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Page:Hine (1912) Letters from an old railway official.djvu/228

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Letters From A Railway Official.

in money by doing that which is an obvious necessity. Why not so arrange our methods that we can be rewarded for quick judgment and prompt action?

A shop workman sups, sleeps and breakfasts at his own home. A train crew must have increased expenses when away from the home terminal. A train crew would really be ahead of the game as far as expenses are concerned if a round trip could be made within the sixteen-hour limit and the away-from-home terminal expenses avoided. We say that demurrage is imposed primarily to hasten the release of equipment. We claim that normally we would rather have the cars than the dollars of demurrage. If cars are so valuable, how much should we charge ourselves for the hire of the fifty cars which are twelve or fifteen hours getting over the district?

We can work out by a mathematical formula the most economical scheme for fuel consumption and maximum tractive effort. It is more difficult to devise a formula to express the effect of drastic laws caused by poor service. Attempting to club converging live stock runs in big trains has caused, in some states, legislation covering the movement of stock. Perhaps