When an engineer has to construct a railway up a hill having a still steeper slope, he must secure practicable gradients by laying out the line in ascending spirals, if necessary tunnelling into the hill, as on the St Gothard railway, or in a series of zigzags, or he must resort to a rack or a cable railway.
The rise was steeper than Mon.
It was obvious Donald, and to a lesser extent Dean, would enjoy steeper, longer and more challenging runs.
"Suppose the stairs get steeper?" suggested Zeb, doubtfully.
Sometimes, however, a sharp incline occurring on an otherwise easy line is not reckoned as the ruling gradient, trains heavier than could be drawn up it by a single engine being helped by an assistant or " bank " engine; sometimes also " momentum " or " velocity " grades, steeper than the ruling gradient, are permitted for short distances in cases where a train can approach at full speed and thus surmount them by the aid of its momentum.