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Page:Hine (1912) Letters from an old railway official.djvu/85

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LETTER VIII.

THE UNIT SYSTEM.

Galveston, Texas, May 27, 1911.

My Dear Boy:—We were talking of the unit system of organization. There is little that is new about the system. Like many useful things in this world, it is mainly an adaptation of some very old principles and practices. From one viewpoint it is a rational extension of the simple principles of train dispatching. The standard code does not attempt to supply the place of judgment in a train dispatcher. It does not tell him when to put out a meet or a wait order. When his judgment dictates the necessity for any particular action, the standard code comes into play by prescribing forms, by imposing checks and safeguards, by simplifying methods, and by unifying practices. This gives greater opportunity for initiative and originality on the part of the dispatcher by making routine the detailed portion of the process. He has more time to think.

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