An urban park or metropolitan park known as a municipal park or a public park, public open space, or municipal gardens, is a park in cities and other incorporated places to offer recreation and green space to residents of, visitors to, the municipality. The design and maintenance is done by government agencies on the local level, but may be contracted out to a park conservancy, friends of group, or private sector company. Common features of municipal parks include playgrounds, hiking and fitness trails or paths, bridle paths, sports fields and courts, public restrooms, boat ramps, and/or picnic facilities, depending on the budget and natural features available. Park advocates claim that having parks near urban residents, including within a 10-minute walk, provide multiple benefits. A park is an area of open space provided for recreational use owned and maintained by a local government. Grass is kept short to discourage insect pests and to allow for the enjoyment of picnics and sporting activities.
Trees are chosen for their beauty and to provide shade, with an increasing emphasis on reducing an urban heat island effect. Some early parks include the La Alameda de Hércules, in Seville, a promenaded public mall, urban garden and park built in 1574, within the historic center of Seville; the Városliget in the City of Pest, what is today Budapest, was a city property when afforestation started in the middle of the 18th century, from the 1790s with the clear aim to create a public park. Between 1799 and 1805 it was rented out to the Batthyány family to carry out such a project but the city had taken back control and in 1813 announced a design competition to finish the park. An early purpose-built public park, although financed was Princes Park in the Liverpool suburb of Toxteth; this was laid out to the designs of Joseph Paxton from 1842 and opened in 1843. The land on which the park was built was purchased by Richard Vaughan Yates, an iron merchant and philanthropist, in 1841 for £50,000; the creation of Princes Park showed great foresight and introduced a number of influential ideas.
First and foremost was the provision of open space for the benefit of townspeople and local residents within an area, being built up. Secondly it took the concept of the designed landscape as a setting for the suburban domicile and re-fashioned it for the provincial town in a most original way. Nash's remodelling of St James's Park from 1827 and the sequence of processional routes he created to link The Mall with Regent's Park transformed the appearance of London's West End. With the establishment of Princes Park in 1842, Joseph Paxton did something similar for the benefit of a provincial town, albeit one of international stature by virtue of its flourishing mercantile sector. Liverpool had a burgeoning presence in global maritime trade before 1800, during the Victorian era its wealth rivalled that of London itself; the form and layout of Paxton's ornamental grounds, structured about an informal lake within the confines of a serpentine carriageway, put in place the essential elements of his much-imitated design for Birkenhead Park in Birkenhead.
The latter commenced in 1843 with the help of public finance and deployed the ideas which Paxton had pioneered at Princes Park on a more expansive scale. Frederick Law Olmsted praised its qualities. Indeed, Paxton is credited as having been one of the principal influences on Olmsted and Calvert's design for New York's Central Park of 1857. Another early public park, the Peel Park, England, opened on 22 August 1846. In The Politics of Park Design: A History of Urban Parks in America, Professor Galen Cranz identifies four phases of park design in the U. S. In the late 19th century, city governments purchased large tracts of land on the outskirts of cities to form "pleasure grounds": semi-open, charmingly landscaped areas whose primary purpose was to allow city residents the workers, to relax in nature; as time passed and the urban area grew around the parks, land in these parks was used for other purposes, such as zoos, golf courses and museums. These parks continue to draw visitors from around the region and are considered regional parks, because they require a higher level of management than smaller local parks.
According to the Trust for Public Land, the three most visited municipal parks in the United States are Central Park in New York, Lincoln Park in Chicago, Mission Bay Park in San Diego. In the early 1900s, according to Cranz, U. S. cities built neighborhood parks with swimming pools and civic buildings, with the intention of Americanizing the immigrant residents. In the 1950s, when money became available after World War II, new parks continued to focus on both outdoor and indoor recreation with services, such as sports leagues using their ball fields and gymnasia; these smaller parks were built in residential neighborhoods, tried to serve all residents with programs for seniors, adults and children. Green space was of secondary importance; as urban land prices climbed, new urban parks in the 1960s and after have been pocket parks. One example of a pocket park is Chess Park in California; the American Society of Landscape Architects gave this park a General Design Award of Honor in 2006. These small parks provide greenery, a place to sit outdoors, a playground for children.
