Standard-gauge railway

A standard-gauge railway is a railway with a track gauge of 1,435 mm (4 ft 8+12 in). The standard gauge is also called Stephenson gauge (after George Stephenson), International gauge, UIC gauge, uniform gauge, normal gauge and European gauge in Europe,[1][2][3][4][5] and SGR in East Africa. It is the most widely used track gauge around the world, with approximately 55% of the lines in the world using it. All high-speed rail lines use standard gauge except those in Russia, Finland, and Uzbekistan. The distance between the inside edges of the rails is defined to be 1,435 mm except in the United States and on some heritage British lines, where it is defined in U.S. customary/Imperial units as exactly "four feet eight and one half inches"[6] which is equivalent to 1,435.1 mm.

Track gauge
By transport mode
Tram · Rapid transit
Miniature · Scale model
By size (list)

  Fifteen inch 381 mm (15 in)

  • 600 mm
  • Two foot
  • 600 mm
  • 610 mm
  • (1 ft 11+58 in)
  • (2 ft)
  • 750 mm
  • 760 mm
  • 762 mm
  • (2 ft 5+12 in)
  • (2 ft 5+1516 in)
  • (2 ft 6 in)
  • 891 mm
  • 900 mm
  • 914 mm
  • 950 mm
  • (2 ft 11+332 in)
  • (2 ft 11+716 in)
  • (3 ft)
  • (3 ft1+1332 in)
  Metre 1,000 mm (3 ft 3+38 in)
  Three foot six inch 1,067 mm (3 ft 6 in)
  Four foot 1,219 mm (4 ft 0 in)
  Four foot six inch 1,372 mm (4 ft 6 in)
  1432 mm 1,432 mm (4 ft 8+38 in)

  Standard 1,435 mm (4 ft 8+12 in)

  • 1,445 mm
  • 1,450 mm
  • (4 ft 8+78 in)
  • (4 ft 9+332 in)
  Leipzig gauge 1,458 mm (4 ft 9+1332 in)
  Toronto gauge 1,495 mm (4 ft 10+78 in)
  • 1,520 mm
  • 1,524 mm
  • (4 ft 11+2732 in)
  • (5 ft)
  • 1,581 mm
  • 1,588 mm
  • 1,600 mm
  • (5 ft 2+14 in)
  • (5 ft 2+12 in)
  • (5 ft 3 in)
  Baltimore gauge 1,638 mm (5 ft 4+12 in)
  • 1,668 mm
  • 1,676 mm
  • (5 ft 5+2132 in)
  • (5 ft 6 in)
  Six foot 1,829 mm (6 ft)
  Brunel 2,140 mm (7 ft 14 in)
Change of gauge
Break-of-gauge · Dual gauge ·
Conversion (list) · Bogie exchange · Variable gauge
By location
North America · South America · Europe · Australia


As railways developed and expanded, one of the key issues was the track gauge (the distance, or width, between the inner sides of the rails) to be used. Different railways used different gauges, and where rails of different gauge met – a "gauge break" – loads had to be unloaded from one set of rail cars and re-loaded onto another, a time-consuming and expensive process. The result was the adoption throughout a large part of the world of a "standard gauge" of 1,435 mm (4 ft 8+12 in), allowing interconnectivity and interoperability.


A popular legend that has been around since at least 1937[7] traces the origin of the 1,435 mm (4 ft 8+12 in) gauge even further back than the coalfields of northern England, pointing to the evidence of rutted roads marked by chariot wheels dating from the Roman Empire.[lower-alpha 1][8] Snopes categorised this legend as "false", but commented that "it is perhaps more fairly labelled as 'True, but for trivial and unremarkable reasons'".[9] The historical tendency to place the wheels of horse-drawn vehicles approximately 5 ft (1,524 mm) apart probably derives from the width needed to fit a carthorse in between the shafts.[9] Research however has been undertaken which supports the hypothesis that "the origin of the standard gauge of the railway might result from an interval of wheel ruts of prehistoric ancient carriages".[10]

In addition, while road-travelling vehicles are typically measured from the outermost portions of the wheel rims (and there is some evidence that the first railways were measured in this way as well), it became apparent that for vehicles travelling on rails it was better to have main wheel flanges that fit inside the rails, and thus the minimum distance between the wheels (and, by extension, the inside faces of the rail heads) was the important one.

