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ABOUT RAILROAD TRACKS
Jokes, funny stories and general humor
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Vince
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Joined: May 25, 2005
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Location: Brisbane AUSTRALIA

PostPosted: Tue Jul 27, 2010 11:05 pm    Post subject: ABOUT RAILROAD TRACKS Reply with quote

Railroad tracks.

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 designed 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 had used for building wagons, which used that wheel spacing.

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 (including England ) for their legions. Those 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. Therefore the United States standard railroad gauge of 4 feet, 8.5 inches is derived from the original specifications for an Imperial Roman war chariot. Bureaucracies live forever.

So the next time you are handed a specification/procedure/process and wonder 'What horse's ass came up with this?' , you may be exactly right. Imperial Roman army chariots were made just wide enough to accommodate the rear ends of two war horses. (Two horses' asses.)




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 in 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, and 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? Ancient horse's asses control almost everything... and CURRENT Horses Asses in Washington are controlling everything else.

Cheers, Vince

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Illegitimi non carborundum
(Never let the bastards grind you down)

Live simply. Love generously. Care deeply. Speak kindly. Leave the rest to God.

"Nulla Si Fa Senza Volonta."
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Suzanne
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PostPosted: Wed Jul 28, 2010 5:44 am    Post subject: Re: ABOUT RAILROAD TRACKS Reply with quote

OK that ties it all together rather well...
Thank you Vince Cool

There's gotta be more



Suz

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wiersy111
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PostPosted: Wed Jul 28, 2010 4:21 pm    Post subject: Re: ABOUT RAILROAD TRACKS Reply with quote

Now that is deep! It explains alot of things.

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Vince
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PostPosted: Wed Jul 28, 2010 6:47 pm    Post subject: Re: ABOUT RAILROAD TRACKS Reply with quote

Thought you might find that edjabucating. Laughing Laughing

Cheers, Vince

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Illegitimi non carborundum
(Never let the bastards grind you down)

Live simply. Love generously. Care deeply. Speak kindly. Leave the rest to God.

"Nulla Si Fa Senza Volonta."
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tikkat3
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PostPosted: Thu Jul 29, 2010 12:29 am    Post subject: Re: ABOUT RAILROAD TRACKS Reply with quote

I'll bite Suzanne,
But I'm going to sleeper on it
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slimjim
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Joined: May 16, 2009
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Location: Fort Worth TX

PostPosted: Thu Jul 29, 2010 2:47 am    Post subject: Re: ABOUT RAILROAD TRACKS Reply with quote

The cost and implications are change are not always easy. The M1 Garand was originally chambered for 276 Pedersen (7 x 51 mm) and had to be redesigned for .30-06 because of all the ammo left over from WWI. The .276 was a better performing cartridge for military applications. Look how hard it has been to get the US to change away from the 5.56 which has so many shortfalls.

Once something has been established, its very hard and often costly to change to something different.

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Suzanne
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PostPosted: Thu Jul 29, 2010 8:07 pm    Post subject: Re: ABOUT RAILROAD TRACKS Reply with quote

Tikkat3 is gonna bite me!! Gonna dream about it first!! I want the movie rights.



live, and in color
Suz

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PaulS
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Location: South-Eastern Washington - the State

PostPosted: Fri Jul 30, 2010 1:09 am    Post subject: Re: ABOUT RAILROAD TRACKS Reply with quote

That is the real story behind the size of RR track width - I have never heard it put so ... "down to earth" but the facts are all there.

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Paul
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tikkat3
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PostPosted: Fri Jul 30, 2010 1:50 am    Post subject: Re: ABOUT RAILROAD TRACKS Reply with quote

I thought we were talking about ties,
But if there is going to be a movie I'll be in it.

Hey Vince, is it only a one horse arse in Q'ld?
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Vince
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PostPosted: Mon Aug 02, 2010 12:42 am    Post subject: Re: ABOUT RAILROAD TRACKS Reply with quote

tikkat3 wrote:
I thought we were talking about ties,
But if there is going to be a movie I'll be in it.

Hey Vince, is it only a one horse arse in Q'ld?

No mate...plenty of "horse's arses" up here....starting with the Premier !!!!

Cheers, Vince

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Illegitimi non carborundum
(Never let the bastards grind you down)

Live simply. Love generously. Care deeply. Speak kindly. Leave the rest to God.

"Nulla Si Fa Senza Volonta."
(Without Commitment, Nothing Gets Done)
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tikkat3
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PostPosted: Mon Aug 02, 2010 1:07 am    Post subject: Re: ABOUT RAILROAD TRACKS Reply with quote

I was hinting at the narrow gauge of Queenslands rail system. 3'
But I've assumed that chariots may have been scarce when it was built
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Vince
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PostPosted: Mon Aug 02, 2010 2:45 am    Post subject: Re: ABOUT RAILROAD TRACKS Reply with quote

Oooohhh....well mate....I think that they used the measurement of a one of our female indigenous cousin's butt....but I can't be sure.

Cheers, Vince

_________________
Cheers, Vince Cheers

Illegitimi non carborundum
(Never let the bastards grind you down)

Live simply. Love generously. Care deeply. Speak kindly. Leave the rest to God.

"Nulla Si Fa Senza Volonta."
(Without Commitment, Nothing Gets Done)
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Dimitri
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PostPosted: Mon Aug 02, 2010 5:26 am    Post subject: Re: ABOUT RAILROAD TRACKS Reply with quote

upload.wikimedia.org/w..._world.png

Dimitri

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English Mike
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Location: Whitehaven, Cumbria, UK

PostPosted: Mon Aug 02, 2010 7:44 am    Post subject: Re: ABOUT RAILROAD TRACKS Reply with quote

I see Oz still has 3'6" & 5'3" gauges in use, as well as standard gauge.
5'3" is known as "Irish Gauge" & like other broad gauges is more efficient than standard due to increased capacity.
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1895ss
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PostPosted: Mon Aug 02, 2010 10:46 am    Post subject: Re: ABOUT RAILROAD TRACKS Reply with quote

Very interesting thread... Smile

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