All four types of park continue to exist in urban areas. Because of the large amount of open space and natural habitat in the former pleasure grounds, the
Sir Charles Spencer Chaplin was an English comic actor and composer who rose to fame in the era of silent film. He became a worldwide icon through his screen persona, "The Tramp", is considered one of the most important figures in the history of the film industry, his career spanned more than 75 years, from childhood in the Victorian era until a year before his death in 1977, encompassed both adulation and controversy. Chaplin's childhood in London was one of poverty and hardship, as his father was absent and his mother struggled financially, he was sent to a workhouse twice before the age of nine; when he was 14, his mother was committed to a mental asylum. Chaplin began performing at an early age, touring music halls and working as a stage actor and comedian. At 19, he was signed to the prestigious Fred Karno company, he began appearing in 1914 for Keystone Studios. He soon formed a large fan base, he directed his own films and continued to hone his craft as he moved to the Essanay and First National corporations.
By 1918, he was one of the best-known figures in the world. In 1919, Chaplin co-founded the distribution company United Artists which gave him complete control over his films, his first feature-length film was The Kid, followed by A Woman of Paris, The Gold Rush, The Circus. He refused to move to sound films in the 1930s, instead producing City Lights and Modern Times without dialogue, he became political, his next film The Great Dictator satirized Adolf Hitler. The 1940s were a decade marked with controversy for Chaplin, his popularity declined rapidly, he was accused of communist sympathies, while he created scandal through his involvement in a paternity suit and his marriages to much younger women. An FBI investigation was opened, Chaplin was forced to leave the United States and settle in Switzerland, he abandoned the Tramp in his films, which include Monsieur Verdoux, Limelight, A King in New York, A Countess from Hong Kong. Chaplin wrote, produced, starred in, composed the music for most of his films.
He was a perfectionist, his financial independence enabled him to spend years on the development and production of a picture. His films are characterized by slapstick combined with pathos, typified in the Tramp's struggles against adversity. Many contain political themes, as well as autobiographical elements, he received an Honorary Academy Award for "the incalculable effect he has had in making motion pictures the art form of this century" in 1972, as part of a renewed appreciation for his work. He continues to be held in high regard, with The Gold Rush, City Lights, Modern Times, The Great Dictator ranked on lists of the greatest films of all time. Charles Spencer Chaplin was born on 16 April 1889 to Charles Chaplin Sr.. There is no official record of his birth, although Chaplin believed he was born at East Street, Walworth, in South London, his mother and father had married four years at which time Charles Sr. became the legal guardian of Hannah's illegitimate son, Sydney John Hill. At the time of his birth, Chaplin's parents were both music hall entertainers.
Hannah, the daughter of a shoemaker, had a brief and unsuccessful career under the stage name Lily Harley, while Charles Sr. a butcher's son, was a popular singer. Although they never divorced, Chaplin's parents were estranged by around 1891; the following year, Hannah gave birth to a third son – George Wheeler Dryden – fathered by the music hall entertainer Leo Dryden. The child was taken by Dryden at six months old, did not re-enter Chaplin's life for 30 years. Chaplin's childhood was fraught with poverty and hardship, making his eventual trajectory "the most dramatic of all the rags to riches stories told" according to his authorised biographer David Robinson. Chaplin's early years were spent with his mother and brother Sydney in the London district of Kennington; as the situation deteriorated, Chaplin was sent to Lambeth Workhouse. The council housed him at the Central London District School for paupers, which Chaplin remembered as "a forlorn existence", he was reunited with his mother 18 months before Hannah was forced to readmit her family to the workhouse in July 1898.
The boys were promptly sent to another institution for destitute children. In September 1898, Hannah was committed to Cane Hill mental asylum – she had developed a psychosis brought on by an infection of syphilis and malnutrition. For the two months she was there and his brother Sydney were sent to live with their father, whom the young boys scarcely knew. Charles Sr. was by a severe alcoholic, life there was bad enough to provoke a visit from the National Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Children. Chaplin's father died two years at 38 years old, from cirrhosis of the liver. Hannah entered a period of remission but, in May 1903, became ill again. Chaplin 14, had the task of taking his mother to the infirmary, from where she was sent back to Cane Hill, he lived alone for several days, searching for food and sleeping rough, until Sydney – who had enrolled in the Navy two years earlier – returned. Hannah was released from the asylum eight months but in March 1905, her illness returned, this time permanently.
