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Page:Hine (1912) Letters from an old railway official.djvu/115

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The Line and the Staff.

ervation for eye wash and vaccination against distorted perspective.

The operating department of a railroad is, or should be, a real department, complete and self-contained. It consists of such important component elements or branches as maintenance of way and structures, maintenance of equipment transportation, telegraph, signals, stores, purchases, dining cars, etc. Let us not waste any time discussing the relative importance of these components. Æsop centuries ago did that better than we can. His fable of the quarrel among the organs of the human body teaches us that while all are important each is useless without the others.

Individually the general superintendent, the chief engineers, the superintendent of motive power, the superintendent of transportation, the superintendent of telegraph, the general storekeeper, and the superintendent of dining cars, are line officers exercising direct authority in a defined sequence. Collectively they constitute, for consultation, the general manager’s staff. When all have the rank and title of assistant general manager, this duality of function is the more pronounced and valuable. For the feudal notion of unbalanced compo-