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Page:Hine (1912) Letters from an old railway official.djvu/211

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Organization of Ideal Railroad.

kick at the decreased demand for their product. They should be thankful, rather, that railroad officials did not wake up sooner to changed conditions. The new practice is worth the price of admission if it only serves to do away with the delay and inconvenience of loading and unloading the time-honored and cumbrous train box which still roams wild in some regions covered by the Spokane rate decision.

Among the other simplifications which time will bring is a logical method of designating extra trains. To-day we tell a man that an engine number means little, because the train indicator says that it is train so-and-so. The numbers on the engine and on the train indicator are different and have no relation. To-morrow the engine runs extra and the two numbers must be identical. When we adopt the train indicator, should we not banish numbers from the outside of our engines and tenders? Should not the number be inside the cab to be consulted for reports and statistics, including the train sheet? This would mean that extras would be numbered consecutively in a series higher than the numbers on the regular trains.