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Thinking about it, one possibility for what he/you may have meant: rail inclination. That is really about slope, rails being tilted inward, and 1:20 is one of the typical values, and the one preferred for high-speed. However, it is not necessary -- for example German lines have 1:40, the other common value in Europe. But what you should tell your commenter is that international trains in Europe often traverse sections alternating between 1:20 and 1:40, in fact it can vary between these values on the same line (say there is fixed track in a tunnel) -- it is no compatibility problem, only the forces and wear are different.

*Lunatic*, n.
One whose delusions are out of fashion.
by DoDo on Mon Mar 26th, 2007 at 04:59:42 PM EST
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