by george matthews
David Benton wrote:It seems to me the whim of the engineer in charge, had the most bearing in those days. Witness the mess in Australia. The idea that it was already cheaper to build and ship equipment from India back then is intriguing. But again , metre gauge in most of the Asian colonies, 1067mm in NZ and Australia. Maybe the sourcing of Labour from India , meant the use of engineers familiar with Indian equipment, therefore metre gauge. Economy of scale would be better these days if we were all the same gauge, maybe not such a big factor in those days.The British government debated the gauge choice. It was certainly not left to the engineer locally. For Kenya the choice made was definitely, and I think it can be seen in the minutes of the meetings, to use metre gauge because it was supposed to be slightly cheaper than Cape gauge. (I am sure that feeling was unjustified.) The Gladstone government propagated a fanatical penny pinching attitude to finance.