"There was nothing we could do but accept poor mother's fate", Chaplin wrote, a
Southport Pier, Gold Coast
Southport Pier is a pier spanning the Gold Coast Broadwater in Southport, a suburb on the Gold Coast in South East Queensland, Australia. The current pier was constructed in 2009, replacing a previous structure demolished in 1969. Located in the sheltered Broadwater, the pier and its surrounds was an attraction to visitors in the late 19th and the first half of the 20th century who sailed along the coast or, after the arrival of the railway, traveled down from Brisbane by steam train. Passengers were transported to Brisbane via steamboats. Southport has had a number of jetties along the curve of beach between the mouth of the Nerang River and Deep Water Point in Labrador, some of them operating concurrently, since the 1870s. With out a wharf or similar structure it was not possible to land goods or passengers directly onto the shore without using a smaller boat. Differing opinions were held within the growing township as to the best position for a wharf or jetty. In February 1879 two delegations traveled to Brisbane to put forward their respective cases.
One group was in favour of constructing the jetty in a position central to the township which they anticipated growing northwards. The other group preferred the jetty to be built to the south where the current owners were selling lots; the first permanent jetty in Southport was built to the south of the township near the mouth of the Nerang River opposite the Southport Hotel near the present day northern approach of the Gold Coast Bridge. Owned by Richard Gardiner, in early 1878 the Southport Hotel was sold to Mr. William Charles Maund who constructed a substantial jetty the following year; the jetty was designed by Mr. H. Barnes, part of the first survey trip by the Harbours and Rivers Department mapping local waterways; the survey party were staying at the hotel which was, at the time, the only accommodation in the area. It was built by private subscription for £52 and was 280 foot long and six foot wide; the jetty included a tram track along its length to aid in unloading and transferring luggage and other items from the steamers arriving at Southport It opened in late 1879 with additional work undertaken to create a channel between the new jetty and Deepwater Point at Labrador.
By May 1880, it was reported that Mr. Maund, the hotelier, had enlarged the existing jetty. In January 1880 a deputation of local residents visited the Acting Colonial Treasurer to request that the State Government construct a jetty able to meet their needs; the visit did not result in the Government committing funds, it was suggested that the people of Southport or the local Divisional Board fund the endeavor. Upon the return of the deputation, a meeting of local residents was called in February at which the proposed jetty was discussed. In November the local residents met again to consider borrowing ₤600 to build the jetty. A second jetty was erected further north near the Pacific Hotel in the vicinity of the intersection of The Esplanade and Nerang Street which, by September 1881, was reported as being completed but in use. In October 1881 the growth of the township was being reported in local newspapers and the'new jetty' is mentioned. Neither of the jetties were able to meet the needs of the local community.
The jetty near the mouth of the river could not be used in low tide while the pier in front of the Pacific Hotel was not approached by steamers. The decision was made to build a third jetty incorporating the existing structure in front of the Pacific Hotel. After an unsuccessful attempt to raise the funds by public subscription, the money for the third jetty was provided Mr. E. J. Stevens and Mr. John Cameron; the Queensland Government provided the lease for land on the water front and William David Nisbet, the engineer of the Harbours and Rivers Department, assisted with specifications and drew the plans. The owners leased the structure for three years to the Southport Divisional Board. On Wednesday 28 November 1883 the township's third jetty was opened with the'whole of Southport' in attendance. To keep building costs low, the new jetty used reclaimed railway rails in its construction; this was reported as being one of the first times this method of construction was known to have been used.
The new jetty was 800 foot long and had a goods shed and waiting room surrounded by a verandah on three sides. This extended structure was to become known as the Southport Pier. In 1886 the Southport Divisional Board announced that it intended to build a new pier and goods shed near the site of the'old jetty near Balmer's hotel' at a cost of ₤600. In 1886 Mr. Balmer had taken over the Southport Hotel from Mr. Maund. In 1887 the Divisional Board were reporting that the existing jetty at the river mouth remained in private hands but the foreshore and surrounds, which were the responsibly of local government, were suffering from erosion. By 1888, the local community still did not have access to a free public jetty. Within a few years, the Southport Pier near the Pacific Hotel had been extended to 900 feet and a bathing enclosure was built against the pier for locals and visitors to enjoy protected sea bathing, it was during this same period that construction of the Southport Sea Wall along the foreshore began.
