Rail gauge is essentially a legacy of decisions made early, for a lot of reasons, good and bad. Bigger is much harder to get through mountains and build bridges for; smaller holds less.

Russian gauge won't accomplish much by itself; you also need a bigger LOADING gauge. That means rebuilding EVERYTHING. Tracks need to be further apart, almost every bridge and tunnel needs to be redone. Station platforms, track side fences, overhead catenary wire--it's HUGE. The right of way in some places will need to be widened, too..expensive.
Standard gauge is derived from the width of 2 horses backsides. Early railways were horse drawn, steam engines came later using the same tracks, and then added lots more.
Once the tracks, the rolling stock, and the means to make them were in existence, everyone used that standard.
With one notable exception.
Isambard Kingdom Brunel, chief engineer on the GWR and general all round genius, recognised the problem, and went for 7' 0" gauge on the Great Western railway, going from London down to Bristol and all points west. The Russians liked it and copied it, but nobody else did, and in the end the GWR (also know as the Great Way Round, cause larger gauge also means wider curves), had to change to standard gauge as well.
 
Imagine Sigmund falling in with the that group.

Imagine Gerta encountering the combination of Sigmund, Gia and Asia in full debate. That sparks the concept of a new TV series like The Big Bang Theory.
Confession: I haven't seen the show, only "coming scenes" and read comments.
 
I have been thinking about how President Dewey can save himself, his main problem is that he is a "Silk Stocking" Republican from the East Coast trying to deal with small town, small government Republicans from the Midwest.
First he must get back to what made him famous in the first place and become once again a "Gang Buster" by going after both the "black radicals" and the KKK for their violent acts.
Second he knows that he is not going to get any support from the South and with the Democrats split between Pro Civil Rights in the North and segregationists in the South, he should with the help of the remaining Republicans in Congress set a trap for the Democrats by supporting a comprehensive Voter Rights Act with strong enforcement mechanisms, this will force his main opponent a certain Senator from the border state of Missouri to take a position that will either anger one side or the other, or please no one at all.
Third with what just happened in Argentina, he can call for a massive increase in spending for defense as a way for the United States to "enforce" the Monroe Doctrine. This will also stimulate the economy and help with labor in the next election.
 
I have been thinking about how President Dewey can save himself, his main problem is that he is a "Silk Stocking" Republican from the East Coast trying to deal with small town, small government Republicans from the Midwest.
First he must get back to what made him famous in the first place and become once again a "Gang Buster" by going after both the "black radicals" and the KKK for their violent acts.
Second he knows that he is not going to get any support from the South and with the Democrats split between Pro Civil Rights in the North and segregationists in the South, he should with the help of the remaining Republicans in Congress set a trap for the Democrats by supporting a comprehensive Voter Rights Act with strong enforcement mechanisms, this will force his main opponent a certain Senator from the border state of Missouri to take a position that will either anger one side or the other, or please no one at all.
Third with what just happened in Argentina, he can call for a massive increase in spending for defense as a way for the United States to "enforce" the Monroe Doctrine. This will also stimulate the economy and help with labor in the next election.

"Enforcing" the Monroe Doctrine? Seems like an invitation for the USA to step on its foreskin and do itself a mischief.:cool:
 
First he must get back to what made him famous in the first place and become once again a "Gang Buster" by going after both the "black radicals" and the KKK for their violent acts.
With what apparatus? FBI is compromised as heck all, and the Marshals kinda aren't big enough or suited for it. And relying on the Staties is asking for them to ignore the Klan in favor of more "black radicals". So either he takes a gamble he can get a new federal agency in there, or he has to juryrig something up from already existing ones.

Second he knows that he is not going to get any support from the South and with the Democrats split between Pro Civil Rights in the North and segregationists in the South, he should with the help of the remaining Republicans in Congress set a trap for the Democrats by supporting a comprehensive Voter Rights Act with strong enforcement mechanisms, this will force his main opponent a certain Senator from the border state of Missouri to take a position that will either anger one side or the other, or please no one at all.
Assuming he can get the Republicans on his side. Given his track record as POTUS so far.... Not likely to happen.

