Did you know this????

Discussion in 'Getting Started' started by interurban, Apr 26, 2005.

  1. interurban

    interurban Active Member

    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? Because that's the way
    > they built them in England, and English
    >> expatriates built the US Railroads. Why did the English
    >> build
    > them like that? Because the first rail lines were built by the same
    > people who built the pre-railroad tramways, and that's the gauge they
    > used.
    > Why did "they" use that gauge then? Because the people who built the
    > tramways used the same jigs and tools that they used for building
    > wagons,
    > which used that wheel spacing. Okay! Why did the wagons have that
    > particular odd wheel spacing? Well, if they tried to use any other
    > spacing, the wagon wheels would break on some of the old, long distance
    > roads in England, because 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 (and England) for their legions. The
    > roads have been used ever since.
    >> And the ruts in the roads? Roman war chariots formed the
    > initial ruts, which everyone else had to match for fear of destroying
    > their wagon wheels. Since the chariots were made for Imperial Rome, they
    > were all alike in the matter of wheel spacing.
    >> The United States standard railroad gauge of 4 feet, 8.5
    > inches is derived from the original specifications
    >> for an Imperial Roman war chariot. And bureaucracies live
    > forever.
    >> So the next time you are handed a specification and wonder
    > what horse's ass came up with it, you may
    >> be exactly right, because the Imperial Roman war chariots
    > were made just wide enough to accommodate
    >> the back ends of two war horses. 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 at 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. 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
    :D :D :D :D :D :D :rolleyes: :rolleyes:
  2. Livesteam

    Livesteam Member

    4 feet 8.5 inches, thats it, just need to get some long axels and put them on an HO,G,S,O,N or z scale engine and than you can say i have a real scale train.
  3. siderod

    siderod Member

    Heard it a hundred times, and every time i hear it, it's STILL as funny as ever!

  4. Matthyro

    Matthyro Will always be re-membered

    It is amazing how accepted many of the things we know and do without thinking of the historical reasons.
  5. SteamerFan

    SteamerFan Member

    This really does get funnier the more i Hear it.
  6. ausien

    ausien Active Member

    The rumps have it, all measured up...have a good one ..steve
  7. Sir_Prize

    Sir_Prize Member

    Know some people that are 4 lanes wide with that equation! :oops: :D

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