Ruling gradient

The term "ruling grade" is usually used as a synonym for "steepest climb" between two points on a railroad. But if the steepest climb is, say, a quarter-mile of 2% upgrade preceded and followed by 1.5% grade the "ruling grade" can only be defined arbitrarily. In the 1953 edition of Railway Engineering Hay says "The ruling grade may be defin...
Found on http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ruling_gradient
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