List of gauge conversions

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This is a list of railway track gauge conversions. This list also contains instances of lines already prepared for conversion as well as those in planning.

New gauge
(mm)
Original
(mm)
Date Location Description
1,067 mm (3 ft 6 in) 1,000 mm (3 ft 3 38 in)  Angola Luanda Railway
1,067 mm (3 ft 6 in) 600 mm (1 ft 11 58 in) 1950s  Angola Moçâmedes Railway[1][2]
1,435 mm (4 ft 8 12 in) 1,067 mm (3 ft 6 in) 1970  Australia Transcontinental line: Sydney to Port Augusta and Kalgoorlie to Perth. Indian Pacific starts service.
1,435 mm (4 ft 8 12 in) 1,067 mm (3 ft 6 in) 1980  Australia Adelaide–Darwin railway; the first stage to Alice Springs. Replaced a narrow gauge line on a different, more floodprone alignment.
1990  Australia Melbourne to Adelaide – 600 km (370 mi) of convertible sleepers installed in 1990 to facilitate quick conversion in 1995.
1,435 mm (4 ft 8 12 in) 1,600 mm (5 ft 3 in) 2008 - 2010  Australia
 Victoria
2008 to 2010 – North East railway line in Victoria. A 200 km (120 mi) section between Seymour and Albury was converted, 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. The cost of converting this 126 km (78 mi) line has been estimated as just over A$13m.[3]
1,435 mm (4 ft 8 12 in) 1,600 mm (5 ft 3 in) 2012  Australia
 Victoria
2012 South Australia planned to convert its suburban (broad gauge) network to 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.[4] However both gauge conversion and electrification works have been suspended due to funding constraints, with work unlikely to proceed for the foreseeable future.
1,600 mm (5 ft 3 in) (temporary) 1,067 mm (3 ft 6 in) 1950s  Australia The Mount Gambier line in South Australia was fitted with some 3-gauge steel sleepers when it was "temporarily" converted, pending later proposed conversion to 1,435 mm (4 ft 8 12 in) (which is yet to occur).
1,435 mm (4 ft 8 12 in)  Australia 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.[5]
1,435 mm (4 ft 8 12 in)  Australia In Victoria several wheat lines, amounting to about 1,100 kilometres (680 mi) of track, are to be converted to standard gauge, including:[6] Maryborough to Mildura, Yelta and Murrayville ; Sea Lake and Manangatang. Lines will be converted to dual gauge between Gheringhap to Maryborough.
 Australia Adelaide – convertible sleepers installed should gauge conversion be needed in future.[citation needed]
900 mm (2 ft 11 716 in) 1,000 mm (3 ft 3 38 in) 2008–2009  Austria Pöstlingbergbahn
1,435 mm (4 ft 8 12 in) 760 mm (2 ft 5 1516 in) 1961  Austria Tschagguns–Partenen railway
1,435 mm (4 ft 8 12 in) 1,600 mm (5 ft 3 in) 1854–1855  Baden Grand Duchy of Baden State Railway
1,676 mm (5 ft 6 in) 1,000 mm (3 ft 3 38 in),
2 ft 6 in (762 mm),
2 ft (610 mm)
ongoing  Bangladesh
762 mm (2 ft 6 in) 1,067 mm (3 ft 6 in) 1898  Barbados Barbados Railway
750 mm (2 ft 5 12 in) 1,000 mm (3 ft 3 38 in) 1932  Belarus World War I field railway from Dūkštas, (Lithuania) to Druja. After takeover by Poland, the PKP regauged the line. After World War II the large part of the line was in Belorussia, the railway closed in the 1970s.[7]
1,435 mm (4 ft 8 12 in) 1,676 mm (5 ft 6 in) 1880s  Canada Numerous Provincial Gauge railways in Canada
1,435 mm (4 ft 8 12 in) 1,067 mm (3 ft 6 in) 1881  Canada Toronto, Grey and Bruce Railway
1,435 mm (4 ft 8 12 in) 1,067 mm (3 ft 6 in) 1883  Canada Toronto and Nipissing Railway with third rail stage.
