6. Road Geometry (Grade Crossings and Road Approaches)

6.1  The horizontal and vertical alignment of the road approach and the crossing surface must be smooth and continuous.

6.2  The allowable difference between the road approach gradient and railway cross-slope, or the railway gradient and the road approach cross-slope, must be in accordance with Table 6-1 Difference in Gradient.

6.3  The maximum gradients for road approaches must not exceed the following:

  1. ratio of 1:50 (2 per cent) within 8 m of the nearest rail and 1:20 (5 per cent) for 10 m beyond, at public grade crossings for vehicular use;
  2. ratio of 1:50 (2 per cent) within 8 m of the nearest rail and 1:10 (10 per cent) for 10 m beyond, at private grade crossings for vehicular use;
  3. ratio of 1:50 (2 per cent) within 5 m of the nearest rail at a sidewalk, path or trail; and
  4. ratio of 1:100 (1 per cent) within 5 m of the nearest rail at  a sidewalk, path or trail designated by the road authority for use by persons using assistive devices.

6.4  The width of the travelled way and shoulders at the crossing surface must not be less than the width of the travelled way and shoulders on the road approaches.

6.5  A grade crossing angle, measured from the tangent of the centreline of the road approach at the crossing surface, to the tangent of the centreline of the line of railway, shall, where the railway design speed is more than 25 km/h (15 mph) be:

  1. not less than 70 and not greater than 110 degrees for grade crossings without a warning system; or
  2. not less than 30 and not greater than 150 degrees for grade crossings with a warning system.

Table 6-1 – Difference in Gradient

The table outline the Classification and differences in gradient in percentages for urban (U), Rural (R), Local (L), Arterial (A), Expressway (E), Freeway (F), Divided (D) and Undivided (U).
Classification Difference in Gradient (%)
RLU 2
RCU 1
RCD 1
RAU 0
RAD 0
RFD -
ULU 3
UCU 2
UCD 2
UAU 0

*Legend

Urban (U)  Rural (R)  Local (L)  Collector (C)  Arterial (A)  Expressway (E)  Freeway (F)  Divided (D)  Undivided (U)

Source: Geometric Design Guide for Canadian Roads, published by the Transportation Association of Canada and dated September 1999

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