Clicking ABOVE downloads the entire 1927 grades book
1984 STA grades book (courtesy Peter Enlund)
Railway grades books provide a wealth of information on the physical characteristics of a line, as shown in the above explanation of symbols from the VR Grades Book. It is important for train crew to know their tracks well, and it was especially so in steam days, as this determined how the loco was fired as well as driven.
In later days, the VR Grades Book ceased being issued to train crews, but track maintenence staff still required the information. This was achieved by VR Track Charts. 1929 VR Track Charts are included for some locations, showing track and location layouts, in addition to gradient information.
The book to the RIGHT was issued in 1923 and is a fascinating read on how the Railways Department wanted drivers to operate their train in relation to gradients.