Royal Commission on Railway Gauges

The Royal Commission on Railway Gauges was held in the United Kingdom in 1845 to choose between the Broad Gauge of the Great Western Railway and its allies, and the so-called narrow gauge used by most of the rest of the country. The situation in Ireland where there were three gauges was also considered.

Following the Royal Commission in August 1846 the Gauge Act was passed which mandated all new railways be constructed to 4 ft 8 12 in (1,435 mm) in England, Scotland and Wales, and to 5 ft 3 in (1,600 mm) in Ireland. The Great Western Railway was allowed to continue with 7 ft (2,134 mm).

Narrow gaugesEdit

Really narrow gauges such as 610 mm (2 ft) of the Ffestiniog Railway appear to have been overlooked.[1]

Unlike Italy and France, which regulated the choice of narrow gauge gauges, Britain did not, which resulted in a large number of narrow gauges, including:

  • 1 ft 11 12 in (597 mm) – earliest use in 1836.
  • 2 ft (610 mm) – 1879
  • 2 ft 3 in (686 mm) – 1859
  • 2 ft 6 in (762 mm) – 1884
  • 3 ft (914 mm) – 1873
  • 3 ft 6 in (1,067 mm) – 1863
  • Several other rarely used gauges

See alsoEdit

ReferencesEdit

  1. ^ "Mr Hudson & the Gauges", Leeds Mercury, 1845-11-29 in "British Extracts". The Maitland Mercury & Hunter River General Advertiser. NSW. 13 May 1846. p. 4. Retrieved 25 April 2011 – via National Library of Australia. CS1 maint: discouraged parameter (link)