The Southport Pier and Baths Company leased—and sold—the pier to the Southport Divisional Board. In 1913, the timber structure was replaced with a concrete one; the popular Pier Theatre opened in December 1926 and offered a venue for movies and general entertainment. The first theatre was rebuilt that same year. Both the pier and theatre were demolished in 1969. A new pier was constructed in 2009, its length is 100 m. List of piers Southport Broadwater Parklands Research notes provided by Gold Coast City Council Local Studi
3 ft 6 in gauge railways
Railways with a track gauge of 3 ft 6 in / 1,067 mm were first constructed as horse-drawn wagonways. From the mid-nineteenth century, the 3 ft 6 in gauge became widespread in the British Empire, was adopted as a standard in Japan and Taiwan. There are 112,000 kilometres of 1,067 mm gauge track in the world. 1795 One of the first railways to use 3 ft 6 in gauge was the Little Eaton Gangway in England, constructed as a horse-drawn wagonway in 1795. Other 3 ft 6 in gauge wagonways in England and Wales were built in the early nineteenth century. 1862 In 1862 the Norwegian engineer Carl Abraham Pihl constructed the first 3 ft 6 in gauge railway in Norway, the Røros Line. 1865 In 1865 the Queensland Railways were constructed. Its 3 ft 6 in gauge was promoted by the Irish engineer Abraham Fitzgibbon and consulting engineer Charles Fox. 1867 In 1867, the construction of the railroad from the Castillo de Buitrón mine to the pier of San Juan del Puerto, Spain, began. The width was 3 ft 6 in. 1868 In 1868 Charles Fox asks civil engineer Edmund Wragge to survey a 3 ft 6 in railway in Costa Rica.
1871 In 1871 the Canadian Toronto and Bruce Railway and the Toronto and Nipissing Railway were opened, promoted by Pihl and Fitzgibbon and surveyed by Wragge as an engineer of Fox. 1872 In January 1872 Robert Fairlie advocated the use of 3 ft 6 in gauge in his book Railways Or No Railways: Narrow Gauge, Economy with Efficiency v. Broad Gauge, Costliness with Extravagance. 1872 saw the opening of the first 3 ft 6 in gauge railway in Japan, proposed by the British civil engineer Edmund Morel based on his experience of building railways in New Zealand. 1873 On 1 January 1873, the first 3 ft 6 in gauge railway was opened in New Zealand, constructed by the British firm John Brogden and Sons. Earlier built 4 ft 8 1⁄2 in and broad gauge railways were soon converted to the narrower gauge. In 1873 the Cape Colony adopted the 3 ft 6 in gauge. After conducting several studies in southern Europe, the Molteno Government selected the gauge as being the most economically suited for traversing steep mountain ranges.
Beginning in 1873, under supervision of Railway engineer of the Colony William Brounger, the Cape Government Railways expanded and the gauge became the standard for southern Africa. 1876 Natal converted its short 10 kilometres long Durban network from 4 ft 8 1⁄2 in standard gauge prior to commencing with construction of a network across the entire colony in 1876. Other new railways in Southern Africa, notably Mozambique, the Rhodesias and Angola, were constructed in 3 ft 6 in gauge during that time. After 1876 In the late nineteenth and early twentieth century numerous 3 ft 6 in gauge tram systems were built in the United Kingdom and the Netherlands. In Sweden, the gauge was nicknamed Blekinge gauge, as most of the railways in the province of Blekinge had this gauge. An alternate name for this gauge, Cape gauge, is named after the Cape Colony in what is now South Africa, which adopted it in 1873; the term Cape Gauge is used in other languages, such as the Dutch kaapspoor, German Kapspur, Norwegian kappspor and French voie cape.
