Did you know this????

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

  1. interurban

    interurban Active Member

    Aug 22, 2002
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    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

    Aug 26, 2004
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    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

    Jan 30, 2004
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    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

    Dec 28, 2000
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    It is amazing how accepted many of the things we know and do without thinking of the historical reasons.
  5. SteamerFan

    SteamerFan Member

    Sep 3, 2004
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    This really does get funnier the more i Hear it.
  6. ausien

    ausien Active Member

    Sep 14, 2004
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    The rumps have it, all measured up...have a good one ..steve
  7. Sir_Prize

    Sir_Prize Member

    Mar 5, 2001
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    Know some people that are 4 lanes wide with that equation! :oops: :D