1,435 mm (4 ft 8 12 in) 1,524 mm (5 ft) 1938  China China - Russian-owned line[8]
1,067 mm (3 ft 6 in) 1,524 mm (5 ft)  China South Manchuria Railway, during the Russo-Japanese War
1,435 mm (4 ft 8 12 in) 1,067 mm (3 ft 6 in)  China South Manchuria Railway, following the Russo-Japanese War
600 mm (1 ft 11 58 in) 1,435 mm (4 ft 8 12 in)  Czech Republic Muzeum Průmyslových Železnic
1,067 mm (3 ft 6 in) 1,000 mm (3 ft 3 38 in) 1956  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): This line was isolated meter gauge until 1955, when the gauge was changed for the connection with the Katanga line in 1956.
1,067 mm (3 ft 6 in) 762 mm (2 ft 6 in) 1932  Democratic Republic of the Congo Matadi–Kinshasa Railway converted to 1,067 mm (3 ft 6 in) on new alignment.
600 mm (1 ft 11 58 in) 610 mm (2 ft)  Democratic Republic of the Congo Mayumbe line
1,435 mm (4 ft 8 12 in) 1,000 mm (3 ft 3 38 in) 1924  Denmark Skagen Line in Denmark (was 1,000 mm (3 ft 3 38 in))
500 mm (19 34 in) 600 mm (1 ft 11 58 in)  France Chemin de Fer Touristique du Tarn
1,435 mm (4 ft 8 12 in) 1,520 mm (4 ft 11 2732 in) 1941  Germany Brest-Minsk[9]
1,435 mm (4 ft 8 12 in) 750 mm (2 ft 5 12 in) 1964/65  Germany Zabergäu Railway
1,435 mm (4 ft 8 12 in) 600 mm (1 ft 11 58 in)  Germany Bahnstrecke Malente-Gremsmühlen–Lütjenburg
1,435 mm (4 ft 8 12 in) 600 mm (1 ft 11 58 in)  Germany Bahnstrecke Waldheim–Kriebethal
1,676 mm (5 ft 6 in) 1,000 mm (3 ft 3 38 in),
2 ft 6 in (762 mm),
2 ft (610 mm)
ongoing  India Project Unigauge
1,067 mm (3 ft 6 in) 1,435 mm (4 ft 8 12 in) 1923  Japan Iyo Railway
1,520 mm (4 ft 11 2732 in) 750 mm (2 ft 5 12 in)  Kazakhstan Kokchetav network, 305 km, operational since 1954, partly regauged to Russian gauge.[10]
1,000 mm (3 ft 3 38 in) 600 mm (1 ft 11 58 in)  Laos Don Det–Don Khon narrow-gauge railway
750 mm (2 ft 5 12 in) 600 mm (1 ft 11 58 in)  Latvia LiepājaRucava line, 52 km military line
750 mm (2 ft 5 12 in) 600 mm (1 ft 11 58 in)  Lithuania
1,435 mm (4 ft 8 12 in) 600 mm (1 ft 11 58 in) 1950s  Macedonia Ohrid line
1,067 mm (3 ft 6 in) 610 mm (2 ft) 1910  Mozambique /  Zimbabwe Beira – Salisbury
1,067 mm (3 ft 6 in) 600 mm (1 ft 11 58 in) 1950  Namibia Moçâmedes Railway
1,067 mm (3 ft 6 in) 600 mm (1 ft 11 58 in) 1915–1961  Namibia Otavi Mining and Railway Company
1,067 mm (3 ft 6 in) 600 mm (1 ft 11 58 in) 1910–  Namibia Swakopmund–Windhoek line
914 mm (3 ft) 610 mm (2 ft) 1920  Nauru Rail transport in Nauru
1,676 mm (5 ft 6 in) 762 mm (2 ft 6 in)    Nepal The only passenger rail line in Nepal, Jaynagar-Janakpur
1,067 mm (3 ft 6 in) 1,600 mm (5 ft 3 in)  New Zealand Canterbury Provincial Railways
1,067 mm (3 ft 6 in) 762 mm (2 ft 6 in) 1912–1914  Nigeria Bauchi Light Railway
 Nigeria Port HarcourtOnne, Nigeria – convertible sleepers installed since gauge conversion not imminent.
