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Page:Hine (1912) Letters from an old railway official.djvu/89

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The Unit System.

vision of the countless phases of operation can be gained by utilizing all the official talent available. In many cases such increased supervision is a by-product. The maintenance assistant is inspecting track. The train stops. He cannot resume track inspection until the train starts. Meantime, he may be able to find time to see if the conductor receives his orders promptly, if the dispatcher uses good judgment, if the station forces are alert, if the public are being well handled, if the news butcher has his wares over several needed seats in the smoking car. He may even go to the head end and tell the eagle eye how the black smoke indicates that the fire boy could save his own back and the company’s good money by less liberal use of the shovel. Anything very technical requiring the presence of specialists for all these things? Of course, if a special problem develops, such as a badly adjusted draft, it may be necessary later to get the more expert attention of a mechanical assistant. Often, however, before this stage is reached there can be rendered much economical first aid to injured operating expenses. This increased supervision, be it much or little, is clear gain for the company. It means more effort for the of-