There was never a standard gauge for horse railways but there were rough groupings: in the north of England none was less than 4 ft (1,219 mm).[11] Wylam colliery's system, built before 1763, was 5 ft (1,524 mm), as was John Blenkinsop's Middleton Railway; the old 4 ft (1,219 mm) plateway was relaid to 5 ft (1,524 mm) so that Blenkinsop's engine could be used.[11] Others were 4 ft 4 in (1,321 mm) (in Beamish) or 4 ft 7+12 in (1,410 mm) (in Bigges Main (in Wallsend), Kenton, and Coxlodge).[11][12]

The English railway pioneer George Stephenson spent much of his early engineering career working for the coal mines of County Durham. He favoured 4 ft 8 in (1,422 mm) for wagonways in Northumberland and Durham, and used it on his Killingworth line.[11] The Hetton and Springwell wagonways also used this gauge.

Stephenson's Stockton and Darlington railway (S&DR) was built primarily to transport coal from mines near Shildon to the port at Stockton-on-Tees. Opening in 1825, the initial gauge of 4 ft 8 in (1,422 mm) was set to accommodate the existing gauge of hundreds of horse-drawn chaldron wagons[13] that were already in use on the wagonways in the mines. The railway used this gauge for 15 years before a change was made, debuting around 1850, to the 1,435 mm (4 ft 8+12 in) gauge.[11][14] The historic Mount Washington Cog Railway, the world's first mountain-climbing rack railway, is still in operation in the 21st century, and has used the earlier 4 ft 8 in (1,422 mm) gauge since its inauguration in 1868.

George Stephenson used the 1,435 mm (4 ft 8+12 in) gauge (including a belated extra 12 in (13 mm) of free movement to reduce binding on curves[15]) for the Liverpool and Manchester Railway, authorised in 1826 and opened 30 September 1830. The success of this project led to Stephenson and his son Robert being employed to engineer several other larger railway projects. Thus the 4 ft 8+12 in (1,435 mm) gauge became widespread and dominant in Britain. Robert was reported to have said that if he had had a second chance to choose a standard gauge, he would have chosen one wider than 4 ft 8+12 in (1,435 mm).[16][17] "I would take a few inches more, but a very few".[18]

During the "gauge war" with the Great Western Railway, standard gauge was called "narrow gauge", in contrast to the Great Western's 7 ft 14 in (2,140 mm) broad gauge. The modern use of the term "narrow gauge" for gauges less than standard did not arise for many years, until the first such locomotive-hauled passenger railway, the Ffestiniog Railway was built.


In 1845, in the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Ireland, a Royal Commission on Railway Gauges reported in favour of a standard gauge. The subsequent Gauge Act ruled that new passenger-carrying railways in Great Britain should be built to a standard gauge of 4 ft 8+12 in (1,435 mm), and those in Ireland to a new standard gauge of 5 ft 3 in (1,600 mm). In Great Britain, Stephenson's gauge was chosen on the grounds that existing lines of this gauge were eight times longer than those of the rival 7 ft or 2,134 mm (later 7 ft 14 in or 2,140 mm) gauge adopted principally by the Great Western Railway. It allowed the broad-gauge companies in Great Britain to continue with their tracks and expand their networks within the "Limits of Deviation" and the exceptions defined in the Act. After an intervening period of mixed-gauge operation (tracks were laid with three rails), the Great Western Railway finally completed the conversion of its network to standard gauge in 1892. In North East England, some early lines in colliery (coal mining) areas were 4 ft 8 in (1,422 mm), while in Scotland some early lines were 4 ft 6 in (1,372 mm). The British gauges converged starting from 1846 as the advantages of equipment interchange became increasingly apparent. By the 1890s, the entire network was converted to standard gauge.

The Royal Commission made no comment about small lines narrower than standard gauge (to be called "narrow gauge"), such as the Ffestiniog Railway. Thus it permitted a future multiplicity of narrow gauges in the UK. It also made no comments about future gauges in British colonies, which allowed various gauges to be adopted across the colonies.

