Three foot six inch gauge railways in the United States

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A list of 3 ft 6 in (1,067 mm) gauge railways in the United States. Apart from historical railways, it is commonly used in underground coal mines. [1] [2] Also, in the past, this gauge had been a popular choice for urban mass transit systems (see table below).



New Jersey
New York

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Narrow-gauge railway Railway line with a gauge less than the standard of 1435 mm (4 ft 8 1⁄2 in)

A narrow-gauge railway is a railway with a track gauge narrower than standard 1,435 mm. Most narrow-gauge railways are between 600 mm and 1,067 mm.

Standard-gauge railway Railway track gauge (1435 mm)

A standard-gauge railway is a railway with a track gauge of 1,435 mm. The standard gauge is also called Stephenson gauge, International gauge, UIC gauge, uniform gauge, normal gauge and European gauge in Europe. It is the most widely used railway track gauge across the world, with approximately 55% of the lines in the world using it. All high-speed rail lines use standard gauge except those in Russia, Finland, Portugal and Uzbekistan. The distance between the inside edges of the rails is defined to be 1435 mm except in the United States and on some heritage British lines, where it is defined in U.S. customary/Imperial units as exactly "four feet eight and one half inches" which is equivalent to 1435.1mm.

Lehigh, Iowa City in Iowa, United States

Lehigh is a city in Webster County, Iowa, United States. The population was 416 at the 2010 census.

Nevada Central Railroad

The Nevada Central Railroad was a 3 ft narrow gauge railroad completed in 1880 between Battle Mountain and Austin, Nevada. The railroad was constructed to connect Austin, the center of a rich silver mining area, with the transcontinental railroad, Southern Pacific, not the Western Pacific, at Battle Mountain.

Bridgton and Saco River Railroad American transport company

The Bridgton and Saco River Railroad (B&SR) was a 2 ft narrow gauge railroad that operated in the vicinity of Bridgton and Harrison, Maine. It connected with the Portland and Ogdensburg Railroad from Portland, Maine, to St. Johnsbury, Vermont, near the town of Hiram on the Saco River.

0-6-2 Locomotive wheel arrangement

Under the Whyte notation for the classification of steam locomotives, 0-6-2 represents the wheel arrangement of no leading wheels, six powered and coupled driving wheels on three axles and two trailing wheels on one axle. The type is sometimes known as a Webb or a Branchliner.

Uintah Railway

The Uintah Railway was a small 3 ft narrow gauge railroad company in Utah and Colorado in the United States. It was constructed to carry Gilsonite which provided most of its operating revenues; but it operated as a common carrier from 1904 to 1939, also carrying passengers, mail, express, and other cargoes including sheep and wool. When a public library was built in Dragon in 1910, the Uintah Railway agreed to deliver library books free of charge to and from any borrower along its route. Many area ranchers and miners took advantage of the opportunity.

Midland Terminal Railway

The Midland Terminal Railway was a short line terminal railroad running from the Colorado Midland Railway near Divide to Cripple Creek, Colorado. The railroad made its last run in February 1949.

Argentine Central Railway

The Argentine Central Railway was a 3 ft narrow gauge railroad in the United States built from the Colorado and Southern Railway at Silver Plume, Colorado, to Waldorf, Colorado, and onward to the summit of Mount McClellan. Construction began on August 1, 1905, and the line was opened to Waldorf a year later on August 1, 1906, a distance of about 6 miles. It was financed and organised by Edward J. Wilcox, owner of 65 mining properties in the Argentine region that were consolidated into the Waldorf Mining and Milling Company in 1902. His headquarters at Waldorf was accessible only by pack mule for much of the year.

Cumberland and Pennsylvania Railroad

The Cumberland and Pennsylvania Railroad (C&P) was an American railroad which operated in Western Maryland. Primarily a coal hauler, it was owned by the Consolidation Coal Company, and was purchased by the Western Maryland Railway (WM) in 1944.

Narrow-gauge railroads in the United States

Standard gauge was favored for railway construction in the United States, although a fairly large narrow-gauge system developed in the Rocky Mountains of Colorado and Utah. Isolated narrow-gauge lines were built in many areas to minimize construction costs for industrial transport or resort access, and some of these lines offered common carrier service. Outside Colorado, these isolated lines evolved into regional narrow-gauge systems in Maine, New York, Pennsylvania, Ohio, Iowa, Hawaii, and Alaska.

