As a railroad is constructed across country, it intersects highways. Crossings are built at these locations
to enable automobiles to cross the railroad's right of way. The crossings require special construction and
maintenance as do the guard rails used to prevent derailed equipment from extensive damage. Track
maintenance and the problems associated with it are affected by the weather resulting from seasonal changes.
Each of these three elements of track maintenance, highway crossings, guard rails, and seasonal changes, is
discussed in a separate section of this chapter.
Section I. Crossings at Grade
Highway, safety, and railroad right-of-way engineers have long recognized that as long as grade
crossings exist some motorists are going to be killed. In addition, crossings have always been the source of
numerous other forms of aggravation and of expense. They include whistle warnings that often conflict with
antinoise ordinances, reduced train speeds, and heavy maintenance costs. In the interest of good public relations,
and often at the direction of legislative bodies, railroads have eliminated many grade crossings by constructing
overpasses or underpasses. Nevertheless, some still remain and, likewise, the many difficulties associated with
their maintenance. In a theater of operations, it is not practical to eliminate such crossings. In fact, it may
frequently be necessary to construct new ones. This section discusses the construction of highway crossings,
their maintenance, and the difficulties encountered in it.
Roadways should cross railroad tracks in such a way that they can be clearly sighted from the highway.
The surface of the roadway