Japan's Railway History

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Japan's Railway History

Postby rogerfarnworth » Sat Jan 12, 2019 12:35 pm

Cape Gauge was used in many countries throughout the world. It has been identified primarily with the Cape Colony in South Africa but was used first in the UK on a variety of tramways. Later its use extended into a number of countries in the Far East including New Zealand, Indonesia and in particular Japan.

Cape Gauge was chosen as the 'standard gauge' in Japan. This post provides an introduction to the historic railways of Japan. The story includes a variety of different gauges. The use of different gauges seems at least as complex as the situation in the UK.

https://rogerfarnworth.com/2019/01/09/j ... cape-gauge
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Re: Japan's Railway History

Postby george matthews » Mon Jan 14, 2019 11:17 am

The use of different gauges seems at least as complex as the situation in the UK.

In Britain there were few non=standard gauges and almost entirely on peripheral lines where non-connection to the standard gauge network was not a large problem. The Great Western was the only large example and the Broad gauge was converted eventually. When Japan adopted a narrow gauge it was not yet an important industrial power. They have been aware of the bad effects of choosing a non-standard gauge for decades and have responded by building a SG network, limited though it is.

Ireland was the other example of a disastrous non SG system. If the Irish lines had been standard there would have been train ferries and connection with the British - and now European networks. It is quite likely that more of the Irish system would have been retained if SG freight was available. Australia is still suffering from the failure to adopt a standard gauge for the whole country.
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