This highly influential book was a major factor in encouraging the construction of many thousands of miles of sub-standard gauge railways throughout the British Empire and the world. The book describes experiments carried out on the Festiniog Railway in February 1870, using the Fairlie locomotive “Little Wonder” and the smaller England machine “Welsh Pony”. Observers were present from Russia, North Germany, Switzerland, Norway, France, Sweden, Hungary and the India Office. British railways represented included the Cambrian, London and North Western, Mid Wales, Brecon and Merthyr and Neath and Brecon. Spooner concluded that for most purposes 2ft. 6inches was virtually as good as standard gauge at a fraction of the cost.
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