Parts of the United States, mainly in the Northeast, adopted the same gauge, because some early trains were purchased from Britain. The American gauges converged, as the advantages of equipment interchange became increasingly apparent. Notably, all the 5 ft (1,524 mm) broad gauge track in the South was converted to "almost standard" gauge 4 ft 9 in (1,448 mm) over the course of two days beginning on 31 May 1886.[19] See Track gauge in the United States.

In continental Europe, France and Belgium adopted a 1,500 mm (4 ft 11+116 in) gauge (measured between the midpoints of each rail's profile) for their early railways.[20] The gauge between the interior edges of the rails (the measurement adopted from 1844) differed slightly between countries, and even between networks within a country (for example, 1,440 mm or 4 ft 8+1116 in to 1,445 mm or 4 ft 8+78 in in France). The first tracks in Austria and in the Netherlands had other gauges (1,000 mm or 3 ft 3+38 in in Austria for the Donau Moldau line and 1,945 mm or 6 ft 4+916 in in the Netherlands for the Hollandsche IJzeren Spoorweg-Maatschappij), but for interoperability reasons (the first rail service between Paris and Berlin began in 1849, first Chaix timetable) Germany adopted standard gauges, as did most other European countries.

The modern method of measuring rail gauge was agreed in the first Berne rail convention of 1886, according to the "Revue générale des chemins de fer, July 1928".

Early railways by gauge

Non-standard gauge

  • Monkland and Kirkintilloch Railway, authorised 1824 and opened 1825, used 4 ft 6 in (1,372 mm).
  • Dundee and Newtyle Railway, authorised 1829 and opened 1831, used 4 ft 6+12 in (1,384 mm).
  • The Eastern Counties Railway, authorised on 4 July 1836, used 5 ft (1,524 mm)[21]
  • The London and Blackwall Railway, authorised on 28 July 1836, used 5 ft 12 in (1,537 mm).[22][23][24]
  • The Dundee and Arbroath Railway, incorporated on 19 May 1836 and opened October 1838, used 5 ft 6 in (1,676 mm) until standardised in 1847.
  • The Arbroath and Forfar Railway, incorporated on 19 May 1836 and opened November 1838, used 5 ft 6 in (1,676 mm).
  • The Northern and Eastern Railway, authorised on 4 July 1836, used 5 ft (1,524 mm) gauge.[25]
  • Aberdeen Railway, opened 1848, used 5 ft 6 in (1,676 mm) until standardised.

Almost standard gauge

  • The Huddersfield Corporation Tramways, used 4 ft 7+34 in (1,416 mm)
  • The Portsdown and Horndean Light Railway, used 4 ft 7+34 in (1,416 mm)
  • The Portsmouth Corporation Transport, used 4 ft 7+34 in (1,416 mm)
  • The Killingworth colliery railway, used 4 ft 8 in (1,422 mm).[26]
  • The Hetton colliery railway, opened 1822, used 4 ft 8 in (1,422 mm).[26]
  • The Stockton and Darlington Railway, authorised 1821, opened 1825, used 4 ft 8 in (1,422 mm).
  • The New Orleans and Carrollton Railroad used 4 ft 8 in (1,422 mm)
  • The Pontchartrain Railroad used 4 ft 8 in (1,422 mm)
  • The trams in Nuremberg nominally used 1,432 mm (4 ft 8+38 in) during much of their existence, but have since been converted to standard gauge in name as well as fact.

Standard gauge

Small deviations on standard gauge

  • The Manchester and Leeds Railway, authorised on 4 July 1836, used 4 ft 9 in (1,448 mm).[27]
    • The 4 ft 9 in (1,448 mm) railways were intended to take 4 ft 8+12 in (1,435 mm) gauge vehicles and allow a (second) running tolerance.
  • The Chester and Birkenhead Railway, authorised on 12 July 1837, used 4 ft 9 in (1,448 mm).[28]
  • The London and Brighton Railway, authorised on 15 July 1837, used 4 ft 9 in (1,448 mm).[29]
  • The Manchester and Birmingham Railway, authorised on 30 June 1837, used 4 ft 9 in (1,448 mm).[30]
  • The Pennsylvania Railroad originally used 4 ft 9 in (1,448 mm)
  • The trams in Dresden, authorised in 1872 as horsecars, used 1,440 mm (4 ft 8+1116 in) gauge vehicles. Converted to 600 V DC electric trams in 1893, they now use 1,450 mm (4 ft 9+332 in); both gauges are within the tolerance for standard gauge.
  • The Ohio gauge of 4 ft 10 in (1,473 mm)

Dual gauge

Initially standard gauge

Several lines were initially build as standard gauge but were later converted to another gauge for cost or for compatibility reasons.

