scale width of German RR tracks.

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scale width of German RR tracks.

jim feeley
jim feeley

May 16th, 2003, 6:24 am #1

Can anyone tell me what the standard width of WWII German railroad tracks. I know that the width changed country to country (which made supply-lines a nightmare or, I guess, a blessing, depending on ones alliance). The width in the US is, I seem to recall, something like 4'8". I want to scratchbuild a boxcar sort of diorama.
Thanks for any information
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Joined: March 26th, 2003, 9:04 pm

May 16th, 2003, 7:24 pm #2

If I recall correctly, the width of the track would be 1485 millimeters, or 58.46 inches...

Width is the same for all of Western Europe, Germany, Netherlands, Belgium, France, Spain, Denmark, Norway, etc. etc...
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jim feeley
jim feeley

May 17th, 2003, 5:02 am #3

Thank you--I was on the verge of digging out old Marklin catalogues to assist in 'guestimation'.
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Robert Lockie
Robert Lockie

May 20th, 2003, 4:38 am #4

If I recall correctly, the width of the track would be 1485 millimeters, or 58.46 inches...

Width is the same for all of Western Europe, Germany, Netherlands, Belgium, France, Spain, Denmark, Norway, etc. etc...
I have a recollection from studying Spanish at school that the gauge changed between France and Spain and that this required some complicated mechanism by which the wheels were loosened to slide along the axles to adjust to the new gauge.

None of which is material to the original query of course, but do you have any idea if my recollection is accurate?
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jim feeley
jim feeley

May 20th, 2003, 6:00 am #5

If I recall correctly, the width of the track would be 1485 millimeters, or 58.46 inches...

Width is the same for all of Western Europe, Germany, Netherlands, Belgium, France, Spain, Denmark, Norway, etc. etc...
What I understand is that each country in Europe (and, for that matter, the former Soviet Union) had different sizes which would disallow 'foreign' locomotives from travelling. The readily apparent reason is that a great deal of commerce/tariffs could be made and basically ensured by different tracks. What most people do not realize is that modern Europe circa 1939 had been in existence for a mere seventy years. Poland, Germany, Italy had been united as 'nations' and would naturally create resources that would be (hopefully) cash-cows. The German invasion of Russia created hardships for supplies since vast lengths of soviet rr were (I think) four inches too narrow....another tap on steel resources and manpower.

I would imagine that the tracks in the Pyrennees are a narrower guage in order to accomadate the mountains/tight turns etc... much like the Rocky Mountains.

Well, enough blah blahing
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Håvard Haugen
Håvard Haugen

May 21st, 2003, 9:06 pm #6

I have a recollection from studying Spanish at school that the gauge changed between France and Spain and that this required some complicated mechanism by which the wheels were loosened to slide along the axles to adjust to the new gauge.

None of which is material to the original query of course, but do you have any idea if my recollection is accurate?
Spain and France does indeed have different gauges.

France uses the standard gauge that is 1435 mm.

Spain uses a broader gauge, 1676 mm.

Please note that Poland, Finland and the former Soviet Union uses yet another track gauge, 1524 mm.

To make things even more confusing, most countries had at least a few narrow-gauge railroads at some time.

I wouldn´t even try to start listing them, but if you model a specific scene including railway track, you should do some research.

Sometimes I am surprised to see quite unprototypical track in otherwise excellent dioramas.

Best regards, Håvard H
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