At Clapham Junction I think that it has been the case. But in my opinion, no full carving was necessary, only shallow traces to open a guiding path, necessary a compromise to carry heavy loads along a track making an angle in relation to maximum slope. This in order to reduce braking force, so generating a moderate side strength of deflection of trajectory. Rails were here to control the lateral deviation. Engineer's compromise.Quote
Do I understand you correctly?
Are you saying that the ruts were pre carved and constructed. A designed and constructed rut-way?
Quarry work organization (In Clapham Junction)Quote
What caused the vehicles to follow exactly the same route time and time again?
Before opening of the quarry, they didn't.Quote
How were they navigated prior to the development of the ruts without defined roadways or choke points??
In Clapham Junction, quite all the terrain is so eroded, disturbed, full of totally random bumps, holes and cracks, looking so old, that you cannot honestly say what was inside the vast majority of tracks pairs, and so the point is unconclusive to me.Quote
Why do we see central depressions in only a very few places, yet rut tracks in 100% of places?
The uphill return journey was performed as you said with an empty vehicle, and along a slope, thus creating only a moderate pressure on cart ruts, and needing limited hauling power.Quote
Even if the loaded journey was downhill the empty vehicle would need to make an uphill return journey.
Edited 2 time(s). Last edit at 28-Nov-17 10:13 by Mike D.