Modern almost standard gauge railways


Country/territory Railway Notes
Albania National rail network 677 km (421 mi)[31][32]
  • National rail network
  • Algiers Metro, Algiers tramway, Constantine tramway, Oran tramway, Oran Metro
3,973 km (2,469 mi)[33]
Angola 80 km (50 mi)
Other major lines are mostly 1,676 mm (5 ft 6 in) broad gauge, with the exception of the 1,000 mm (3 ft 3+38 in) metre gauge General Belgrano Railway.

1,435 mm (4 ft 8+12 in) 2,295 km (1,426 mi)

Victoria built the first railways to the 5 ft 3 in (1,600 mm) Irish broad gauge. New South Wales then built to the standard gauge, so trains had to stop on the border and passengers transferred, which was only rectified in the 1960s. Queensland still runs on a narrow gauge but there is a standard gauge line from NSW to Brisbane.

Austria Österreichische Bundesbahnen 4,859 km (3,019 mi) The Semmering railway has UNESCO World Heritage Site status.
Bangladesh To be used only for rapid transit system, Dhaka Metro Rail 20.1 km (12.5 mi)
Belgium NMBS/SNCB, Brussels Metro and tramway 339 km (211 mi)
Bosnia and Herzegovina

1,032 km (641 mi)

Brazil Estrada de Ferro do Amapá;[34] from Uruguaiana to the border with Argentina and from Santana do Livramento to the border with Uruguay (both mixed gauge 1,435 mm and 1,000 mm or 3 ft 3+38 in metre gauge); remaining tracks at Jaguarão, Rio Grande do Sul (currently inoperable); Rio de Janeiro Light Rail; São Paulo Metro lines 4 and 5; Salvador Metro Baixada Santista Light Rail 205.5 km (127.7 mi)
Canada National rail network (including commuter rail operators like GO Transit, West Coast Express, AMT and Union Pearson Express). 49,422 km (30,709 mi)

The Toronto Transit Commission uses 4 ft 10+78 in (1,495 mm) gauge on its streetcar and subway lines.

China National rail network 103,144 km (64,091 mi)
Chile Santiago Metro 140.800 km (87 mi)
Croatia Hrvatske Željeznice
Colombia Metro de Medellín, Tren del Cerrejón, Metro de Bogotá
Cuba Ferrocarriles de Cuba 4,266 km (2,651 mi)
Czech Republic
9,478 km (5,889 mi)
Denmark Banedanmark and Copenhagen Metro
Djibouti Addis Ababa-Djibouti Railway 100 km (62 mi)
Egypt Egyptian National Railways
Estonia Rail Baltica Standard-gauge Rail Baltica railway is under construction and is scheduled to be completed by 2026. Cost studies have been undertaken for a potential overhaul of entire rail network to standard-gauge.[37]
Ethiopia Addis Ababa-Djibouti Railway; Addis Ababa Light Rail 659 km (409 mi) Other standard gauge lines under construction.
France SNCF, RATP (on RER lines)
Gabon Trans-Gabon Railway 669 km
Germany Deutsche Bahn, numerous local public transport providers 43,468 km (27,010 mi)
Georgia Georgian Railway 1,435 mm (4 ft 8+12 in) standard gauge constructed between Akhalkalaki to Karstakhi for Baku-Tbilisi-Kars Railway 26.142 km (16.244 mi)
Ghana G-Rail New and extended SGR are being built, with some dual gauge.
Greece Hellenic Railways Organisation (operated by TrainOSE) All modern Greek networks, except in the Peloponnese
Holy See 1 km (0.62 mi)
Hong Kong MTR (former KCR network – East Rail line, West Rail line, Tuen Ma line, Light Rail) Other MTR lines use 1,432 mm (4 ft 8+38 in) instead of 4 ft 8+12 in[38][39][40]
India Only used for rapid transit and tram, Bangalore Metro, Chennai Metro, Delhi Metro (Phase 2 onwards), Rapid Metro Gurgaon, Hyderabad Metro, Jaipur Metro, Kochi Metro, Kolkata Metro (Line 2 onwards), Lucknow Metro, Mumbai Metro, Nagpur Metro, Navi Mumbai Metro and Trams in Kolkata. The under construction Mumbai–Ahmedabad high-speed rail corridor based on the Shinkansen also uses standard gauge. All of the under-construction and future rapid transit systems would be in standard gauge.Delhi–Meerut Regional Rapid Transit System Indian nationwide rail system (Indian Railways) uses 1,676 mm (5 ft 6 in) broad gauge.
Indonesia Jakarta LRT, Greater Jakarta LRT (under construction), Trans-Sulawesi Railway (under construction), Jakarta MRT West-east line (planned), and Jakarta-Bandung high speed networks The very first railway line in Indonesia which connects Semarang to Tanggung, which later extended to Yogyakarta was laid to standard gauge.[41] Opened in 1867, it was mostly regauged to 1,067mm/3ft6in during Japanese occupation in 1943, while a short line in Semarang Harbor soldiered on until 1945.[42] Standard gauge railway lines made a return in 2014 on experimental railway line in Aceh.

