The Romans and the Space Shuttle
WHAT HAVE THE ROMANS DONE FOR … the Space Shuttle? Well, does the statement, “We’ve always done it that way” ring any bells?
Back in the Victorian days in England, engineers built train tracks a standard 4 feet, 8.5 inches (143.5 centimetres) apart – called the gauge. They were simply following the pattern of the previous tramway tracks, which, in turn, were following the old wagon width spacing between wheels. Why? Because they were all using the same old tooling that had existed back in the days of wagon transportation.
Old British tram (on 4 ft 8.5 ins track)
English railway track – 4 feet, 8.5 inches (143.5 centimetres) apart
So why were these wagon measurement so odd? Well, wagons used that particular wheel spacing because it fitted already existing ruts in the roads and any other size could cause damage to the wagons and discomfort to any passengers .
Wagon chassis (4 ft…
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