Sunday, October 12, 2014

Эрлийз Цариг Оршвой

By 1860, seven different gauges were in use in America. Just over half of the total mileage was of the 4’8½” standard. The next most popular was the 5-foot gauge concentrated in the South. As things turned out, having different gauges was advantageous to the South, since the North could not easily use railroad to move its troops to battle in southern territory during the Civil War. Noting this example, the Finns were careful to ensure that their railroads used a gauge different from the Russian railroads! The rest of Europe adopted a standard gauge, which made things easy for Hitler during World War II: a significant fraction of German troop movements in Europe were accomplished by rail.
"History in Motion - Railroad Gauges: A Standards Battle" by Carl Shapiro and Hal R. Varian (excerpt from Information Rules)