Cripple Creek and Victor Narrow Gauge Railroad

The Cripple Creek & Victor Narrow Gauge Railroad is a 2 ft narrow-gauge heritage railroad that operates seasonal tourist trains between Cripple Creek and the city's outskirts to the south. The railroad uses a revitalized section of the original Midland Terminal Railway and the Florence and Cripple Creek Railroad. The railroad's one station and around half of its route is located within the Cripple Creek Historic District, a National Historic Landmark.

The Otavi Mining and Railway Company was a railway and mining company in German South West Africa. It was founded on 6 April 1900 in Berlin with the Disconto-Gesellschaft and the South West Africa Company as major shareholders.

The Ligonier Valley Railroad connected the communities of Latrobe and Ligonier, Pennsylvania, approximately 10 miles (16 km) apart, between 1877 and 1952. For much of its length, the railroad ran parallel to Loyalhanna Creek in a scenic mountain gorge. In addition to the Latrobe-Ligonier line, there was an extension to the coal mining communities of Wilpen and Fort Palmer to the north of Ligonier, as well as several shorter spurs serving coal mines.

Grass Creek, Utah Ghost town in Utah, United States

Grass Creek is a ghost town in Summit County, Utah, United States. Lying some 8 miles (13 km) northeast of Coalville, it was once an important coal mining town. Grass Creek was inhabited circa 1860–1940.

Nevada County Narrow Gauge Railroad

The Nevada County Narrow Gauge Railroad (NCNGRR) was located in Northern California's Nevada County and Placer County, where it connected with the Central Pacific Railroad. The Nevada County Narrow Gauge Railroad Company incorporated on April 4, 1874, and was headquartered in Grass Valley, California. After two years of construction, passenger and commercial rail services began in 1876 and continued until 1943. The 22.53 mi (36.26 km) line ran from Colfax, north through Grass Valley to Nevada City. At one time, the railroad was notable for having the highest railroad bridge in California, the Bear River Bridge, built in 1908.

Mine railway

A mine railway, sometimes pit railway, is a railway constructed to carry materials and workers in and out of a mine. Materials transported typically include ore, coal and overburden. It is little remembered, but the mix of heavy and bulky materials which had to be hauled into and out of mines gave rise to the first several generations of railways, at first made of wooden rails, but eventually adding protective iron, steam locomotion by fixed engines and the earliest commercial steam locomotives, all in and around the works around mines.

Track gauge in the United States Widths of railway tracks

Originally, various track gauges were used in the United States. Some railways, primarily in the northeast, used standard gauge of 4 ft 8 12 in ; others used gauges ranging from 2 ft to 6 ft. As a general rule, southern railroads were built to one or another broad gauge, mostly 5 ft, while northern railroads that were not standard-gauge tended to be narrow-gauge. The Pacific Railroad Acts of 1863 specified standard gauge.

United Verde & Pacific Railway

The United Verde and Pacific Railway was a 3 ft narrow gauge railroad that operated from 1895 to 1920 in what became Yavapai County in the U.S. state of Arizona. William A. Clark built the 26-mile (42 km) line to link his copper mine and smelter in Jerome to an existing branch of the Santa Fe Railway system. Clark eventually replaced the line with three 4 ft 8 12 instandard gauge rail lines after building a new smelter and company town in Clarkdale.


  1. Stoek, H. H.; Fleming, J. R.; Hoskin, A. J. (July 1922). A Study of Coal Mine Haulage in Illinois. Engineering Experiment Station Bulletin. 132. University of Illinois. pp. 102–103. Retrieved 22 June 2011.
  2. Lowrie, Raymond L., ed. (2002). "Excavation, Loading, and Material Transport". SME Mining Reference Handbook. Society for Mining, Metallurgy and Exploration. p. 232. Retrieved 9 Oct 2012.
  3. Labbe, John T. (1980). Fares, Please! Those Portland Trolley Years. Caldwell, Idaho (US): The Caxton Printers. ISBN   0-87004-287-4.
  4. Thompson, Richard M. (2010). Portland's Streetcar Lines. Arcadia Publishing. p. 98. ISBN   978-0-7385-8126-2.
  5. Pioneer Tunnel - official website