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Page:Hine (1912) Letters from an old railway official.djvu/206

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Letters From A Railway Official.

the executive, including legal and financial, the traffic, the operating, including maintenance and construction, and the accounting. Most railroads place each of these departments in charge of a vice-president. I think that this is usually a mistake. Experience has demonstrated the practicability of the same man being a division master mechanic, for example, and at the same time performing some of the broader duties of an assistant superintendent. Likewise an assistant general manager can act as the head of the mechanical bureau in the general office. When we reach so high as to go beyond the heads of real departments we find our old friend, volume of business, and his bastard brother, unbalanced administration, to demand more balance wheels. The unit has become of too large a size for a single governor. If you don’t believe this, watch somebody try to transfer a bureau, freight claims, for example, from the department under one vice-president to that of another.

When I incorporate and organize that ideal railroad it will have a president, a senior vice-president and as many other vice-presidents as may be necessary. The vice-presidents will be real assistant presidents, not heads of depart-