A "Must Read" Book

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JazzDad

Gandy Dancer
#1
If you model narrow gauge, you simply have to read this book: http://www.gutenberg.org/ebooks/44341 .
The photos at the end are great, but I really enjoyed some of the math. The author states the ratio of how wide and how long a car should be, based on the track gauge. (This is something I had wondered for a long time.) You'll also be amused at Sir Arthur's stance on locomotive cabs.

Here's a tease:

plate12s.jpg

Did you know that a locomotive could be built for under £400?
 

JazzDad

Gandy Dancer
#2
What, no one has read the book yet? (Not to worry, it's short.) Here's an excerpt to further entice you:

"Cabs on such small engines are to be avoided as unbearably hot in summer, dangerous in case of emergency, and inconvenient at all times on account of the contracted dimensions. A stout mackintosh is cheaper and far better for the driver." ;)
 

bob

Administrator
Staff member
#3
"Cabs on such small engines are to be avoided as unbearably hot in summer, dangerous in case of emergency, and inconvenient at all times on account of the contracted dimensions. A stout mackintosh is cheaper and far better for the driver." ;)
Apparently he never ran a railroad in the great Pacific NorthWET.

I have run a steam locomotive in the rain far more times than I can count, while wearing a Mackintosh (and, if it was really lucky, with some Mackintosh Toffee in my lunchbox), wearing an Aussie hat, and I STILL ended up looking like a drowned rat by the end of the day.

He is correct about the heat in summer though. It's not uncommon to see the engine crew getting out of the cab the instant the wheels stop turning on a hot day.
 
#4
The author states the ratio of how wide and how long a car should be, based on the track gauge. (This is something I had wondered for a long time.)
Hmmm, have to put that on my list. I've always contended that "standard gauge" had a lot more due to physics than did any silly story about a horse on a Roman road.
 

bob

Administrator
Staff member
#5
Hmmm, have to put that on my list. I've always contended that "standard gauge" had a lot more due to physics than did any silly story about a horse on a Roman road.
The "width of two horse's asses" myth is true in general terms. Early railroads were designed based on existing wagons and carriages, which in turn were based on the size and general dimensions of horses. But only as a general ratio, based on where the wheels were, which is pretty much the same thing as basing it on track gauge.
 
#8
I used to think it would be neat to have a miniature railroad. I thought that it would be cool to run 5 miles on a 12” gauge railroad. Now I realize how much work, skill and money it would take to build and maintain such an operation.

There is a balance between the gauge and how stable the cars are. There is also a balance between the gauge and return on investment. That’s why the Erie tried to make 6’ gauge the standard.

I do find the narrow gauge railroads very interesting like short lines and mining/ logging railroads. Most were part of a big dream that never panned out.

There was a 3’ gauge railroad in the southern part of the county I live in that was part of such a dream. This railroad and the one in the next county over were supposed to connect west to the EBT and east to Philadelphia. The Peach Bottom Railroad.




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