My father built his steam locos to 4 3/4″ gauge (that’s him on the right and his railway on the left). My loco is 5″.
But it doesn’t stop at 1/4″. There is 3 1/2″; 7 1/4″; 7 1/2″ and these don’t begin to touch on the metric choices. It’s the same in the model railway scales: OO; HO; EM; P4 are all variants on accuracy lurking around rails 16mm apart. Why? or is it ‘Why not?’ Is it because engineers are involved and challenges raised? Is it because we are perverse, or is it because we strive for perfection – perceived or desired? Human nature?
A weary traveller landed on a far-away island and discovered its one friendly inhabitant: a ship-wrecked Christian. Urbane and charming, the man invited the traveller home and food and drink were enjoyed. a tour of the various buildings followed. “This is my home, and this my store, and this my church” said he.
At the end of the tour the traveller noted one building had not been explored and inquired of it.”Oh”, said our host, “that was the church I used to go to”.
We seem hard-wired to be different; unique. Perhaps this is why the post-modern image of individuality is so enticing.