Cripple Creek and Victor Narrow Gauge Railroad in Colorado, the Hempstead & Northern Railroad in Texas, and the Darjeeling Himalayan Railway in India.

Trench railways of World War I produced the greatest concentration of 600 mm (1 ft 11 58 in) gauge railways observed to date. In preparation for World War II, The French Maginot Line and Alpine Line also used 600 mm (1 ft 11 58 in) gauge railways as supply routes to the fixed border defences.

Australia has over 4,000 kilometres (2,500 mi) of 2 ft (610 mm) gauge sugar cane railway networks in the coastal areas of Queensland, carrying more than 30 million tonnes of sugar cane a year.

Besides stand-alone heritage railways, there are many examples of tourist 2 ft (610 mm) gauge and 600 mm (1 ft 11 58 in) gauge railways found in amusement parks and theme parks of various sizes worldwide.

Exchange of rolling stock[edit]

The interchange of rolling stock between these similar track gauges occasionally occurred; for example, the South African Class NG15 2-8-2 locomotives started their career on the 600 mm (1 ft 11 58 in) gauge Otavi Mining and Railway Company in South-West Africa (now Namibia), were transferred to the two-foot-gauge railways in South Africa, and currently some surviving locomotives reside in Wales on the 1 ft 11 12 in (597 mm) gauge Welsh Highland Railway and the 1 ft 11 34 in (603 mm) gauge Brecon Mountain Railway.

Installations[edit]

Country/territory Railway Gauge
Afghanistan 600 mm (1 ft 11 58 in)
Albania 600 mm (1 ft 11 58 in)
Angola 600 mm (1 ft 11 58 in)
Argentina
  • Paseo con Ciencia tramway[1] (operating)
  • Various construction, mining, and agricultural railways[3] (defunct)
600 mm (1 ft 11 58 in)
Australia 2 ft (610 mm)
Austria 600 mm (1 ft 11 58 in)
Belarus 600 mm (1 ft 11 58 in)
Belgium 2 ft (610 mm)
600 mm (1 ft 11 58 in)
Bosnia and Herzegovina
  • Ohrid line; 167 km (partially converted to standard gauge)
600 mm (1 ft 11 58 in)
Brazil 600 mm (1 ft 11 58 in)
Brunei
Main article: Transport in Brunei
2 ft (610 mm)
Bulgaria 600 mm (1 ft 11 58 in)
Burundi 600 mm (1 ft 11 58 in)
Cambodia 600 mm (1 ft 11 58 in)
Canada 2 ft (610 mm)
Cameroon 600 mm (1 ft 11 58 in)
Central African Republic 600 mm (1 ft 11 58 in)
Chile 600 mm (1 ft 11 58 in)
China 600 mm (1 ft 11 58 in)
Comoros 600 mm (1 ft 11 58 in)
Czech Republic 600 mm (1 ft 11 58 in)
Democratic Republic of the Congo
  • Mayumbe line (converted from 2 ft (610 mm) gauge) (defunct)
600 mm (1 ft 11 58 in)
Denmark 600 mm (1 ft 11 58 in)
Egypt 2 ft (610 mm)
Eritrea 600 mm (1 ft 11 58 in)
Falkland Islands 2 ft (610 mm)
Fiji 2 ft (610 mm)
Finland 600 mm (1 ft 11 58 in)
France 600 mm (1 ft 11 58 in)
Germany 600 mm (1 ft 11 58 in)
Greece 600 mm (1 ft 11 58 in)
Greenland 600 mm (1 ft 11 58 in)
Guatemala 2 ft (610 mm)
Hong Kong 2 ft (610 mm)
Hungary 600 mm (1 ft 11 58 in)
Iceland 600 mm (1 ft 11 58 in)
India 2 ft (610 mm)
Indonesia
  • Sugar cane railways in Java in Cepiring (defunct), Jatibarang (operating), Jatiwangi (defunct), Pandji (operating), Pangka (operating), Soedhono (operating), Sragi (operating), and Tulangan (operating)[9]
600 mm (1 ft 11 58 in)
Isle of Man 2 ft (610 mm)
Italy 600 mm (1 ft 11 58 in)
Japan 2 ft (610 mm)
Laos 600 mm (1 ft 11 58 in)
Latvia 600 mm (1 ft 11 58 in)
Lithuania 600 mm (1 ft 11 58 in)
Madagascar
  • Sugar cane, industrial and military railways[14] (defunct)
600 mm (1 ft 11 58 in)
Mauritius
  • A network of sugar cane railways[15] (defunct)
600 mm (1 ft 11 58 in)
Mexico 2 ft (610 mm)
600 mm (1 ft 11 58 in)
Montenegro
  • Podgorica - Plavnica railway (defunct)
600 mm (1 ft 11 58 in)
Morocco 600 mm (1 ft 11 58 in)
Mozambique 2 ft (610 mm)
Myanmar 2 ft (610 mm)
Namibia 600 mm (1 ft 11 58 in)
Nauru 2 ft (610 mm)
Netherlands 600 mm (1 ft 11 58 in)
New Zealand 2 ft (610 mm)
Norway
  • Åmdals Verk Gruver;[17] 0.6 km (operating)
  • Gruvemuseet pa Litlabo[17] (operating)
  • Kristiansand Kanonmuseum[17] (operating)
  • Lommedalsbanen;[17] 0.6 km (operating)
  • Sulitjelma Besøksgruve[17] (operating)
  • Stiftelsen Konnerudverket;[17] 0.5 km (operating)
600 mm (1 ft 11 58 in)
Palestine 600 mm (1 ft 11 58 in)
Papua New Guinea 600 mm (1 ft 11 58 in)
Pakistan 2 ft (610 mm)
Poland 600 mm (1 ft 11 58 in)
Portugal 600 mm (1 ft 11 58 in)
Rwanda 600 mm (1 ft 11 58 in)
Somalia 600 mm (1 ft 11 58 in)
South Africa 2 ft (610 mm)
South Korea 2 ft (610 mm)
Spain
  • Funicular de Capdella[21] (defunct)[22]
  • Funicular de Molinos[21] (private) (operating)[23]
600 mm (1 ft 11 58 in)
Sudan 2 ft (610 mm)
600 mm (1 ft 11 58 in)
Sweden 600 mm (1 ft 11 58 in)
Switzerland
  • Puschlaver Geisterbahn[21] (operating)[24]
600 mm (1 ft 11 58 in)
Taiwan 2 ft (610 mm)
Tanzania 2 ft (610 mm)
Togo 600 mm (1 ft 11 58 in)
Turkey 600 mm (1 ft 11 58 in)
United Kingdom 2 ft (610 mm);
1 ft 11 34 in (603 mm);
600 mm (1 ft 11 58 in);
1 ft 11 12 in (597 mm)
United States 2 ft (610 mm)
Zimbabwe
  • Shurugwi Peak Railway[25][26] (operating)
2 ft (610 mm)

See also[edit]

References[edit]