The width of the railway ross in Russia and in all countries of the former union differs from European. Most likely, many people know about it, especially those who traveled to Europe by train. And those who have not traveled, anyway heard about such a fact. But it turns out that there are other standards of the railway ross, except "Russian" and "European" in the world.
In Russia and adjacent countries, the width of the railway ross (distance between the internal roins of the rail) is 1520 mm, although until the 1970s it was 4 mm more. In European countries, this figure is 1435 mm.
It is known that the very first railways in the world appeared in England, at the beginning of the XIX century. And rails, and cars for a new-fashioned type of transport initially did in those enterprises where tram cars were already produced. And the first trams of England were on horse racing, and for them they used traditional axis widths for horse widths - 4 feet and 8, 5 inches or 1435 mm.
But on this, the historical chain does not end at all. It turns out that a similar width of the axis for equestrian wagons was also not taken from the ceiling. On the stony streets of the English cities, there were deep ruts, knocked out carriages. The depth of such tracks by places reached 20-30 cm, and even more. To avoid wear of the wheels, they did their centuries with the settlement so that they fall exactly in the existing rut. And I first knocked out the river in English roads ... Ancient Romans! It was these tireless conquerors that began to build permanent roads on the lands of Misty Albion. They were built to be more convenient to supply the legions to the province, driving it on the carts, the width of the axis of which, as it is no longer difficult to guess, corresponded to about all the same 4 feet and 8, 5 inches. But the Romans did not come up with such a size arbitrarily: they chose it with the calculation so that two groats of combat horses were comfortable before the chariot.
So, the British for their new railway tracks chose not random size, but dictated by economic considerations. At the same time, you do not need to be an engineer to understand: the wider the river between the rails, the more stable the train will be, and the greater the cargo can be transported by one car. And therefore, when Joard Stephenson, an English engineer, built in 1825 the world's first railway branch from Stockton in Darlington, he was immediately criticized. Many believed that the rut was too narrow, and it should be wider. It is hardly the main criticism of the "Stephensonovsky" size spoke by the native son of the engineer, Robert. He insisted at a size of 1600 mm, and he explained this not so much by the convenience of transportation, as the fact that with such sizes inside the steam machine easier to place structural parts.
Other engineers had other reasoning, and all this led to the fact that it was soon on the lands of England railways with four different dimensions between the rails! However, in the first years, this fact did not really worry anyone, because the roads were not related to each other, and it seemed that such a state of affairs would remain for a long time.
But only 20 years passed, and the issue of unification of the railway ross was extremely acute. Railways were very profitable, their network was growing rapidly, but the differences in width led to a huge economic loss. The real "railway wars" began, when each owner of a separate branch insisted that the neighbor moves precisely on its size. It came to the point that the question decided to make a meeting of the UK parliament. Parliamentary officials created a broad expert commission, based on the conclusions of which took the Bill about the width of the rut. According to him, the whole country was obliged to switch to Stephensonian size. The significant decision was signed on August 12, 1846.
Russia, lagging behind the development of railways, these "railway passions" at first did not hurt. And when in 1836 they began to build the first road from St. Petersburg to the royal village, the rut made an internal size of 1829 mm, guided by technical amenities in the construction of the locomotive. In addition, there was also a lot of roads at that time, there were also many roads in England, much wider than Stephensonian.
In 1843, began to build the Nikolaev railway from St. Petersburg to Moscow. One of its builders, engineer of Melnikov, has long studied accumulated experience not only in England, but also in America. It was the study of American experience that he suggested that the distance between Kolayui in Russian conditions should be wider than in England. The Whistler's engineer, invited to Russia from the United States as a consultant for railways, was inclined to the same decision. He argued that the movement on such a rut would be more secure, and the carrying capacity of the wagons is greater. After long oscillations accepted a size equal to 1524 mm. The sake of justice should be remembered about another version. Allegedly, the decision on the construction of such a road was taken under the pressure of the "merchant lobby". The merchants of Russia feared that European goods would swell the Markets of the Fatherland, and so it remained a serious transport obstacle. Since 1970, the entire railway network of the Soviet Union was decided to translate 1520 mm to the width in order to increase the stability of the path during the operation of freight trains and their speed.
Modern countries, as if cobwebs, braided hundreds of thousands of kilometers of railway tracks. About 60% of them are European, Stefenson Kai. Another 17% occupies a Kraul "Russian", which, as already noted, now corresponds to 1520 mm.
And what remaining 23 percent? They are distributed as follows.
Cape crawler. It has a size of 1067mm. The name received from the Cape region in South Africa, where the British was widely used. Now operates in Australia, New Zealand, in several countries of Africa, in the Philippines, Indonesia, in some areas of Japan. By the way, the same size had the Sakhalin Railway in Russia, which was "inheritance" from Japan. True, since 2004 her alteration occurred to the "Russian" king. The cap of the track is currently occupied by about 9% of all world railway lines.
Meter Pitch. The fourth place in the world, about 7% of all roads. Width speaks for itself - 1000 mm. Most used in Brazil, India, Southeast Asian countries, in North Chile, in some African countries. There is a similar track and in Europe, especially for the movement of suburban trains, as well as for the tram message.
Indian Pitch, width of 1676 mm. In addition to India, it can be seen in Pakistan, on Sri Lanka, in Argentina and Chile. It takes about 6% of all world railway branches.
This is interesting: "initial" Russian pitching width of 1524 mm did not go into the past. It is used in Finland and partly in Estonia.