Third with what just happened in Argentina, he can call for a massive increase in spending for defense as a way for the United States to "enforce" the Monroe Doctrine. This will also stimulate the economy and help with labor in the next election.
With what? If it's true, he did just allegedly back a coup down there, which failed horrifically, and even if it isn't..... He still needs to get any plans through Congress. One that isn't keen on spending more cash to secure territory that ain't too big a fan of us at the moment. Meaning it costs more.
 
Part 48, Chapter 648
Chapter Six Hundred Forty-Eight


4th April 1948

Berlin

“Your Aunt and Uncle were happy?” Kira asked.

“Yes” Kat replied, she had become the first person that she was aware of in her family to complete a University education, Master’s in Sciences. The problem she had was what to do next, when she had left the SKA it had been her only real goal. Now she was through and for the first time in a decade she was totally at loose ends.

She had been invited to the Palace to brief the Empress on the week’s events since Kira was now back. The Emperor and Empress had spent a good potion of February and all of March on the Royal Yacht in the South Pacific touring the far-flung possessions of the Empire, being guests of the local governments there. Naturally, Kira wanted to talk about the one topic that Kat disliked talking about, her. The Empress had learned that Feodora had passed away, she knew that Kat had been close to the Duchess and had offered her condolences. Kat didn’t have the heart to tell Kira that Feodora had left her and Gianna a considerable amount of money to have the freedom to break free of Kira’s influence.

“Are you still going on to medical school?” Kira asked.

“I don’t know about that anymore.”

Kira frowned, “There’s been a change in your situation?” She asked.

There was a big one sitting in Spandau Prison awaiting execution at that very minute, but Kira didn’t need to know that.

“I was offered a position as an investigator in the BII” Kat said, “I’m still thinking about it.”

“That would be quite a change” Kira replied, clearly surprised by that. “Wouldn’t that be dangerous?”

It would actually be safer than many of the things that Kira had sent Kat to do over the last several years. Kat would almost always be there after whatever happened had taken place as opposed to being caught up in the middle of it. For Kat that was a very welcome change. “I think I will be fine” She replied.


Kiel

The SMS Rhineland was to resume her place as the flagship of the Atlantic-Baltic Fleet. She was to join her sister ship the SMS Brandenburg as well as the SMS Schlesien and SMS Hessen for a summer exercise with the British Navy in the North Sea as soon as the repairs and provisioning in Kiel were complete. The rumors were that Grand Admiral von Schmidt was going to be aboard to personally oversee proceedings.

For Albrecht it was a homecoming of sorts. he was back in Kiel again after months away. This time he was wearing the uniform of a Fähnrich zur See, the promotion beyond being a mere Cadet had come through while the Rhineland was on it’s way back from Cape Town. He could hardly recognize the warehouse that housed the lab as he made his way in. He had heard talk that they had received a grant to replace the pair of surplus fire-control computers that they had been using, but the replacements… Those were two brand new computers from Zuse AG, the sort that was so advanced that he’d only read about them. There were several people around but with how people had been coming and going between here and the Universities it was hardly a surprise that he didn’t see anyone he knew.

“I’m looking for Sig Kappel or Wendell Bratfisch?” Albrecht said to the nearest one of these strangers.

The man he had stopped, little more than a boy really, gulped. “Doctor Bratfisch is inside Preussen trying to find a mechanical fault, Sir” He stammered, “I don’t know where Doctor Kappel is.”

So, they might had gotten rid of the old computers, but they had kept the names. Albrecht liked that. He walked over to the access hatch of the enclosure that the computer was kept in. The temperature and humidity had to be carefully controlled. Pulling the hatch open he felt the breeze as the pressurized air in the enclosure rushed out, smelling of hot metal and ozone. “You in there, Fish?” He yelled.

A pair of legs in white coveralls appeared from somewhere up in the machinery. Albrecht could see that Wendell was wearing sneakers and red wool socks. “How many times have I told you never to call me that, Bert?” Wendell demanded as he climbed out of the Computer.

“And I’ve said I don’t care” Albrecht said, “Where is Sig?”

“He’s at the new warehouse that we’ve been setting up” Wendell replied, “We discovered that we needed a space for materials testing after a rocket took out the old Preussen computer.”

“I bet the Admiral was furious over that” Albrecht said.

“He was, but the computers were slated for replacement anyway” Wendell said, “That was when he made it a hard rule that propellent testing and computer science couldn’t happen under the same roof. The man just doesn’t know how to have fun.”

