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Page:Hine (1912) Letters from an old railway official.djvu/163

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Preserving Organization Integrity.

of the time, and the train crews are handled by a clerk. Duplication results because most of the correspondence and records have to be referred to the superintendent’s office. The Union Pacific has found it better under the unit system to have an assistant superintendent reside at such important terminals. His office, however, is located with the superintendent, which encourages travel back and forth, just what is desired, and discourages sitting in an office and carrying on correspondence which can better be looked after by the chief of staff in the superintendent’s office. The train crews are under the immediate direction of the yardmaster when in the terminal, and of the train dispatcher when on the road.

The railroads of this country have suffered from rigidity in administration. The unit system permits an elasticity of assignment to take care of conditions as they come along. For example, your non-resident assistant general manager can, if desirable, chaperon three divisions when movement is heavy, and four or five, if you please, during the dull season. You can on short notice throw all assistants to the most exposed points. A non-resident assistant superintendent can likewise be sent to an ex-