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Page:Hine (1912) Letters from an old railway official.djvu/219

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The Engineering of Men.

interest on days of idleness. The construction people may be awaiting material or men. Meantime my work train cannot be used by the superintendent for maintenance purposes. The chief dispatcher has so little sympathy with new construction that the young assistant engineer dare not let go of my engine lest au revoir may mean good-by. Another delightful but expensive duplication occurs frequently in the matter of stores. Look around and see how many separate stores your construction bureau is maintaining, some of them within a stone’s throw of a well stocked permanent store.

After defying a few times the official lightning our wise construction Ajax learns to make his estimates large. Having beaten his own figures he exclaims, “Behold how much money I have saved the company.”

Comparisons of costs in construction work are much more difficult than in operation. This inability to control disbursement through the discipline of statistics should be met as far as possible by the most careful organization. Extravagance and waste in maintenance and operation are bad enough. In construction they are worse, because capitalized and bearing an

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