After metrication in the 1960s, the gauge was referred to in official South African Railways publications as 1,065 mm instead of 1067 mm. The gauge name. In Australia the imperial term 3 foot 6 inch is used. In some Australian publications the term medium gauge is used, while in Australian states where 4 ft 8 1⁄2 in is the norm, 1,067 mm gauge is referred to as narrow gauge. In Japan 1,067 mm gauge is referred to as kyōki, it is defined in metric units. Similar, but incompatible without wheelset adjustment, rail gauges in respect of aspects such as cost of construction, practical minimum radius curves and the maximum physical dimensions of rolling stock are: 1,100 mm, 1,093 mm, 1,055 mm, 1,050 mm, 1,000 mm metre gauge. Cape Government Railways Heritage railway List of track gauges South African Trains – A Pictorial Encyclopaedia Why Did Japan Choose the 3'6" Narrow Gauge
A procession is an organized body of people walking in a formal or ceremonial manner. Processions have in all peoples and at all times been a natural form of public celebration, as forming an orderly and impressive ceremony. Religious and triumphal processions are abundantly illustrated by ancient monuments, e.g. the religious processions of Egypt, those illustrated by the rock-carvings of Boghaz-Keui, the many representations of processions in Greek art, culminating in the great Panathenaic procession of the Parthenon Frieze, Roman triumphal reliefs, such as those of the arch of Titus. Processions played a prominent part in the great festivals of Greece, where they were always religious in character; the games were either opened or accompanied by more or less elaborate processions and sacrifices, while processions from the earliest times formed part of the worship of the old nature gods, as those connected with the cult of Dionysus and the Phallic processions, formed an essential part of the celebration of the great religious festivals, of the mysteries.
Of the Roman processions, the most prominent was that of the Triumph, which had its origin in the return of the victorious army headed by the general, who proceeded in great pomp from the Campus to the Capitol to offer sacrifice, accompanied by the army, spoils, the chief magistrate, priests bearing the images of the gods, amidst strewing of flowers, burning of incense and the like. Connected with the triumph was the pompa circensis, or solemn procession that preceded the games in the circus, it first came into use at the Ludi Romani, when the games were preceded by a great procession from the Capitol to the Circus. The praetor or consul who appeared in the ponipa circensis wore the robes of a triumphing general. Thus, when it became customary for the consul to celebrate games at the opening of the consular year, he came, under the empire, to appear in triumphal robes in the processus consularis, or procession of the consul to the Capitol to sacrifice to Jupiter. After the ascendency of Christianity in the Roman Empire, the consular processions in Constantinople retained their religious character, now proceeding to Hagia Sophia, where prayers and offerings were made.
There were other local processions connected with the primitive worship of the country people, which remained unchanged, but they were overshadowed by the popular piety of the Church. Such were those of the Ambarvalia, which were rustic festivals, lustrations of the fields, consisting in a procession round the spot to be purified, leading the sacrificial victims with prayers and ceremonies to protect the young crops from evil influence. Tertullian uses processio and procedere in the sense of to go out, appear in public, and, as applied to a church function, processio was first used in the same way as collecta, i.e. for the assembly of the people in a church. In this sense it appears to be used by Pope Leo I, while in the version by Dionysius Exiguus of the 17th canon of the Council of Laodicea Ancient Greek: σονάξεσι, is translated by processionibus. For the processions that formed part of the ritual of the Eucharist, those of the introit, the gospel and the oblation, the earliest records date from the 6th century and later, but they evidently were established at a much earlier date.
As to public processions, these seem to have come into rapid vogue after the recognition of Christianity as the religion of the empire. Those at Jerusalem would seem to have been long established when described by the author of the Peregrinatio Sylviae towards the end of the 4th century. Early were the processions accompanied by hymns and prayers, known as litaniae, rogationes or supplicationes, it is to such a procession that reference appears to be made in a letter of St Basil, which would thus be the first recorded mention of a public Christian procession. The first mention for the Western Church occurs in St Ambrose. In both these cases the litanies are stated to have been long in use. There is mention of a procession accompanied by hymns, organized at Constantinople by St John Chrysostom in opposition to a procession of Arians, in Sozomen. In times of calamity litanies were held, in which the people walked in robes of penitence, barefooted, and, in times dressed in black; the cross was carried at the head of the procession and the gospel and the relics of the saint were carried.
