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Page:Hine (1912) Letters from an old railway official.djvu/118

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Letters From A Railway Official.

fects. Soon the telegraph man said in effect, “This is a wonderful and mysterious specialty which you fellows cannot understand. Let me, the expert, handle it for you.” So he segregated unto himself a so-called department on the plea that it is so different. By and by the division superintendents woke up to find their telegraph hands tied. Appeals to the general superintendent or general manager proved fruitless. So the division linemen usually report directly to the superintendent of telegraph. They often stay around division headquarters until the chief dispatcher is able to jar them loose and get them out on the road. Then they go to the scene of trouble, look wise and get the section foreman to dig the hole and do most of the work. Why not, therefore, hold the section foreman responsible for ordinary wire repairs in the first place? Let every section house have a pair of climbers, a wire cutter and pliers with whatever simple outfit may be necessary. If unusual troubles develop or a line is to be rebuilt send the most expert help available, but while on the division let such help be under the authority of the superintendent. We need an expert at the top as chief telegraph and telephone officer to tell