On this day in 1871, the
Denver and Rio Grande Western Railroad Company introduced
the first narrow-gauge locomotive. It was called the
What's So Special About a Narrow-Gauge Locomotive?
Narrow gauge railroads were special in that they could be built
at a lower cost than standard gauge lines, and were more adaptable to
rough terrain. They required less earthwork and allowed for steeper
gradients and sharper curves. The narrow gauge locomotives could wind
through mountains, strike out across deserts, and cross cane fields, all
the while serving as local connections to the outside world.
101 Uses for a Narrow Gauge. Not only were the narrow-gauge lines used by passengers and freight in the normal sense; many industrial concerns and factories operated narrow gauge lines.
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