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The New Zealand Railways Magazine, Volume 5, Issue 6 (October 1, 1930)

The World's Different Railway Gauges

The World's Different Railway Gauges.

Long ago the New Zealand railway authorities decided to fix the gauge of 3ft. 6in. as standard throughout the country, and, having regard to local conditions, this gauge is well adapted to the needs of the Dominion. Looking around, it is really surprising to find how many different gauges are in use on the railways of the world. Generally speaking, Europe and America favour the 4ft. 8½in. gauge for both main and branch lines. Even in Europe, however, Russia and Spain still adhere to gauges of their own which differ from the rest of the Continent, and which render through running with the outside world an impossibility. The recent decision of the Spanish railway authorities to reconstruct many of their existing lines to the European standard gauge directs attention to this anomaly.