This set of Railway Engineering Assessment Questions and Answers focuses on “Gradients and Grade Compensation on Curves.

1. What is a gradient in which track loses elevation in direction of movement of traffic called?

Explanation: Gradients are provided so that the rise or fall in the track’s path can be easily traversed. A down gradient also called as falling gradient is the one in which drop of elevation in the direction of movement is recorded.

2. What is the meaning of a gradient represented as 1 in 400?
a) A rise of 1m in 400m
b) Rise of 400m in 1km
c) A 400% rise in track
d) A 1m rise in 4km

Explanation: Gradient is represented as the distance travelled for a rise or fall of 1 unit distance. 1 in 400 means a rise of 1m is recorded after travelling 400m. 1 in 400 is also represented as 0.25%.

3. Which gradient determines the maximum load that can be hauled by a locomotive on that section?

Explanation: Ruling gradient is the steepest gradient that is present in the entire section. It determines the maximum load that can be carried by the section. The power of locomotive should also be considered while deciding this gradient.

4. What is the range for ruling gradient adopted by the Indian railways in hilly terrain?
a) 1 in 100 to 1 in 200
b) 1 in 100 to 1 in 150
c) 1 in 150 to 1 in 250
d) 1 in 250 to 1 in 300

Explanation: The ruling gradient adopted by the Indian railways in hilly terrain can be from 1 in 100 to 1 in 150. For plain terrain it can be from 1 in 150 to 1 in 250.

5. What is Pusher gradient also known as?

Explanation: Pusher gradients can sometimes be steeper than Ruling gradient. If one locomotive is not sufficient to pull the entire load, another locomotive or engine can be used. It is also known as Helper gradient.
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b) It is not steeper than the Ruling gradient
c) It requires an extra engine
d) It is very flat

Explanation: Momentum gradient is steeper than the Ruling gradient. When a train travels on a falling gradient it gains momentum and can travels on the rising gradient which might be steeper than the Ruling gradient.

7. Certain Flat gradient is provided at station yards to ensure good drainage.
a) True
b) False

Explanation: Gradients in station yard are usually flat to prevent standing vehicles from moving away from the yard. But a certain gradient is essential for ensuring proper drainage.

8. What is the reason of compensation of Gradient on curves?
a) They are very difficult to design
b) They are uneconomical
c) Curves provide extra resistance
d) They are dangerous

Explanation: On curves the locomotive experiences extra resistance to its movement. Thus gradients on a curve should be flatter because more resistance can cause uncomfortable journey.

a) 0.04% per degree of curve
b) 70/R, where R is the radius of curve
c) 0.04% per degree of curve or 70/R whichever is minimum
d) 0.03% per degree of curve or 35/R whichever is minimum

Explanation: Gradient compensation for BG is 0.04% per degree of curve or 70/R whichever is minimum. For MG it is 0.03% per degree of curve or 52.5/R whichever is minimum.

10. Find the steepest gradient on a 3 degree curve for a BG line with ruling gradient of 1 in 200.
a) 1 in 200
b) 1 in 432
c) 1 in 284
d) 1 in 263

Explanation: Ruling gradient = 1 in 200 = 0.5%
Compensation = 0.04 x 3 = 0.12%
Compensated gradient = 0.5-0.12 = 0.38%
= 1 in 263.

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