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    • CommentTimeJun 8th 2021
    A true bombastard.
    • CommentAuthorBigOilRep
    • CommentTimeJun 8th 2021
    Posted By: aber0derA true bombastard.

    • CommentAuthorAsterix
    • CommentTimeJun 27th 2021
    Many years ago, I had the opportunity to chat with an elderly gent who had ridden the Tour in the old days.

    Very different, very casual; lots of chloroform--and not the massive numbers seen on this video.
    • CommentTimeAug 29th 2021
    I guess that's the current pathetic state of politics. The pathetic state of justice will be manifest at the outcome of the lawsuit.
    The US standard railroad gauge (distance between the rails) is 4 feet, 8.5 inches. That's an exceedingly odd number. Why was that gauge used?
    Well, because that's the way they built them in England, and English engineers designed the first US railroads. Why did the English build them like that?
    Because the first rail lines were built by the same people who built the wagon tramways, and that's the gauge they used. So, why did 'they' use that gauge then?
    Because the people who built the tramways used the same jigs and tools that they had used for building wagons, which used that same wheel spacing. Why did the wagons have that particular odd wheel spacing?
    Well, if they tried to use any other spacing, the wagon wheels would break more often on some of the old, long distance roads in England . You see, that's the spacing of the wheel ruts. So who built those old rutted roads?
    Imperial Rome built the first long distance roads in Europe (including England ) for their legions. Those roads have been used ever since.
    And what about the ruts in the roads?
    Roman war chariots formed the initial ruts, which everyone else had to match or run the risk of destroying their wagon wheels. Since the chariots were made for Imperial Rome , they were all alike in the matter of wheel spacing. Therefore the United States standard railroad gauge of 4 feet, 8.5 inches is derived from the original specifications for an Imperial Roman war chariot. Bureaucracies live forever.
    So the next time you are handed a specification/procedure/process and wonder 'What horse's ass came up with this?', you may be exactly right. Imperial Roman army chariots were made just wide enough to accommodate the rear ends of two war horses. (Two horses' asses.)
    Now, the twist to the story:
    When you see a Space Shuttle sitting on its launch pad, there are two big booster rockets attached to the sides of the main fuel tank. These are solid rocket boosters, or SRBs. The SRBs are made by Thiokol at their factory in Utah . The engineers who designed the SRBs would have preferred to make them a bit fatter, but the SRBs had to be shipped by train from the factory to the launch site. The railroad line from the factory happens to run through a tunnel in the mountains, and the SRBs had to fit through that tunnel. The tunnel is slightly wider than the railroad track, and the railroad track, as you now know, is about as wide as two horses' behinds.
    So, a major Space Shuttle design feature, of what is arguably the world's most advanced transportation system, was determined over two thousand years ago by the width of a horse's ass. And you thought being a horse's ass wasn't important? Ancient horse's asses control almost everything... Author unknown.
    • CommentTimeSep 8th 2021
    Thanks. I got this via an ex-colleague on LinkedIn who was the CEO's right hand man and an Oxford alumnus. I just assumed...
    The Rolls-Royce Bingo
    • CommentTimeSep 9th 2021 edited
    Posted By: Duracell

    To summarise - "No, but Yes"

    So the railroad gauges in the US (and here and most places) is in fact based on the Roman standardish chariot gauge, which probably goes back all the way to Egypt. The reasons why are much the same as the reasons why airliners all look the same - It's the right way to do it for chariots, and that transfers to roads, and then nothing can be changed until you eliminate roads.

    But there is more to the story. Brunel when he built the Great Western Railway, used a seven foot gauge because he worked out that the carriages would be more stable and the ride more comfortable. The other railwaymen refused to do that and froze him out, so eventually when the railways amalgamated the GWR had to rebuild to the standard gauge. No more broad gauge services remained in the UK after 1890.

    Russian railway gauge is still 5 feet. This was once also used on some lines in the US and Britain.
    • CommentAuthorloreman
    • CommentTimeSep 9th 2021
    We have several different gauges down here-it’s a bit of a dog’s breakfast
    • CommentTimeSep 9th 2021
    Do you still have many railway companies with their own rights-of-way?
    • CommentAuthorloreman
    • CommentTime7 days ago
    I think so but not entirely sure. There’s quite a few independent rail companies because of all the mining that goes on down here.
    • CommentTime7 days ago
    some railroads intentionally changed gauge to avoid giving invading armies an easy invasion and supply route

    how do you cope with that? checkout the Trans-Siberian RR
    • CommentTime7 days ago edited
    Posted By: loremanI think so but not entirely sure. There’s quite a few independent rail companies because of all the mining that goes on down here.

    I see. Narrow gauges are pretty common for mining and agriculture. Also some trams and funiculars.

    One doesn't hear much about railways in Oz. Is there a national passenger service across all that desert? Here the CPR was part of our founding myth. It was a condition of BC joining Confederation that rail be extended right across the country. It had been taken as far as Manitoba to carry troops to put down a rebellion.
    • CommentAuthorloreman
    • CommentTime7 days ago
    • CommentTime6 days ago
    Poles are a fact of life in America because the place is so big. Nobody can afford to trench the whole thing. It may be a further good reason to concentrate the population into trenched villages and use steel towers to carry HV between them. Also include public transit and you won't need a car because you can walk to the village grocery.

    But what do we do with the poor?
    Let them dig trenches