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Page:Hine (1912) Letters from an old railway official.djvu/212

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Letters From A Railway Official.

Extras, like regular trains, would lose their running rights in twelve hours. In this connection, did you ever figure that, except possibly in the case of extras, the distinctions “A. M.” and “P. M.” are superfluous on train orders? Should P. M. come before the order is fulfilled, the A. M. train is dead.

The proposed change would force regular trains to be numbered in lower series, regardless of divisions and branch lines. This would make for safety. The more figures in a number, the greater the possibilities of error in reading a train order. A man is much more likely to confuse 2347 with 2345 than 47 with 45. If the motive power bureau must recognize the high numbered union for classification purposes, let us avoid having the blooming series federate with the train dispatcher’s order book.

The magnificent distances of this western country are reflected in increased difficulties in railway operation. Perhaps no branch of the railway service is more affected thereby than the dining car service. American travelers, as the colored soldier said about the Cubans, are the “eatin’est lot of people.” The long haul for cars and supplies renders supervision more