Trivia - what IS a railway??

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Howardh

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Sounds a stupid question, right? But we always welcome trivia stuff about straightest railway, towns without etc etc.

So a question like "which British islands have had a railway?" - well, Anglesey, Isle of Wight, Man etc - of course.

But our most northerly (Unst) had a railway, a short track - maybe horse-pulled? - about 1/4 mile from the dock to the quarry.

By that discussion, most populated places in the world would have had SOME kind of railway in the past. A small island off Ibiza - Formentera - had one. Still has, there's an old engine displayed on 2m of track. Is THAT a railway??

In my manor, Moss Bank Park has a 6"gauge minature railway for the kiddies to ride on. Is that a railway? Rails, wheels and passengers....is to me!

OK, there's no right or wrong answers, but when we are answering trivia (like this!!) what constitutes a railway?

Discuss (1000 words maximum <D)
 
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edwin_m

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The Railways and Other Guided Transport Regulations guidance states:

‘Railway’ means a system of transport using parallel rails which:
• support and guide vehicles carried on flanged wheels; and
• form a track which has a gauge of at least 350 millimetres or crosses a carriageway (whether or not it is on the same level).
‘Railway’ does not include tramways.

‘Tramway’ means a system of transport:
• which is used completely or mainly to carry passengers;
• where the maximum speed allows the driver to stop a vehicle in the distance he can see to be clear ahead; and
• which uses parallel rails which:
o support and guide vehicles carried on flanged wheels; and
o are laid completely or partly along a road or in any other place to which the public has access (including a place where the public has access only after making a payment).
Some sections of the mainline railway that are street running, and operate by line of sight, may fit the definition of ‘tramway’. These parts of the mainline railway are not excluded. The Approved List shows tramways that are excluded.
http://orr.gov.uk/__data/assets/pdf_file/0020/2567/rogs-guidance.pdf

And from the Highways Act 1980:

“carriageway” means a way constituting or comprised in a highway, being a way (other than a cycle track) over which the public have a right of way for the passage of vehicles;
http://www.legislation.gov.uk/ukpga/1980/66

So this would rule out miniature and industrial lines, unless they cross a public road by bridge or on the level.
 

30907

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Michael Robbins in chapter 1 of his 1962 book "The Railway Age" adapts Charles E Lee:
- specialised track
- accommodation of public traffic
- conveyance of passengers
- mechanical traction
- some measure of public control (Robbins') adaptation

Note that this is a definition of "a railway" as a system, and the chapter explains and nuances it - it does not necessarily apply in full to every section of track.
 

Howardh

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Interesting!
Find the definition of "rail" and "tram"-way interesting!
 
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