List of gauge conversions

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Track gauge
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
  600 mm,
Two foot
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)
  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
World map, rail gauge by region

Track gauge conversions include:

List[edit]

  • 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.
  • The list also contains
    • proposed conversions
    • preparations for conversions
Target
(mm)
Origin
(mm)
Date Location Description
600 1435 1960s  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.
891 1435 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.
1000 1435 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.[1]
1067 610 1910  Mozambique /  Zimbabwe Beira – Salisbury
1067 1435 1923  Japan Iyo Railway, Japan, regauged from 1,435 mm (4 ft 8 12 in) to 1,067 mm (3 ft 6 in).
1067 610 1930s  Namibia Namibian Railways, much of which was 610 mm (2 ft)
1067 762 1932  Democratic Republic of the Congo Matadi–Kinshasa Railway converted to 1,067 mm (3 ft 6 in) on new alignment.
1067 1000  Angola Luanda Railway
1067 600 1950s  Angola Angola Namibe Railway, 1950s, was 600 mm (1 ft 11 58 in)
1067 1000 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), 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.
1067 750 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.
1435 1524 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).
1435 1473 1866  USA New Jersey Morris and Essex converted in 12 days from 4 ft 10 in (1,473 mm) [2]
1435 1881  USA Colorado Denver to Pueblo from 3 ft (914 mm) to dual gauge on Denver & Rio Grande Railroad.[3] This began a progressive and gradual conversion to standard gauge across Colorado, wherever the traffic justified the conversion
1435 1676 1880s  Canada Numerous Provincial Gauge railways in Canada from 1,676 mm (5 ft 6 in) to 1,435 mm (4 ft 8 12 in).
1435 1067 1881  Canada Toronto, Grey and Bruce Railway, Canada from 1,067 mm (3 ft 6 in) to 1,435 mm (4 ft 8 12 in)
1435 1067 1883  Canada Toronto and Nipissing Railway, Canada from 1,067 mm (3 ft 6 in) to 1,435 mm (4 ft 8 12 in) with third rail stage.
1435 1886  United States After extensive preparation, the entire rail network in the southern United States is converted from 5 ft (1,524 mm) gauge to (essentially) standard gauge over the course of two days.[4] See Track gauge in the United States, United States broad gauge
1435 1892  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.
1435 1067 1922  Norway Skøyen–Filipstad Line in Norway (was 1,067 mm (3 ft 6 in))
1435 1067 1922  Norway Trondhjem–Støren Line in Norway (was 1,067 mm (3 ft 6 in))
1435 1000 1924  Denmark Skagen Line in Denmark (was 1,000 mm (3 ft 3 38 in))
1435 1067 1935  Norway Arendal Line in Norway (was 1,067 mm (3 ft 6 in))
1435 1524 1938  China China - Russian-owned line converted from 1,524 mm (5 ft) to 1,435 mm (4 ft 8 12 in).[5]
1435 1520 1941  Germany Brest-Minsk[6]
1435 1067 1944  Norway Ålgård Line in Norway (was 1,067 mm (3 ft 6 in))
1435 1067 1941  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.
1435 1067 1949  Norway Grevskap Line in Norway (was 1,067 mm (3 ft 6 in))
1435 750 1964/65  Germany Zabergäu Railway 750 mm (2 ft 5 12 in) to 1,435 mm (4 ft 8 12 in)
1435 1970  Australia Indian Pacific; Sydney to Perth
1435 1980  Australia Adelaide–Darwin railway; the first stage to Alice Springs. Replaced a narrow gauge line on a different, more floodprone alignment.
1435 1524 2001  Panama 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).
1435 2000s  Spain 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.
1435 2008 - 2010  Victoria 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.
1435 914 2009  Peru Peru from Huancayo to Huancavelica from 3 ft (914 mm) to 1,435 mm (4 ft 8 12 in); 147 km.[7]
1435 2012  Victoria 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.[8] However both gauge conversion and electrification works have been suspended due to funding constraints, with work unlikely to proceed for the foreseeable future.
1435 1067 (proposed)  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)[9]
1435 1050 (proposed)  Syria Hejaz Railway - convert from 1,050 mm (3 ft 5 1132 in) to 1,435 mm (4 ft 8 12 in)
1520 1067  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.[10]


1524 1829 1897  Russia The first railway in Russia connecting Saint Petersburg to Tsarskoye Selo converted from 1,829 mm (6 ft) to 1,524 mm (5 ft)
1668 2004  Portugal The Guimarães line in Portugal was electrified and converted from metre gauge to Iberian broad gauge in 2004.
1676  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
1676 762 2006  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.[11] Conversion completed in 2006.[12]

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.

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.

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.[citation needed] On 9 April 2010, a four-way deal was signed.[13] 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.

2009[edit]

2010[edit]

2015[edit]

See also[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ "13 Jun 1938 – BREAK OF GAUGE. TO THE EDITOR OF THE HERALD". Trove.nla.gov.au. 13 June 1938. Retrieved 6 May 2012. 
  2. ^ http://query.nytimes.com/mem/archive-free/pdf?res=FA0F11FD3E59137A93C1A9178CD85F428684F9 New York Times, July 3, 1866
  3. ^ Wilkins, Tivis (Tiv) E. (1974). "Part II – Expansion And Consolidation". Colorado Railroads. Pruett Publishing Company. 
  4. ^ http://southern.railfan.net/ties/1966/66-8/gauge.html
  5. ^ "ABOUT BOOKS.". Morning Bulletin (Rockhampton, Qld. : 1878 - 1954) (Rockhampton, Qld.: National Library of Australia). 6 October 1939. p. 9. Retrieved 2014-03-19. 
  6. ^ 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 2009-03-21. 
  7. ^ Trains, March 2009, p68
  8. ^ "Rail Revitalisation". South Australian Department of Transport, Energy and Infrastructure. Retrieved 2008-08-25. 
  9. ^ http://allafrica.com/stories/200805191261.html
  10. ^ Сахалинская узкоколейная железная дорога (The narrow-gauge railways of Sakhalin) (Russian)
  11. ^ [1][dead link]
  12. ^ "Zhob – Balochistan – Pakistan". Forum.urduworld.com. Retrieved 6 May 2012. 
  13. ^ "Russian Railways Signs Track Extension Contract". Railway Technology. Retrieved 6 May 2012. 
  14. ^ "Murchison Metals Ltd – Projects : Oakajee Port and Rail". Mml.net.au. Retrieved 6 May 2012. 
  15. ^ Railway Digest, October 2015, pg 36

External links[edit]