Thursday, November 10, 2011

Mileage Quiz

Well, well, well. It seems as though it is time to "hit the books" a little harder, oh thou "Students of the Iron Horse!" The recent question was, "Which country has the longest length of track, excluding loops, spurs, yards and parallel lines?"

The choices were, in alphabetical order,

  • Brazil
  • Canada
  • China
  • India
  • Russia
  • South Africa
  • United States
The "ignition" point for this pop quiz was a chitchat I was having with a friend of mine about the railroads of Russia. We were discussing the factoid that Russia built a broad gauge system to thwart railroad invasion in case of war.

[Ed Note: "factoid" is an invented fact that has as its basis something seen in print (or on the Internet.) The use of this word dates back to the early 1970's. On the other hand, a "fact" is verifiable.]

Here are the results of the survey, based on 35 responses. Charting generated by

To obtain accurate mileage figures, I went to the experts in reliable information, the Central Intelligence Agency
World Fact Book.

How did you do? I hope you found this quiz educational. And thank you for participating!

About the photo. What better way to visualize our "Rail Quiz" than with a photograph of rails! Thanks to Jim Semonik for providing "Rails." This photo was taken on November 28, 2008 near Eagle Lake, Texas, using an Olympus E-510. I am particularly awed by John's capture of the crepuscular rays.

Not to mention the fact that it is indeed nice to see an Olympus can take good photos, too!

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