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Russian and German guage railway-third rail?
The AFV ASSOCIATION was formed in 1964 to support the thoughts and research of all those interested in Armored Fighting Vehicles and related topics, such as AFV drawings. The emphasis has always been on sharing information and communicating with other members of similar interests; e.g. German armor, Japanese AFVs, or whatever.
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geoffsteer
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PostPosted: Fri Feb 24, 2006 5:08 am
Post subject: Russian and German guage railway-third rail?

Hi Guys-
I've been told, by someone who admitted they were not certain of their facts, that the Germans added a third rail to Russian tracks that accomodated the Russian tracks to thier own guage. I mean that the Russian guage was left in place and the added third rail was there so that it and the other rail would be the German guage. Are there any pictures or information that confirms that this was done? It would make an interesting feature for the Trumpeter BR-52.
With thanks-
Geoff Steer [;-{/)
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Roy_A_Lingle
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PostPosted: Fri Feb 24, 2006 8:04 am
Post subject: Re: Russian and German guage railway-third rail?

- geoffsteer
Hi Guys-
I've been told, by someone who admitted they were not certain of their facts, that the Germans added a third rail to Russian tracks that accomodated the Russian tracks to thier own guage. I mean that the Russian guage was left in place and the added third rail was there so that it and the other rail would be the German guage. Are there any pictures or information that confirms that this was done? It would make an interesting feature for the Trumpeter BR-52.
With thanks-
Geoff Steer [;-{/)


Hi Geoff! Hi Folks!

I don't ever recall seeing any photos of three rail tracks in Russian. I don't remember where I read it, but I seam to remember reading that the Germans used a large number of railroad engineers units to pull up one rail and relayed it to Europe gage.

I also remember reading that the German Higher Commands had problems with getting the word out to the front line units to not destory, unless they had to, Soviet power units and rolling stock.

One other side point. Laying a third rail would have required a LOT of steel. I agree that the Germans where not the best at managing resorces sometime, but without documention, I would wonder about any claim of massive third rail installation. Possible it was done on a limited bases.

Just not sure about this one, Neutral
Sgt, Scouts Out!

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Shadow_Bshwackr
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PostPosted: Fri Feb 24, 2006 10:23 am
Post subject: Re: Russian and German guage railway-third rail?

I seen a program on TV that was "Riding the rails" where something to this effect is still used.

The program I seen used different 'standards' for different countries or in this case, going from China to Russia. The train had to stop, switch the wheels under the train cars to the new standard and were off again. Smile
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David_Reasoner
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PostPosted: Fri Feb 24, 2006 12:01 pm
Post subject: Re: Russian and German guage railway-third rail?

I saw an episode of "Great Railway Journeys" featuring a trip from China into Russia. As you said, they had to jack up the coaches and change wheel trucks at the border because of the difference in rail gauges used.

I suspect Roy is probably correct. A third rail approach might have been used in some areas, but shortage of steel (and possibly German arrogance, too) would have kept it from widespread use. AFAIK German policy was to convert as much track and rolling stock to their own gauge as possible.

David
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Paul_Jungnitsch
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PostPosted: Fri Feb 24, 2006 10:51 pm
Post subject: Re: Russian and German guage railway-third rail?

You can see the dual tracks at the Chinese-Russian border here: Trans-Siberian 1991

We all had to leave while they changed bogies, and then off we went again, took about an hour to change the train over, IIRC.
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Shadow_Bshwackr
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PostPosted: Sat Feb 25, 2006 4:01 am
Post subject: Re: Russian and German guage railway-third rail?

Rgr David, that's the same program I seen and was referring to.. Wink

When I watched that program, I wondered why the train owners didn't make retractable/expandable wheels to make the switch much less of an effort.

Thanks for the link Paul...
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bsmart
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PostPosted: Sat Feb 25, 2006 4:33 am
Post subject: Re: Russian and German guage railway-third rail?

'wondered why the train owners didn't make retractable/expandable wheels to make the switch much less of an effort. '

Reliability and stability at high speed are some factors. If you look closely most rail cars have wheels and axles that are a single casting. The bearings support the whole piece on the rail truck and absorb the lateral forces as the train follows the tracks. Building a unit that will do that and change dimensions (but only change dimensions when it is supposed to), hold up to heavy use and works smoothly at speeds above 50 MPH isn't easy. Add in the issue of idiot proofing the change mechanism so semi literate railroad workers in the middle of nowhere don't break it and taking an hour to lift the car up, slide different rail truck under it doesn't seem so difficult. That hour was probably taken up with customs and immigration processing anyway.

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Shadow_Bshwackr
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PostPosted: Sat Feb 25, 2006 4:40 am
Post subject: Re: Russian and German guage railway-third rail?

I bet you're right, I forgot about the "making it idiot proof" part...lol

And yep, I'm sure customs likes it just fine the way it is too... Wink
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geoffsteer
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PostPosted: Sat Feb 25, 2006 10:07 am
Post subject: Re: Russian/German guage railway-third rail?Roy and others..

Hi Roy-
Reference your line:"One other side point. Laying a third rail would have required a LOT of steel. I agree that the Germans where not the best at managing resorces sometime" You have a good point there, as usual. One thought that does occurr though is this; which would have been easier, laying down a third rail which, would have allowed the Germans to use both their own and captured Russian equipmment over the same lines. Or, convert all Russian railway equipment to German guage or German to Russian? Both of these ideas would require a massive amount of labour intensive and time consuming effort. Of the two options, the third rail seems both easier and quicker. My researches on the web led to the discovery that the third rail trick is currently in use in Switzerland and was used in Germany in certain areas to allow rails to be used by both inter-urban non-inter-urban ("non-inter-urban", cannot think of what else to call it). I'd say the idea is possible which, is hardly certain proof that it was used in Russia. I'll continue with my web based research. I hope it turns out to be true that the Germans did use the third rail in Russia as this would be a very interesting feature.
Thanks for your help Roy and the rest-
Geoff Steer [;-{/)
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Jens_O_Mehner
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PostPosted: Sat Feb 25, 2006 10:36 am
Post subject: Re: Russian and German guage railway-third rail?