“I think his idea of fun is different than yours.”

“Whatever the cause, the old man went away for the weekend in January and he’s been a real bear ever since” Wendell said, “Not just here either, the Fleet as well. You back from playing Navy?”

“No playing about it” Albrecht replied, “I’m here until the Rhineland puts to sea again.”

“Where you there? On the Rhineland, when it shelled Buenos Aires?”

“My duty station is buried in Bruno turret, not a whole lot to see” Albrecht replied, “I was in the city afterwards. As far as the locals were concerned, no one got killed who didn’t have it coming.”

“Sounds like a rough bunch” Wendell said.
 
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With what apparatus? FBI is compromised as heck all, and the Marshals kinda aren't big enough or suited for it. And relying on the Staties is asking for them to ignore the Klan in favor of more "black radicals". So either he takes a gamble he can get a new federal agency in there, or he has to juryrig something up from already existing ones.


Assuming he can get the Republicans on his side. Given his track record as POTUS so far.... Not likely to happen.


With what? If it's true, he did just allegedly back a coup down there, which failed horrifically, and even if it isn't..... He still needs to get any plans through Congress. One that isn't keen on spending more cash to secure territory that ain't too big a fan of us at the moment. Meaning it costs more.
These are great points and they show the pitfalls of any strategy that President Dewey is going to try.
On the first point this is the best strategy I can think of, Dewey can use whatever he can find to go after both the " black radicals " and the KKK and that will give him approval from whites in the North and Midwest who have no love for either the KKK or "black radicals" and by appearing to be even handed he gains support from African-Americans who feel that the militants are causing more problems for their community.
On the second point the goal is to split the Democratic Party on North/South lines, not to pass anything.
Dewey knows he is not going to get any support in the South and only by splitting the Democrats can be hope to win, and with Truman being his leading opponent he can force him to take a position that will not please anyone.
On the third point I don't think that anyone has publicly connected the coup attempt to the Dewey Administration and the fact that a German Naval Battlegroup was able to operate unchallenged and unmolested in an area the Americans think as their own backyard would be considered to be embarrassing to the United States and the fact that if the United States Navy did get in a fight with the KLM it would not be a "fair fight" and the United States Navy would suffer their biggest loss in history.
There are probably a lot of newspapers editorials about the state of the Navy and Dewey can use this to bash the Democrats for being soft on defense, and only Dewey can "Keep America Safe".
 
On Railways, I wonder if a certain young Argentina by the name of L.D.Porta might end up being invited to work on improving the efficiency of some of the Remaining German steam locomotive power.
 
Part 49, Chapter 649
Chapter Six Hundred Forty-Nine


5th April 1948

East of Perm, Ural Mountains, Russia

Two full crews were working in staggered twelve-hour shifts, that way there wouldn’t be anyone too tired to see straight in the cab. The locomotive was new, new to them anyway and they were still trying to get a handle on it’s personality. It was an American built Baldwin 2DD1, Cab Forward, articulated and oil fired. The Consolidated Imperial Railroad had acquired them for a song from Southern Pacific and modified them to make the long journey from Berlin to Moscow and then on to the distant Russian Pacific. For the life of them they couldn’t figure out how something that big had gotten shipped across the Atlantic.

When not in the locomotive’s cab, they spent the rest of the time sleeping in the guard van or doing the many things people do when they are fighting off boredom. The new guard van for these long trips was an experience, full kitchen and larder, tool and parts storage as well as the usual observation deck and sleeping areas. The Railroad knew that they had to be prepared to deal with anything out here, from inclement weather to bandit attack.

The problem Otto had with these extremely long runs was that he had plenty of time to think and because he was the most senior of the Engineers he was expected to keep a clear head. That meant he couldn’t drink his way into numb forgetfulness and was sitting in the observation deck thinking about his problems. His daughters, both of them, were the current headache. Getting together with Ingrid Raskop had been a mistake, they had been two ships that collided in the night and sank. They had managed to bring out the worst in each other in the brief time their relationship had lasted. A few years later he learned that Ingrid’s decline had continued until she finally passed away in the winter of 1938 and that she had been survived by a daughter who was in State care.

