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Page:Hine (1912) Letters from an old railway official.djvu/8

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Foreword.

United States government. Meantime, in July, 1908, he had become special representative of Mr. Julius Kruttschnitt, director of maintenance and operation of the Harriman Lines, and had entered on a study of the needs of the operating organization of those railways and of the means that should be adopted to meet those needs. The result of this work was the adoption by most of the Harriman Lines of the unit system of organization. On January 15, 1912, Major Hine became vice-president and general manager of the Southern Pacific Lines in Mexico and the Arizona Eastern, having about 1,600 miles of railway.

The foregoing details have not been given for biographical purposes. They have been given to enable the reader to understand the author’s point of view. Or, rather, his points of view. For few men have had opportunity to look at the railway business from so many angles, both practical and theoretical. Given such an education, such a training, such a varied experience, and a keen observer’s eye to see, an active, logical mind to generalize, and a graphic, witty, scintillant English style to set down the results of observation, experience and thinking, and, if their possessor turn to writing, the product is sure to be literature of interest and value. The readers of Major Hine’s first series of letters, “Letters of an Old Railway Official to His Son, a Division Superintendent,” found them at once entertaining, suggestive and instructive. They will find equally or more so the second series, written after a wider experience, and now embodied in this volume.

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