Geoff,

the idea was to regauge the Russian rails to standard gauge so supply trains could run from the Reich all the way to the front, and an amazingly huge chunk of the Russian rail system was thus converted. In some places, where the territory wasn't in German hands long enough or not safe for the Eisenbahnpioniere, the Russian broad gauge remained, and captured equipment was used on it. There certainly were some stations/yards were some type of three-rail arrangement was in place (especially former border stations), but those lines didn't wander too far outside the original property.

Timewise, the effort to regauge the rails was about as consuming as laying a third rail, but with regauging you didn't need further quantities of the valuable steel, and manpower was cheap in the form of forced labor.

Incidentally, the Russians used broad gauge because the Tsar wanted to deny possible attackers the use of their trains all the way from the West Coast to points inside the Rodina.

Hitler envisioned an ever broader gauge super-railway from Berlin to Siberia, there used to be a book out on it, but I can't remember the title, and I don't think it was ever translated into English. Schiffer should have a book on Eisenbahnpioniere, maybe you want to check that source.

And no, German railway guns were never regauged to Russian standards, the wider gauge of the Trumpeter K5 is in order to run it on garden railway hardware/ No 1 gauge rails.

Cheers,

Jens O.
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geoffsteer
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PostPosted: Sat Feb 25, 2006 1:12 pm
Post subject: Re: Russian and German guage railway-third rail?Thanks Jens

Hi Jens-
Thank you for the definitive answer, its nice to have this cleared up. Like I said in my initial post, the third rail would make an interesting feature. Well, I could have the BR-52 in a railyard where, as you said the third rail could be seen.
Could you, please, explain this line of yours:
"And no, German railway guns were never regauged to Russian standards, the wider gauge of the Trumpeter K5 is in order to run it on garden railway hardware/ No 1 gauge rails."
I know it is not in reply to anything I said and seems to be saying Trumpeter gave their K5 inaccurate tracks because those tracks could be used with existing "garden railway hardware". I am wondering about this as it is, probably, a good indication of what we can expect to see in their BR-52 kit.
Thanks again-
Geoff Steer [;-{/)
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Jens_O_Mehner
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PostPosted: Sat Feb 25, 2006 4:52 pm
Post subject: Re: Russian and German guage railway-third rail?

Ah,

don't worry Geoff, not aimed at you, just some general pre-emptive mentioning of facts since somebody somewhere is going to perk up, and will state that K5s were regauged because Trumpeter wouldn't dare to be un-prototypical... Their K5 is the better detailed of the two, but Dragon's is 1/35 through and through.

I would have loved to see the cranes necessary to lift a K5 in order to change its trucks- I can see a queue of K5s lined up at the DORA assembly yard, waiting to use the crane.

That would have been a great opportunity for some third-rail action, but the crafty railroad engineers regauged the track before the K5 was sent within firing range.

Incidentally, I hadn't even thought about the fact that the BR52 would probably run on No 1 gauge, which does translate into 1/32, but that's probably going to happen.

Cheers,

Jens O.
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Indrakrishnamurti
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PostPosted: Fri Mar 17, 2006 1:09 am
Post subject: Re: Russian and German guage railway-third rail?

Jens and all,

It would not have been possible to have a three rail arrangement with the gauges (1435 mm and 1524 mm) would have been too close to allow the wheels running on the broader gauge to clear the inside gauge. The distance between the two would have been less than 10 cm. See the Wikipedia article (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Dual_gauge) here for some information.

If the difference between gauges were larger, say 1435 mm and 1067 mm (as in pre-WW II Indonesia), it would have been possible to have three- rail mixed gauge track. It still required complicated switches/turnouts though.

Cheers,

Indra

- Jens_O_Mehner
Geoff,

the idea was to regauge the Russian rails to standard gauge so supply trains could run from the Reich all the way to the front, and an amazingly huge chunk of the Russian rail system was thus converted. In some places, where the territory wasn't in German hands long enough or not safe for the Eisenbahnpioniere, the Russian broad gauge remained, and captured equipment was used on it. There certainly were some stations/yards were some type of three-rail arrangement was in place (especially former border stations), but those lines didn't wander too far outside the original property.
Cheers,

Jens O.
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LeeW
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PostPosted: Fri Mar 17, 2006 5:14 am
Post subject: Re: Russian and German guage railway-third rail?

Well you could set it up with the middle rail as the common rail but that would mean either desiging it that way from the begginning or adding more ties.
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jch_in_uk
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PostPosted: Sat Mar 18, 2006 9:38 am
Post subject: Re: Russian and German guage railway-third rail?

I've been told, by someone who admitted they were not certain of their facts, that the Germans added a third rail to Russian tracks that accomodated the Russian tracks to thier own guage. I mean that the Russian guage was left in place and the added third rail was there so that it and the other rail would be the German guage.


If you think about it, it's not really practical on existing railways, the 'standard gauge' is 4 foot 8 inches, the 'broad' (Soviet) gauge is 5 foot 3 inches, so the difference is 7 inches.

You could just about fit the extra rail on the sleeper (tie to our US colleagues), but there would not be a lot of space left outside the new rail on the sleeper.

In addition, points and crossovers would be a nightmare.

Dual gauge tracks do exist, usually only on narrow gauge railways, where the whole rail set-up was much lighter.

Hope this helps.

JH
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