1,067 mm (3 ft 6 in) 750 mm (2 ft 5 12 in) 1915  Norway Sulitjelma Line 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.
1,435 mm (4 ft 8 12 in) 1,067 mm (3 ft 6 in) 1922  Norway Skøyen–Filipstad Line in Norway
1,435 mm (4 ft 8 12 in) 1,067 mm (3 ft 6 in) 1922  Norway Trondhjem–Støren Line in Norway
1,435 mm (4 ft 8 12 in) 1,067 mm (3 ft 6 in) 1935  Norway Arendal Line in Norway
1,435 mm (4 ft 8 12 in) 1,067 mm (3 ft 6 in) 1944  Norway Ålgård Line in Norway
1,435 mm (4 ft 8 12 in) 1,067 mm (3 ft 6 in) 1941  Norway /  Germany Røros Line in occupied Norway converted by German forces.
1,435 mm (4 ft 8 12 in) 1,067 mm (3 ft 6 in) 1949  Norway Grevskap Line in Norway
1,676 mm (5 ft 6 in) 1,000 mm (3 ft 3 38 in),
2 ft 6 in (762 mm),
2 ft (610 mm)
 Pakistan
1,435 mm (4 ft 8 12 in) 1,524 mm (5 ft) 2001  Panama The Panama Canal Railroad, by then dilapidated state, was reconstructed and relaid
1,435 mm (4 ft 8 12 in) 914 mm (3 ft) 2009  Peru Peru from Huancayo to Huancavelica; 147 km.[11][12]
1,435 mm (4 ft 8 12 in) 1,524 mm (5 ft) after 1918  Poland In part of Poland under Russian control, some (not all) railways were Russian broad gauge, converted to standard gauge to unify the national system after Poland gained independence.
1,668 mm (5 ft 5 2132 in) 1,664 mm (5 ft 5 12 in) 19th century  Portugal
1,668 mm (5 ft 5 2132 in) 1,000 mm (3 ft 3 38 in) 2004  Portugal The Guimarães line in Portugal was electrified and converted from metre gauge to Iberian broad gauge in 2004.
1,520 mm (4 ft 11 2732 in) 1,067 mm (3 ft 6 in)  Russia The railways of Sakhalin Island are to be converted. As the conversion is going to be done in sections, the 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.[13]
 Russia /  Slovakia A Russian broad gauge line reaches 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.[citation needed] On 9 April 2010, a four-way deal was signed.[14] As a general rule, transshipment is minimised if breaks-of-gauge occur at or near major hubs or major origins and destinations of traffic.
–1918  Russia /  German Empire World War I as fronts and borders changed
–1945  Russia /  Nazi Germany World War II as fronts and borders changed
1,524 mm (5 ft) 1,829 mm (6 ft) 1897  Russia The first railway in Russia connecting Saint Petersburg to Tsarskoye Selo
1,435 mm (4 ft 8 12 in) 1,067 mm (3 ft 6 in) (proposed)  Sierra Leone Port Pepel iron ore line, derelict [15]
1,067 mm (3 ft 6 in) 610 mm (2 ft)  South Africa
1,668 mm (5 ft 5 2132 in) 1,672 mm (5 ft 5 1316 in) 19th century  Spain
1,000 mm (3 ft 3 38 in) 1,067 mm (3 ft 6 in) 1976  Spain The line from Cartagena to Los Blancos was converted at the same time it was extended to Los Nietos.[16]
1,435 mm (4 ft 8 12 in) 1,000 mm (3 ft 3 38 in) 2000s  Spain Spain is building its High Speed lines to standard gauge, even though the existing system is Iberian; new cutoff lines are being built with gauge convertible sleepers.
1,676 mm (5 ft 6 in) 762 mm (2 ft 6 in)  Sri Lanka The only narrow-gauge lines in Sri Lanka: Kelani Valley line was regauged while the 762 mm (2 ft 6 in) Uda Pussellawa railway was dismantled.
