Interesting Facts....

Discussion in 'The BS Topic' started by Dave Nelson, Jan 18, 2021.

  1. Dave Nelson

    Dave Nelson Veteran Member

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    Railroad Tracks. The U.S. Standard railroad gauge (distance between the rails) is 4 feet, 8.5 inches. You might think, "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 U.S. 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 peculiar 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 horse drawn 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 forever. So the next time you are handed a specification, procedure, or process, and wonder, “What horse's *** came up with this?”, you may be exactly right. Read on. Imperial Roman army chariots were made just wide enough to accommodate the rear ends of two war horses. Now, the twist to the story: When you see a Space Shuttle or other rocket ship 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 of what is arguably the world's most advanced transportation system was determined over two thousand years ago by the width of two horse's ***. And you thought being a horse's *** wasn't important! Now you know, Horses' Asses control almost everything.
     
  2. TTR230

    TTR230 Veteran Member

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    Amazing!
     
  3. 70-camaro

    70-camaro Veteran Member

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    Interesting indeed.
     
  4. La.Z8

    La.Z8 Veteran Member Lifetime Gold Member

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    Agreed, interesting. I`m a history fan, I like to learn odd facts from time to time.
     
  5. wiseryder

    wiseryder Veteran Member Lifetime Gold Member

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    And they are showing there face now !!!
    How sad !!
     
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  6. Fbird

    Fbird Veteran Member Lifetime Gold Member

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    good stuff...and sadly soo true!
     
  7. Zstar

    Zstar Veteran Member

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    I learned alot from that story. I am done, going back to bed.
     
  8. BillyDean7173

    BillyDean7173 Spirit In Black

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    This should be mandatory reading for any civil engineering course.
     
  9. Twisted_Metal

    Twisted_Metal Administrator Staff Member Lifetime Gold Member

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    It's a great story.
    But the relationships between the eras and transport methods are a bit of a stretch.

    The US actually used several gauges of rail systems until after the Civil war.
    Troop and supply transportation during the war was a serious problem because trains could only go so far before they had to be unloaded and reloaded on the next train due to the fact they ran on different gauge rails.

    The end of the civil war brought about a national standard for the railway systems and it was decided to use the gauge which had the most miles of track in use.
     
  10. TTR230

    TTR230 Veteran Member

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    :p:p
    Lol, there's always this guy at every party ;):p

    It's true though, history is rarely that straight forward and simple
     
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