Gregory of Tours gives numerous instances of such litanies in time of calamity. So, Gregory the Great writes to the Sicilian bishops to hold processions to prevent a threatened invasion of Sicily. A famous instance of these penitential litanies is the litania septiformis ordered by Gregory the Great in the year 590, when Rome had been inundated and pestilence had followed. In this litany seven processions, of clergy, monks, matrons, the p
North Pier, Blackpool
North Pier is the most northerly of the three coastal piers in Blackpool, England. Built in the 1860s, it is the oldest and longest of the three. Although intended only as a promenade, competition forced the pier to widen its attractions to include theatres and bars. Unlike Blackpool's other piers, which attracted the working classes with open air dancing and amusements, North Pier catered for the "better-class" market, with orchestra concerts and respectable comedians; until 2011, it was the only Blackpool pier that charged admission. The pier is designated by English Heritage as a Grade II listed building, due to its status as the oldest surviving pier created by Eugenius Birch; as of 2015 it is still in regular use, despite having suffered damage from fires and collisions with boats. Its attractions include a theatre, a carousel and an arcade. One of the oldest remaining Sooty glove puppets is on display commemorating Harry Corbett buying the original puppet there. North Pier was built at the seaward end of Talbot Road, where the town's first railway station, Blackpool North, was built.
Its name reflects its location as the most northerly of Blackpool's three piers. It is about 450 yards north of Blackpool Tower, the midpoint of Blackpool's promenade; the sea front is straight and flat on this stretch of coastline, the 550 yards pier extends at right angles into the Irish Sea, more or less level with the promenade. The construction of Blackpool Pier started in May 1862, in Layton-cum-Warbreck, part of the parish of Bispham. In October 1862 severe storms suggested that the planned height of the pier was insufficient, it was increased by 3 feet. North Pier was the second of fourteen piers designed by Eugenius Birch, since Margate Pier was destroyed by a storm in 1978, it is the oldest of the remaining examples of his work still in use, it was the first of Birch's piers to be built by Glasgow engineering firm Richard Son. The pier, which cost £11,740 to build consisted of a promenade 468 yards long and 9 yards wide, extending to 18 yards wide at the pier-head; the bulk of the pier was constructed with a wooden deck laid on top.
The cast iron piles on which the structure rests were inserted using Birch's screw pile process. This made construction much quicker and easier, guaranteed that the pier had a solid foundation; the cast iron columns, 12 inches in diameter, were filled with concrete for stability at intervals of 20 yards, supported by struts that were on average were more than 1 inch thick. The pier's promenade deck is lined with wooden benches with ornamental cast iron backs. At intervals along the pier are hexagonal kiosks built around 1900 in wood and glass with minaret roofs topped with decorative finials. On opening two of the kiosks were occupied by a bookstall and confectionery stall and the kiosks near the ends of the pier were seated shelters; the pier-head is a combination of 340 tons of wrought iron columns. The pier was opened in a grand ceremony on 21 May 1863 though the final 50 yards had not yet been completed. All the shops in the area were closed and decorated with flags and streamers for the ceremony, which included a procession and a cannon salute, was attended by more than 20,000 visitors.
Although the town only had a population of 4,000, more than 200,000 holiday makers stayed there during the summer months. The pier was opened by Major Preston, he and 150 officials travelled to the Clifton Hotel for a celebratory meal; the pier was intended for leisure rather than seafaring. This fee was insufficient to deter "trippers'", which led to Major Preston campaigning for a new pier to cater for the'trippers'. In 1866, the government agreed that a second pier could be built, despite objections from the Blackpool Pier Company that it was close to their pier and therefore unnecessary; as permitted by the original parliamentary order, a landing jetty was built at the end of North Pier in incremental stages between 1864 and 1867. The full length of the jetty was 158 yards, the extensions increased the pier's total length to its current 550 yards; the Blackpool Pier Company used the jetty to operate pleasure steamers that made trips to the surrounding areas. In 1871 swimming and diving lessons were added to the pier.
