Those who don't know history, are doomed to repeat it - Drunk Aman
What about US Railroad Tracks?
The US standard railroad gauge (distance between the two rails) is 4 feet, 8.5 inches. That's an exceedingly odd number don't you think? 🤔 How that gauge came into existence, you ask?
Blame the English!!
Ohh we will! 😈 The English engineers designed the first US railroads and they were built in England. Ofcourse, they followed the same standard as english railways. And why did the English build their railways like that? Because their first rail lines were built by the same people who built the wagon tramways, and that was the standard gauge for wagon tramways.
Okay, Keep Going...
You see, because the people who built the tramways used the same parts and tools that they had used for building wagons, which used that same wheel spacing. But, why did the wagons have that particular odd wheel spacing of 4ft 8.5 inches? Well, if they tried to use any other spacing, the wagon wheels would break more often on some of the old, long distance roads in England.
Why in the world would they break down more often? 😤😤
Because, that's the spacing of the wheel ruts (notice the tracks on road) for long distance roads in England. All the wagons had to match their wheel spacing with the ruts or run the risk of destroying their wagon wheels on uneven rocky/dirt roads.
So who built those old rutted roads, and why with "thaaatttt" spacing? 😖😖
Imperial Rome built the first long distance roads in Europe (including England) for their legions/army. Those roads have been used ever since. Roman war chariots formed the initial ruts, and since the chariots were made for Imperial Rome , they were all alike in the matter of wheel spacing. So those ruts came from imperial rome war chariots.
Why imperial rome war chariots had 4 feet, 8.5 inches of wheel spacing?😭😭😭
We are almost there and this is where it gets really interesting! And remember, the next time someone hands you a weird requirement at work and you pull your hair wondering what horse's ass came up with this? You may be exactly right! Imperial Roman army chariots were made just wide enough to accommodate the rear ends of two war horses. (Two horses' asses!!) 🐎🐎 They took an average and that’s the number they came up with! I am not kidding!! 😅😅 Therefore the United States standard railroad gauge of 4 feet, 8.5 inches is derived from the original specifications for an Imperial Roman war chariot.
Back to the present day
Have you seen a Space Shuttle sitting on its launch pad? There are two big booster rockets attached to the sides of the main fuel tank. These are solid rocket boosters, or SRBs. The SRBs are made by a company called Thiokol at their factory in Utah . The engineers who designed the SRBs originally wanted to make them a bit fatter, but they had to be shipped by train from their factory to the launch site.
You know where this is going, don't you! 😅
As it so happens. the railroad line from the factory runs through a tunnel in the mountains, and the SRBs had to fit through that tunnel. The tunnel's width depends on the railroad track, and the railroad track, as you now know, is about as wide as two horses' behinds. So, the design of a multi-million dollar major Space Shuttle, which is arguably the world's most advanced transportation system, was determined over two thousand years ago by the width of a horse's ass. Let that sink in.
Ready to get your mind blown even further? 🤯🤯
What major country, apart from US, was ruled by the English? Yes, India! The East India Company first started a tram service in Calcutta. Want to take a guess on what gauge they used? 4 ft 8½ fucking inches!! This is called a "Standard Gauge" in India. Since 2010, Indian railways has been using the same gauge for all the Metros in India. Why? Because it was easier to get rolling stock parts for the standard gauge than any other gauge. By 2016, the metro lines running on such tracks were Delhi Metro, Rapid Metro Rail Gurgaon, Mumbai Metro, and our very own better late than never, Bengaluru Metro. Plus, some upcoming ones like Indore Metro 😍 The next time you ride one of these metros in your city, remember that it was a horse's ass that is still calling all the shots!