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ruling grade

noun, Railroads.
1.
the steepest grade on a given stretch of track, which determines the maximum tonnage that can be hauled in a train having a given horsepower at a stated minimum speed.
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Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2014.
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Examples from the web for ruling grade
  • Somewhere between origin and destination there is going to be a ruling grade.
  • If the train stalls on the ruling grade, then the engineer must ask for help.

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