The railway tracks of Java and Sumatra uses 1,067 mm (3 ft 6 in).

Iran Islamic Republic of Iran Railways 12,998 km (8,077 mi)
Iraq Iraqi Republic Railways 485 km (301 mi)
Ireland Transport Infrastructure Ireland Luas in Dublin
Israel Israel Railways, CTS, operating the Jerusalem Light Rail
Italy Ferrovie dello Stato 16,723 km (10,391 mi)
Japan Shinkansen, JR Hokkaido Naebo Works (see Train on Train), Keisei Line, Keikyu Line, Tokyo Metro (Ginza and Marunouchi lines), Toei Subway (Asakusa and Oedo lines), Kintetsu Railway (Osaka, Nara, Nagoya, Yamada, Kyoto, and Keihanna lines and their associated branches), Keihan Railway, Hankyu Railway, Hanshin Railway, Kyoto Municipal Subway, Kobe Municipal Subway, Osaka Metro, Kita-Osaka Kyuko Railway, Fukuoka City Subway (Nanakuma Line), Sendai Subway (Tozai Line), Nagoya Municipal Subway (Higashiyama, Meijō, and Meikō lines), Nose Electric Railway, Yokohama Municipal Subway (Blue and Green lines) 4,251 km (2,641 mi), all electrified
Kenya Mombasa-Nairobi Standard Gauge Railway 485 km (301 mi) Inaugurated 31 May 2017. An extension from Nairobi to Naivasha is under construction. A further extension east to the Ugandan border is planned.
Laos Boten–Vientiane railway 414 km (257 mi), Formally opened on 3 December 2021.
Latvia Rail Baltica Standard-gauge Rail Baltica railway is under construction and is scheduled to be completed by 2026.
Lebanon All lines out of service and essentially dismantled
Libya Network under construction
Lithuania Rail Baltica First phase, from Kaunas to the Polish border, completed in 2015. Second phase, from Kaunas north to Tallinn and from Kaunas to Vilnius, is in the design and construction phase and scheduled to be completed by 2026.
Luxembourg Société Nationale des Chemins de Fer Luxembourgeois
Malaysia 998 km (620 mi)
Mexico[43] 24,740 km (15,370 mi)
Montenegro Željeznice Crne Gore 3
Morocco Rail transport in Morocco 2,067 km (1,284 mi)
Nepal Nepal Railways (all tracks except cross-border tracks with India are standard gauge) Under-construction
Netherlands Nederlandse Spoorwegen and regional railways.
New Zealand Rail transport in New Zealand 4,375.5 km (2,718.8 mi)

1,067 mm (3 ft 6 in) narrow gauge chosen due to the need to cross mountainous terrain in the country's interior and the lower cost of construction.