600 mm (1 ft 11 58 in) 1,435 mm (4 ft 8 12 in) 1960s  Sweden The Östra Södermanlands Järnväg railway in Mariefred mostly runs on tracks which were converted from standard gauge when it was remade into a heritage railway in the 1960s.
891 mm (2 ft 11 332 in) 1,435 mm (4 ft 8 12 in) 1934  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.
1,435 mm (4 ft 8 12 in) 1,600 mm (5 ft 3 in) 1854   Switzerland Swiss Northern Railway
1,435 mm (4 ft 8 12 in) 1,050 mm (3 ft 5 1132 in) (proposed)  Syria Hejaz Railway
 Tanzania Tanzania in 2008 is proposed 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.
1,000 mm (3 ft 3 38 in) 1,435 mm (4 ft 8 12 in) 1920 onward  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.[17]
1,435 mm (4 ft 8 12 in) 1,000 mm (3 ft 3 38 in) (proposed)  Tunisia Convert Tunisian Metre Gauge Railways from 1,000 mm (3 ft 3 38 in) to 1,435 mm (4 ft 8 12 in)
750 mm (2 ft 5 12 in) 760 mm (2 ft 5 1516 in)  Ukraine Beregovo region network, around 200 km; initially built during the Hungarian Empire at the gauge of 760 mm (2 ft 5 1516 in) and regauged to 750 mm (2 ft 5 12 in) when Ukraine became part of the Soviet Union[18]
750 mm (2 ft 5 12 in) 760 mm (2 ft 5 1516 in)  Ukraine Uzhgorod region, 35 km[18]
750 mm (2 ft 5 12 in) 600 mm (1 ft 11 58 in)  Ukraine Vapniarka railways, 140 km
1,435 mm (4 ft 8 12 in) 1,524 mm (5 ft) 1844  United Kingdom The Eastern Counties Railway, constructed in 1839 and the connecting Northern and Eastern Railway, constructed in 1840, converted from 5 ft (1,524 mm) to 4 ft 8 12 in (1,435 mm).
610 mm (2 ft) 1,435 mm (4 ft 8 12 in)  United Kingdom Eigiau Reservoir Tramway
381 mm (15 in) 610 mm (2 ft) 1916  United Kingdom Fairbourne Railway
311 mm (12 14 in) 381 mm (15 in) 1986  United Kingdom Fairbourne Railway
610 mm (2 ft) 914 mm (3 ft) 1986  United Kingdom Gorseddau Junction and Portmadoc Railway
1,435 mm (4 ft 8 12 in) 2,140 mm (7 ft 14 in) 1892  United Kingdom Great Western Railway
600 mm (1 ft 11 58 in) 597 mm (1 ft 11 12 in)  United Kingdom Lynton and Barnstaple Railway
597 mm (1 ft 11 12 in) 1,067 mm (3 ft 6 in) 2002  United Kingdom Southport Pier Tramway
1,067 mm (3 ft 6 in) 597 mm (1 ft 11 12 in) 1950  United Kingdom Southport Pier Tramway
1,435 mm (4 ft 8 12 in) 2,140 mm (7 ft 14 in) 1872  United Kingdom Teifi Valley Railway
610 mm (2 ft) 1,435 mm (4 ft 8 12 in) 1983  United Kingdom Teifi Valley Railway
603 mm (1 ft 11 34 in) 597 mm (1 ft 11 12 in) 1901–1902  United Kingdom Vale of Rheidol Railway
825 mm (2 ft 8 12 in) 610 mm (2 ft) 1884  United Kingdom Volk's Electric Railway
1,435 mm (4 ft 8 12 in) 1,473 mm (4 ft 10 in) 1866  USA
 New Jersey
Morris and Essex converted in 12 days[19]
1,435 mm (4 ft 8 12 in) 1,676 mm (5 ft 6 in) 1871  USA
 Maine
Maine Central Railroad Company
1,435 mm (4 ft 8 12 in) 914 mm (3 ft) 1881  USA
 Colorado
Denver to Pueblo from 3 ft (914 mm) to dual gauge on Denver & Rio Grande Railroad.[20] This began a progressive and gradual conversion to standard gauge across Colorado, wherever the traffic justified the conversion
1,435 mm (4 ft 8 12 in) 1,524 mm (5 ft) 1886  United States The Congressional act of March 3, 1863 (12 Sta. 807),[21] entitled "AN ACT to establish the gauge of the Pacific railroad and its branches." set the standard for the First Transcontinental Railroad and its branches, thus encouraging previously laid railroads to regauge, allowing for transcontinental shipment. Southern railroads, due to the American Civil War, were not converted until May 31 – June 1, 1886[22] when they were respiked from 5 ft (1,524 mm) gauge to 4 ft 9 in (1,448 mm) - functionally compatible with standard gauge. The final conversions to true standard gauge took place gradually as track was maintained.[23]
1,588 mm (5 ft 2 12 in) 1,435 mm (4 ft 8 12 in) 1997  United States
 Louisiana
The Riverfront Streetcar Line of the New Orleans streetcar system was converted from standard gauge to 5 ft 2 12 in (1,588 mm) Pennsylvania trolley gauge to conform to the rest of the historic streetcar system.