In 1874, the pier-head was extended to allow Richard Knill Freeman to incorporate a pavilion, which opened in 1877. The interior decoration led it to be known as the "Indian Pavilion", it was Blackpool's primary venue for indoor entertainment until the Winter Gardens opened in 1879. To differentiate itself from the new pier, North Pier focused on catering for the "better classes", charging for entry and including attractions such as an orchestra and band concerts, in contrast to the Central Pier, which had music playing and open-air dancing; the pier owners highlighted the difference, charging at least a shilling for concerts and ensuring that advertisements for comedians focused on their lack of vulgarity. Sundays were given over to a church parade. On 8 October 1892, a storm-damaged vessel, hit
In rail transport, track gauge or track gage is the spacing of the rails on a railway track and is measured between the inner faces of the load-bearing rails. All vehicles on a rail network must have running gear, compatible with the track gauge, in the earliest days of railways the selection of a proposed railway's gauge was a key issue; as the dominant parameter determining interoperability, it is still used as a descriptor of a route or network. In some places there is a distinction between the nominal gauge and the actual gauge, due to divergence of track components from the nominal. Railway engineers use a device, like a caliper, to measure the actual gauge, this device is referred to as a track gauge; the terms structure gauge and loading gauge, both used, have little connection with track gauge. Both refer to two-dimensional cross-section profiles, surrounding the track and vehicles running on it; the structure gauge specifies the outline into which altered structures must not encroach.
The loading gauge is the corresponding envelope within which rail vehicles and their loads must be contained. If an exceptional load or a new type of vehicle is being assessed to run, it is required to conform to the route's loading gauge. Conformance ensures. In the earliest days of railways, single wagons were manhandled on timber rails always in connection with mineral extraction, within a mine or quarry leading from it. Guidance was not at first provided except by human muscle power, but a number of methods of guiding the wagons were employed; the spacing between the rails had to be compatible with that of the wagon wheels. The timber rails wore rapidly. In some localities, the plates were made L-shaped, with the vertical part of the L guiding the wheels; as the guidance of the wagons was improved, short strings of wagons could be connected and pulled by horses, the track could be extended from the immediate vicinity of the mine or quarry to a navigable waterway. The wagons were built to a consistent pattern and the track would be made to suit the wagons: the gauge was more critical.
The Penydarren Tramroad of 1802 in South Wales, a plateway, spaced these at 4 ft 4 in over the outside of the upstands. The Penydarren Tramroad carried the first journey by a locomotive, in 1804, it was successful for the locomotive, but unsuccessful for the track: the plates were not strong enough to carry its weight. A considerable progressive step was made. Edge rails required a close match between rail spacing and the configuration of the wheelsets, the importance of the gauge was reinforced. Railways were still seen as local concerns: there was no appreciation of a future connection to other lines, selection of the track gauge was still a pragmatic decision based on local requirements and prejudices, determined by existing local designs of vehicles. Thus, the Monkland and Kirkintilloch Railway in the West of Scotland used 4 ft 6 in; the Arbroath and Forfar Railway opened in 1838 with a gauge of 5 ft 6 in, the Ulster Railway of 1839 used 6 ft 2 in Locomotives were being developed in the first decades of the 19th century.
His designs were so successful that they became the standard, when the Stockton and Darlington Railway was opened in 1825, it used his locomotives, with the same gauge as the Killingworth line, 4 ft 8 in. The Stockton and Darlington line was immensely successful, when the Liverpool and Manchester Railway, the first intercity line, was built, it used the same gauge, it was hugely successful, the gauge, became the automatic choice: "standard gauge". The Liverpool and Manchester was followed by other trunk railways, with the Grand Junction Railway and the London and Birmingham Railway forming a huge critical mass of standard gauge; when Bristol promoters planned a line from London, they employed the innovative engineer Isambard Kingdom Brunel. He decided on a wider gauge, to give greater stability, the Great Western Railway adopted a gauge of 7 ft eased to 7 ft 1⁄4 in; this became known as broad gauge. The Great Western Railway was successful and was expanded and through friendly associated companies, widening the scope of broad gauge.
At the same time, other parts of Britain built railways to standard gauge, British technology was exported to European countries and parts of North America using standard gauge. Britain polarised into two areas: those that used standard gauge. In this context, standard gauge was referred to as "narrow gauge" to indicate the contrast; some smaller concerns selected other non-standard gauges: the Eastern Counties Railway adopted 5 ft. Most of them converted to standard gauge at an early date, but the GWR's broad gauge continued to grow; the larger railway companies wished to expand geographically, large areas were considered to be under their control. When a new