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Near St. Louis in St. Louis County, Missouri — The American Midwest (Upper Plains)
 

Narrow Gauge

 
 
Narrow Gauge Marker image. Click for full size.
By Devry Becker Jones, April 22, 2019
1. Narrow Gauge Marker
Inscription.  In the 1860s a movement toward construction of railways with narrow gauge tracks began in Norway and the British Empire. The first was built to 3' 6" gauge in Norway and opened in 1862. The same gauge was used in India and Queensland (Australia), and several 2' gauge lines were built in Wales. A narrow track gauge offered lower construction and operation costs through the use of lighter rails and smaller, lighter equipment. Sharper curves and steeper grades on hills reduced the grading and earthwork needed. These were thought best for lines built in undeveloped country without the population or trade to support the cost of a standard gauge railway, but use of narrow gauges spread more widely.

This movement came to the US in 1871. The first significant line was the 3' gauge Denver and Rio Grande, which built 1,673 miles of track in Colorado and Utah. Through connections there were eventually 2,783 miles of 3' gauge track that went into Idaho, Montana and New Mexico as well. There was a "narrow gauge fever" between 1878-83, when over 20% of the track laid was narrow gauge. There were narrow gauge lines in nearly every state and most
Narrow Gauge Marker image. Click for full size.
By Devry Becker Jones, April 22, 2019
2. Narrow Gauge Marker
Canadian provinces. an attempt was even made to build a 3' gauge "Grand Narrow Gauge Trunk" from Toledo, Ohio to Laredo, Texas and on to Mexico City.

Narrow gauge lines rarely lived up to their promoter's dreams, most being both poorly funded and built. About two third of narrow gauge mileage was eventually converted to standard gauge, and the rest abandoned. Many logging or mining lines were meant to be short lived, and were torn up when no longer needed.
 
Erected by Museum of Transportation.
 
Location. 38° 34.269′ N, 90° 27.809′ W. Marker is near St. Louis, Missouri, in St. Louis County. Marker can be reached from Barrett Station Road east of Old Dougherty Ferry Road, on the right when traveling east. Touch for map. Marker is at or near this postal address: 3015 Barrett Station Road, Saint Louis MO 63122, United States of America. Touch for directions.
 
Other nearby markers. At least 8 other markers are within walking distance of this marker. What Is Standard Gauge? (here, next to this marker); #13889 (a few steps from this marker); #724 (a few steps from this marker); #1082 (a few steps from this marker); #1149 (a few steps from this marker); #1 (a few steps from this marker); #6117 (a few steps from this marker); #884 (a few steps from this marker). Touch for a list and map of all markers in St. Louis.
 
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More. Search the internet for Narrow Gauge.
 
Credits. This page was last revised on May 20, 2019. This page originally submitted on April 28, 2019, by Devry Becker Jones of Washington, District of Columbia. This page has been viewed 45 times since then. Photos:   1, 2. submitted on April 28, 2019, by Devry Becker Jones of Washington, District of Columbia.
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