1,435 mm (4 ft 8 12 in) 1,520 mm (4 ft 11 2732 in) Central Asia While China and 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.
  • 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.

See also[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ Durrant, A.E., A.A. Jorgensen, C.P. Lewis. Steam in Africa, London, 1981, Hamlyn.
  2. ^ "Railways in Angola". 2010-11-11. Retrieved 2010-11-27. 
  3. ^ "Jasper supports Oaklands rail line upgrade". Australia: Ken Jasper MLA, Member for Murray Valley. 9 July 2008. Archived from the original on 18 July 2008. Retrieved 1 June 2016. 
  4. ^ "Rail Revitalisation". South Australian Department of Transport, Energy and Infrastructure. Retrieved 2008-08-25. 
  5. ^ "Murchison Metals Ltd – Projects : Oakajee Port and Rail". Mml.net.au. Retrieved 6 May 2012. 
  6. ^ Railway Digest, October 2015, pg 36
  7. ^ [1] The TU2 pages
  8. ^ "ABOUT BOOKS". Morning Bulletin (Rockhampton, Qld. : 1878 - 1954). Rockhampton, Qld.: National Library of Australia. 6 October 1939. p. 9. Retrieved 2014-03-19. 
  9. ^ 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 1 December 2016 – via Military Literature. 
  10. ^ [2] MPS-lines in Kazakhstan (part 1)
  11. ^ Trains, March 2009, p68
  12. ^ Fender, Keith (8 December 2015). "High hopes for Peru's Andean railway". International Railway Journal. US. Retrieved 1 December 2016. 
  13. ^ Сахалинская узкоколейная железная дорога (The narrow-gauge railways of Sakhalin) Archived 15 November 2013 at Archive.is (in Russian)
  14. ^ "Russian Railways Signs Track Extension Contract". Railway Technology. Retrieved 6 May 2012. 
  15. ^ http://allafrica.com/stories/200805191261.html
  16. ^ Ferropedia - Ferrocarril Cartagena - Los Nietos, http://ferropedia.es/wiki/Ferrocarril_Cartagena_-_Los_Nietos
  17. ^ "Break of Gauge – Letters to the Editor". The Sydney Morning Herald. Australia. 13 June 1938. Retrieved 1 June 2016 – via Trove – National Library of Australia. 
  18. ^ a b [3] MPS lines in Carpathian Ukraine
  19. ^ https://query.nytimes.com/mem/archive-free/pdf?res=FA0F11FD3E59137A93C1A9178CD85F428684F9 New York Times, July 3, 1866
  20. ^ Wilkins, Tivis (Tiv) E. (1974). "Part II – Expansion And Consolidation". Colorado Railroads. Pruett Publishing Company. 
  21. ^ "An act to establish the gauge of the Pacific railroad and its branches". US: Congress. 1 March 1863. Retrieved 1 June 2016 – via Central Pacific Railroad Photographic History Museum. 
  22. ^ http://southern.railfan.net/ties/1966/66-8/gauge.html
  23. ^ "The Days They Changed the Gauge". Ties. US: Southern Railway System. August 1966. Retrieved 1 June 2016 – via Southern Railfan. 

External links[edit]