Nigeria Lagos–Kano Standard Gauge Railway; Lagos Rail Mass Transit Under construction; Abuja to Kaduna section operational.
North Korea Railways of the DPRK.
North Macedonia Macedonian Railways
Norway Norwegian National Rail Administration, Rail transport in Norway 4,087 km (2,540 mi)
Pakistan To be used only for rapid transit system, Lahore Metro[44] Pakistan's nationwide rail system (Pakistan Railways) uses 1,676 mm (5 ft 6 in) broad gauge. Any future additions to this system would also be in broad gauge.
Panama Panama Railway; Panama Metro Regauged from 5 ft (1,524 mm) in 2001
Paraguay Ferrocarril Presidente Don Carlos Antonio López, now Ferrocarril de Paraguay S.A. (FEPASA) 36 km out of Asunción (used as a tourist steam line), plus 5 km from Encarnación to the border with Argentina, carrying mainly exported soy; the rest of the 441-km line awaits its fate, while redevelopment plans come and go with regularity. The section from west of Encarnación to north of San Salvador, plus the entire San Salvador–Abaí branch, have been dismantled by the railway itself and sold for scrap to raise funds.
Peru Railway Development Corporation,[45] Ferrocarril Central Andino (Callao–Lima–La Oroya–Huancayo and La Oroya–Cerro del Pasco lines), Ferrocarril del sur de Peru (operated by Peru Rail) Matarani–ArequipaPuno and Puno–Cuzco, Ilo–Moquegua mining railway, Tacna–Arica (Chile) international line, (operated by Tacna Province), Lima electric suburban railway 1,603 km (996 mi)
Philippines Operational: LRT 1, LRT 2, and MRT 3. Under construction: MRT 7, MRT 4, LRT 1 South/Cavite Extension, MMS, PNR SLH, PNR NSCR, and Mindanao Railway Phase 1. All current as of March 2022. 54.15 km (33.65 mi) operational, 899.6 km (559.0 mi) under construction, all electrified as of March 2022.
Philippine National Railways network, future LRT and MRT Lines (proposed) c. 4,600 km (2,900 mi), 1,159 km (720 mi) will be electrified.[46][lower-alpha 2]
Poland Polskie Koleje Państwowe, Warsaw Metro, most tramway systems throughout the country
Portugal Planned high-speed lines, Braga and Oporto (Guindais) funiculars, Lisbon Metro, Oporto Metro (partly adapted from former 1,000 mm (3 ft 3+38 in) metre gauge; tracks), Metro Transportes do Sul light rail in Almada. All other railways use 1,668 mm (5 ft 5+2132 in) (broad gauge); some use 1,000 mm (3 ft 3+38 in) metre gauge; Decauville uses 500 mm (19+34 in) gauge.
Russia Rostov-on-Don tramway, lines connecting Kaliningrad with Poland
Rwanda Isaka–Kigali Standard Gauge Railway 150 km (93 mi) New railway between Kigali and the Tanzanian town of Isaka is planned.
Saudi Arabia Rail transport in Saudi Arabia
  • Senegal–Gambia Railway (planned)
  • Senegal–Guinea Bissau Railway (planned)
Serbia Serbian Railways
Singapore Mass Rapid Transit 203 km (126 mi)
Slovakia Železnice Slovenskej republiky, Košice tramway system
Slovenia Slovenske železnice
South Africa Gautrain in Gauteng Province. Rest of country uses 1,067 mm (3 ft 6 in) 80 km (50 mi)
South Korea KRNA
Spain AVE high-speed rail lines from Madrid to Seville, Málaga, Alicante, Saragossa, Barcelona (-Perthus), Orense, Toledo, Huesca, León and Valladolid, Barcelona Metro (L2, L3, L4, and L5 lines), Barcelona FGC (lines L6 and L7), and Metro Vallès (lines S1, S2, S5, and S55)

All other railways use 1,668 mm (5 ft 5+2132 in) (broad gauge) and/or 1,000 mm (3 ft 3+38 in) metre gauge.