Having Elisabeth turn up in Bert’s had been a ghost right out of Otto’s past coming to haunt him. His nonchalance and offensive comments had sent her running straight for the door, an act that he hoped would protect her. His various enemies wouldn’t try to hurt him through someone who meant nothing to him. Despite being a total bastard, Sven Werth had managed to piece together a disturbing amount of what had really happened. One detail that Sven had not figured out was that it was actually a few separate groups who had been leaning on Otto. He had taken one down as brutally as he could manage. Then months later the Albanians, who he was also been having trouble with, had come to grief in the Ingolstadt customs yard when they had found themselves taking on a Squad of Heer Infantry and gotten themselves killed. That Squad had been led by Hans and everyone assumed that Otto was behind that, he had enough juice to sic the Heer on someone if need be. After that no one in the underworld had dared to mess with him.

His job in the Railroad and with the Work Council had remained the same. Every city where the CIR operated there were appetites that had to be filled, it was inevitable that would result in certain products finding their way onto their trains. Otto and his people were responsible for making sure that enough of a lid was kept on it so that respectable society could pretend that it wasn’t their problem. The truth was that Otto had seen first hand how society really worked. Vice followed money and it was those people who pretended that they were respectable whose money created the demand in the first place. The most effective way Otto had found to deal with was by enforcing a “street tax” that everyone paid. That didn’t mean that they were happy about it. Not by any means.

“Will you believe this” Otto heard Albert, the other Engineer say over the radio and the train was slowing rapidly.

“What’s going on?” Otto asked into the microphone.

“A deer on the track” Albert replied, “Oh, never mind…”

It was one of the details about this locomotive, the crew had an incredible view ahead of the train from the cab.

“Stop the train, Albert” Otto said.

“What?”

“I said to stop the damn train” Otto said, and he heard the brakes squealing. It seemed like he was the only one who knew how to deal with these things anymore. “You’re with me Henning” He said as he walked past the young Conductor.

“What are we doing?” Henning asked as Otto unlocked one of the lockers, removed a revolver and a handful of cartridges.

“Being merciful” Otto said as he opened the door to the guard van. It was a chilly night as he climbed down to the cinders, his breath smoking with the cold. To his right was the front of the train, the two fuel tenders then the locomotive. It wouldn’t be in that direction. Aiming his torch back along the tracks he walked several meters along. Presently they came upon the deer, a yearling that was thrashing weakly after having been mangled under the wheels of the train. Two of its legs were missing. Taking careful aim, he shot it between the ear and eye, the 9x33mmR was more than capable of doing the job. Otto heard Henning’s reaction and wondered how the boy had survived for two years on the Russian Front.

“What did you need me for?” Henning asked.

Otto pulled his knife from his pocket, unfolded and locked the blade. “I need your help for the next part” He said.

Henning looked at him like if he’d come from Mars.

“Don’t look at me like that” Otto said, “It’s not going to cook itself.”
 
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Assuming he can get the Republicans on his side. Given his track record as POTUS so far.... Not likely to happen.
I think on that one he would get them on side as 1) the Republicans will likely hang together for fear of hanging separately; 2) It will split the Democrats; and 3) It will give them the moral high ground in the North and Midwest. One of those instances where principle and policy perfectly align and which gives them a chance in an election which they will otherwise definitely lose.
 
Aha! Otto, the Albanians and Ingolstadt. It makes perfect sense that Hans would be on the fuckup express to make sure that the story of his involvement was taken as Otto's influence rather than the stupid luck and happenstance it really was.
 
good work.

What did you need me for?” Henning asked.

Otto pulled his knife from his pocket, unfolded and locked the blade. “I need your help for the next part” He said.

Henning looked at him like if he’d come from Mars.

“Don’t look at me like that” Otto said, “It’s not going to cook itself.”

no point in wasting good food.


Berlin to Moscow and then on to the distant Russian Pacific.

Is that Russian gauge all the way?

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/5_ft_and_1520_mm_gauge_railways

The broader Russian gauge should allow a large and wider cargo.
 
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A Baldwin 2DD1 as depicted in the last chapter. One of the most impressive steam locomotives, in my opinion.
0_164445_c8073da2_XXL.jpg
 
They are impressive :) I noticed that you used European notation for the wheel arrangement, which makes sense. Over here, the would be 4-8-8-2's. I still prefer the little 2-4-4 two foot gauge Forneys and their 0-4-4 cousins.
 
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