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Railway Tracks

Lt Kije

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            Railroad tracks.


                 The US standard

railroad gauge (distance between the

rails) is 4 feet, 8.5 inches. That's an

exceedingly odd number.




Why was that gauge used? Because that's the way they built

 them in England, and English expatriates designed  the US railroads.



Why did the English build them like that? Because the

first rail lines were built by the same people who

built the pre-railroad tramways, and that's the  gauge they used.


 Why did 'they' use that gauge then?

 Because the people who built the tramways used the same

  jigs and tools that they had used for building                       

  wagons, which used that wheel spacing.                          


Why did the wagons have that particular odd wheel spacing?


 Well, if they tried to use any other spacing, the wagon

     wheels would break on some of the old, long                       

       distance roads in England, because that's the                   

         spacing of the wheel ruts.


 So who built those old rutted roads?


 Imperial Rome built the first long distance roads in Europe

 (including England) for their legions. Those roads            

                have been used ever since.

                             And the

ruts in the roads? Roman war chariots formed the

 initial ruts, which everyone else had to match for              

  fear of destroying their wagon wheels.                 



                             Since the

chariots were made for Imperial Rome, they were

  all alike in the matter of wheel spacing.                        

  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. In other words, bureaucracies live   


    So the next time you are handed a

specification/procedure/process, and wonder, '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                           



  Now, the twist to the story:



When you see a Space Shuttle sitting on

its launch pad you will notice that

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 Thiokol at their factory in Utah                               ....


 The engineers who designed the SRBs would have

 preferred to make them a bit larger, but the SRBs                     

  had to be shipped by train from the factory to the            

  launch site. The railroad line from the factory      

  happens to run through a tunnel in the

mountains, and the SRBs had to fit

through that tunnel. The tunnel is

slightly wider than the railroad track,

and the railroad track, as you now know, is about

as wide as two horses' behinds.


 So, a major Space Shuttle design feature

Space Shuttle design feature of what is arguably the world's most advanced transportation

system was determined over two thousand years                  

 ago by the width of a horse's ass. And you                 

  thought being a horse's ass wasn't   important?



  So, Horse's Asses control almost everything...                              

  ..Explains a whole lot of things,

                            doesn't  it?

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