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Page:Hine (1912) Letters from an old railway official.djvu/120

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Letters From A Railway Official.

qualified experts to whom the rest of us must not say anything. They have easier work, if not better pay, than the faithful section foremen of perhaps twenty years’ service. The old section foreman has a “savey” of the railroad business, an intuitive knowledge of the requirements of train movement that it will take the fresh young maintainer years to acquire. Then we wonder why it is so difficult to secure loyal section foremen. Sometimes a belated effort has been made to let in the section foremen on the signal game. It is difficult, however, to get the signal people to take an appreciative and sympathetic interest in men who are not in “my department.” Therefore, to prevent your track forces being thrown out of balance it will be better for a few years to keep the signal engineer on most railways as a staff officer without permitting him a line organization for operation and maintenance. Say to your roadmasters and section foremen that they will, at the company’s expense, be given instruction in signals. When the signal engineer, the expert, pronounces them qualified by examination or otherwise, let them understand that there is a small automatic increase in pay. Transfer to branch lines the