Cabinet 12: Technical Aspects of Railroads
Gradients of the British Main-line Railways. Westminster, London: The Railway Publishing Co., 1947.
Trains do not like climbing hills, and railway engineers avoid steep grades by contouring tracks around hills or laying lines through them. Witness New Zealands Raurimu Spiral on the North Island Main Trunk line, which, as an engineering masterpiece, involves an ascending spiral southwards, two tunnels, a circle and three hairpin bends, with the maximum gradient of 1:50 and a straight line gradient from National Park to Raurimu of 1:29. This new edition of Gradients of the British Main-line Railways (above) reveals such technical information to rail enthusiasts, including the new (in 1947) classified speed restriction indications: severe (30 m.p.h or less), moderate (35-55 m.p.h) and slight (60 m.p.h. and over). On the Footplate is another technical book, dealing with locomotive design, valve gear, wheel arrangements, blast-pipes, and the specific power of locomotives to handle gradients and conditions.
A.J. Creswell, On the Footplate. Huddersfield: Quadrant Publications, 1947.