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