Author Topic: railroad construction  (Read 3759 times)

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Offline carkuczyn

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railroad construction
« on: September 28, 2008, 08:39:46 PM »
I guess this is the right topic for this question.....and, if it has been asked and explained before, forgive me but I did not see it.   My question is about the specifications for the construction of the Russian railway.  Why did they not make the size of the rails compatible with the rails in the rest of Europe......such as Germany.  The fact that the two countries had different size rails was an enormous drawback in war time as well as peace time.  If the Russsian army had been successful in penetrating deeply into Germany or any other part of the war areas.......it would have been difficult to transport soldiers as well as supplies beyond their own borders.  What were they thinking?

Offline Douglas

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Re: railroad construction
« Reply #1 on: September 29, 2008, 12:21:03 PM »
I'm not an expert on this but they may fear the enemy country would just run their military trains across the border and thus make it easier to penetrate their territory.

Also, many of the huge cannons were mounted on trains and they could move these weapons into another country more easily.




Offline RogerV

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Re: railroad construction
« Reply #2 on: October 29, 2008, 01:28:22 PM »
Actually, the reason is a bit more mundane than military strategy.  The first railroad in Russia was laid out by an American engineer who had built several railroads in the Southern USA.  At that time, most railroads in the South were built on a five-foot gauge, and he used the gauge he was most familiar with.

Also, railroads in Western Europe were not at that time completely standardized, even in the UK, where the "standard" gauge originated.

Offline Ambreville

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Re: railroad construction
« Reply #3 on: March 12, 2009, 06:51:13 PM »
On a somewhat related topic, I'm trying to find out if the Trans-Caucasian rail actually connected with the rail system in northern Russia in 1916. Would it be possible for a train to go from Bukhara to Petrograd? Of would there be some intervening changes, such as a ferry in Krasnovodsk to either Baku or Astrakhan?