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Old December 1st, 2014, 03:48 PM   #1
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MISC | Loading Gauge (diagrams, maps & news)

A thread for education, discussions, diagrams, maps and news about railways' loading gauge.

The loading gauge is how wide and tall the space for the trains is above the tracks. NOT how far apart the tracks are (that's the rail gauge, for which there is another thread: http://www.skyscrapercity.com/showthread.php?t=1131479). Many countries have several loading gauges, even on tracks with the same track gauge. Restrictive loading gauges are the reason the UK can't run the same double decker trains that e.g. the Netherlands use even though many UK lines are very crowded and from a capacity viewpoint needs double deckers - the trains would hit low bridges and possible scrape tunnel sides & platforms in curves.
Altering loading gauge (upwards) is usually very expensive since it means re-digging tunnels, re-building bridges (including ramps to the bridges) and so forth and is seldom done. Sometimes it is though and news of such would fit this thread perfectly.

I have looked up this topic before and not found good maps nor good diagrams showing the different loading gauges and where they are used. So, if you find any - post 'em here!

Here's the wiki link btw: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Loading_gauge
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Old December 3rd, 2014, 10:18 PM   #2
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Originally Posted by Swede View Post
I have looked up this topic before and not found good maps nor good diagrams showing the different loading gauges and where they are used. So, if you find any - post 'em here!

Here's the wiki link btw: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Loading_gauge
Such a map would be interesting indeed. I guess that in Europe the network with the bigest loading gauge would be Eurotunnel..
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Old December 3rd, 2014, 10:29 PM   #3
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Such a map would be interesting indeed. I guess that in Europe the network with the bigest loading gauge would be Eurotunnel..
I would vote for Betuweroute, which supposedly is adapted for double stacking of containers in the future.
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Old December 3rd, 2014, 11:46 PM   #4
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I would vote for Betuweroute, which supposedly is adapted for double stacking of containers in the future.
But currently it's loading gauge are restricted by energized 25 kV catenary, which are hanged intentionally lower for now, so stock locomotives can use the line without installing extra pantograph.

So in terms of actualu usable loading gauge T of 1520/1524 neetwork is a winner I suppose:

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Old January 27th, 2016, 02:20 PM   #5
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Structure gauge for single and double track non-electrified line.




Structure gauge for single and double track electrified line.

source: http://doc.mbalib.com/view/9d1f95449...c2141f51e.html
Chinese National Railway Class I Standard structure and loading gauge - used apart from China in Ethiopia and Kenya.
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Old January 27th, 2016, 03:10 PM   #6
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If I'm reading those right the basic shape for the loading gauge is 5.5 meters tall and 4.88 meters wide (single track) with top corners sloped. Bigger than the European standards and will easily accommodate double decker trains.
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Old January 27th, 2016, 03:22 PM   #7
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If I'm reading those right the basic shape for the loading gauge is 5.5 meters tall and 4.88 meters wide (single track) with top corners sloped. Bigger than the European standards and will easily accommodate double decker trains.
Double decker - yes but do they permit double stack containers? Kenya's new loading gauge must be bigger though. it will allow double stack containers. maybe something between 5.54 m and 6.15m...
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