3,622 km (2,251 mi)
Sweden Swedish Transport Administration, Storstockholms Lokaltrafik (Stockholm metro, commuter and light rail lines), tram networks in Gothenburg, Lund and Norrköping
Switzerland Swiss Federal Railways,

BLS, Rigi Railways (rack railway)

SFR 3,134 km in standard gauge and 98 km metre gauge[55]

449 km

Syria Chemins de Fer Syriens 2,052 km (1,275 mi)
Taiwan 604.64 km (376 mi)
Tanzania Tanzania Standard Gauge Railway 202 km (126 mi) line from Dar es Salaam to Morogoro under construction. Contract awarded in 2019 for a 422 km (262 mi) extension from Morogoro to Makutupora.
Thailand 80 km (50 mi)
Tunisia Northern part of the network 471 km (293 mi)
Turkey Turkish State Railways (also operates Marmaray), metro networks, and tram networks Some tram networks use 1,000 mm (3 ft 3+38 in) metre gauge.
Uganda Uganda Standard Gauge Railway Railway line from Kampala to the Kenyan border is planned.
United Arab Emirates Rail transport in the United Arab Emirates
United Kingdom (Great Britain) Entire rail network in Great Britain (but not Ireland) since standardisation by the Regulating the Gauge of Railways Act 1846 Also used on all metro and tramway systems with the exception of the self-contained Glasgow Subway, which is 4 ft (1,219 mm).
United States
129,774 km (80,638 mi)
Uruguay National rail network 2,900 km (1,800 mi)
Vietnam North of Hanoi[56] 178 km (111 mi). Includes dual gauge (standard/metre) to the Chinese border.

Non-rail use

Several states in the United States had laws requiring road vehicles to have a consistent gauge to allow them to follow ruts in the road. Those gauges were similar to railway standard gauge.[57]

See also


  1. The gaps in the pedestrian crossings in Pompeii could give credence or otherwise to this statement, but no relevant studies appear to have been made.
  2. For the Philippine National Railways, 2,278 km (1,415 mi) for the Mindanao Railway, 296 km (184 mi) for the North–South Commuter Railway (NSCR),[47] 298 km (185 mi) for NSCR extensions,[48] 92 km (57 mi) for the Northeast Commuter Line to Cabanatuan,[49][50] 581 to 639 km (361 to 397 mi) for the South Main Line rehabilitation, 71 km (44 mi) for the Subic–Clark Railway, 244 km (152 mi) for the San JoseTuguegarao line,[51] and 175 km (109 mi) for the Tarlac–San Fernando line.[52] Proposed MRT lines have a total length of 370 km (230 mi), discounting the Monorail Line 4. LRT Line 1 extension is 26 km (16 mi),[53] while LRT Line 6's total proposed track length is 169 km (105 mi).[54] All figures mentioned denote track length, not line or system length.


  1. Falco, Francesco (31 December 2012). "2007-ee-27010-s". TEN-T Executive Agency. Archived from the original on 27 February 2012. Retrieved 20 August 2013.
  2. "Japan". 1 October 1964. Archived from the original on 29 June 2012. Retrieved 20 August 2013.
  3. Falco, Francesco (23 January 2013). "EU support to help convert the Port of Barcelona's rail network to UIC gauge". TEN-T Executive Agency. Archived from the original on 11 February 2013. Retrieved 20 August 2013.
  4. "Spain: opening of the first standard UIC gauge cross-border corridor between Spain and France". UIC Communications. Retrieved 20 August 2013.
  5. "Displaceable rolling bogie for railway vehicles". Archived from the original on 29 June 2013. Retrieved 20 August 2013.
  6. Thirty-Seventh Congress Session III Chap CXII March 3, 1863 Retrieved on 2019-01-08.
  7. "Standard Railway Gauge". Townsville Bulletin. 5 October 1937. p. 12. Retrieved 3 June 2011 via National Library of Australia.
  8. "Standard Rail Gauge Set By Old Ox-Carts". The Worker. Vol. 58, no. 3122. Queensland. 19 May 1947. p. 17. Retrieved 13 April 2016 via National Library of Australia.
  9. "Railroad Gauges and Roman Chariots".
  10. Ogata et al. (2006), p. 98
  11. Baxter 1966, p. 56.
  12. "Tyne and Wear HER(1128): Bigges Main Wagonway - Details". Archived from the original on 21 November 2016. Retrieved 20 November 2016.
  13. "The Wagons". DRCM. Retrieved 1 June 2016.
  14. Vaughan 1997.
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