MCRR Cross BarsMCRR Steam Engines

Navigation menu
MCRR HomeMCRR HistoryLocomotivesProjectsRolling StockGift Shop"Orderboard" NewslettersEventsSpecial AvailabilityKids AreaBecome a VolunteerMembershipLinksVideo LinksWork WeekendsContact UsShop Blog


Rails and tracks have been of fundamental importance in the history of railroading. Long before the steam locomotive came along, rails were used to guide heavy wagons loaded with their haul.

Early rails were made of cast iron and were easily broken. Stronger rails came through the use of cast-iron then wrought-iron, and steel. Steel rails are more durable and long-lasting.

The distance between the rails is known as the "gauge," and varies around the world. In addition, there are the two general categories of gauge:  "narrow gauge" and "standard gauge."

United States standard gauge is measured 4 foot, 8.5 inches from the inside of one rail to the inside of the other. Some railroads, especially those with difficult terrain to cross, have narrow-gauge lines, which are cheaper and faster to build and maintain. The most common narrow gauge in the U.S. measures 3 feet between the rails.

The Midwest Central Railroad is a 3 foot narrow gauge line. Many of the engines and cars acquired by the MCRR were originally manufactured to fit this gauge. Other engines and cars were of slightly different gauge and resized to fit our rails.

The following pictures depict track construction at the MCRR. Each picture links to a larger version. Ctrl-click to open the larger pictures in a new tab/window.
Tracks Tracks Tracks
Tracks tracks tracks



 Midwest Central Railroad  Mount Pleasant, Iowa 52641 319−385−2912 (updated 01Aug16)