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Page:Hine (1912) Letters from an old railway official.djvu/83

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The Chief of Staff Idea.

to rotation because it seems to be a biological concomitant of rational evolution. Nature rotates her seasons and her types. Where, as in the tropics, there is less rotation we find more stagnation and quicker death. Many soils are impoverished by neglect of proper crop rotation. The other day in a terminal, I found a superintendent lately rotated, like a Methodist minister, from another division. Favored with a fresh viewpoint, he was having switch engines give trains a start out of the yard, and was taking off a helper engine which for years had seemed an unavoidable expense. For what was in this particular instance a case of over-specialization he was substituting engines which could more economically perform the dual functions of switching and of pushing.

Speaking of yards, see if you have not some bright fellows on your staff who can figure out a car record that can be taken by the mechanical men, the car inspectors, that will answer all the purposes of transportation, including claims. Instead of two sets of specialists, car inspectors and yard clerks, partly duplicating each other’s work, see if you cannot develop one set of all ’round men with some interchangeability of function. No, you cannot

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