Holes in the road surface at the crossing must be filled with gravel or patching compounds, and broken
planks must be renewed. When the highway material between the rails needs to be replaced, it is wise to put in
new ties at the same time so that the crossing need not be torn up for tie renewals alone. When important
highway grade crossings are repaired, the work should be done on only half the road at a time, leaving the other
half open to highway traffic.
Flangeways must be kept clear of dirt, stones, ice, snow, and other foreign material to avoid derailment
hazards. Frequent inspections should be made to insure that the road material has not been forced up by mud,
stones, and other debris to a point where the clearance between the road and railway car underframes is too small.
The big difficulty in maintaining highway crossings is that the roadway covers the track structure up to
the tops of the rails. Consequently, the road material must be removed before surfacing, gaging, lining, and tie or
rail replacement work can be done. Another problem is the increased danger of derailment, because the
flangeways left between the gage side of the rails and the road material often fill and thereby force the wheels off
When highway grade crossings are constructed, the road material used should be easily removable to
simplify track maintenance. If no rail joints occur within the crossing and if it is located on straight track, the
frequency and difficulty of maintenance operations are reduced.
The great danger and maintenance expense of highway grade crossings have caused many of them to be
eliminated and overpasses and underpasses substituted. However, they are not practical in a theater of
operations. Instead, it may be necessary to construct new highway grade crossings there.
Maintenance of these crossings is difficult because the road materials used to enable automobiles to cross
the right of way must be removed before repair work can be done. The amount of maintenance and the danger
associated with highway crossings can be decreased if provisions are made for draining water flowing on the
highway away from the railroad roadbed and if highway crossings can be located on straight track rather than on