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“There is room at the top for those who can do things.” “The Twentieth Century Manual of Railway Station Service has been especially prepared as a reference and textbook for those desiring an insight to the Freight, Passenger and Baggage departments, and is the most comprehensive work for this purpose that has ever been published. All information embodied in this manual is eminently practical; the blank forms, general laws and special methods herein given are to be found in printed form in railroad publications only; and the multiplicity of details set forth in the work, regarding which the business world is almost wholly ignorant, is absolutely astonishing. The manual, therefore, is not only an admirable text-book for the student but it is a practical reference book as well for the jobber, the shipper, or any man who pays freight, and as such is commended to their attention. The agent best serves his company who most intelligently serves the public, and we are confident that the rules and regulations presented in this manual, if masteréd by the student, will enable him to discharge satisfactorily all duties eventually met in active work. For instance, the railroad agent, while studying the interests of his own line, should be able to give the shipper the most advantageous connecting lines and the proper classification of his freight, as this information is necessary if the shipper is to secure the most favorable rates. At the same time, if those who have to do with railroads, either through business or travel, will study the instructions for railroad employes found in this manual, they will at times save themselves much inconvenience and possibly some expense. The writer has a wide knowledge of railroad work and a vast fund of information which he has used unstintedly and to excellent advantage in compiling this manual. He has supplemented his own knowledge by seeking assistance and information from men who have had from thirty to 3
Twentieth Century Manual of Railway
Business is being conducted on definite and scientific principles today, and as these principles are extended more generally, the man with technical knowledge will have a correspondingly greater advantage over the man who has only a foundation of meagre dimensions, a technical training picked up by hard knocks during active service.
In these days of competition, the railroads are constantly looking for young men with level-headed business judgment and sound “horse sense,” with minds trained to comprehend rapidly and correctly; to concentrate; to follow from cause to effect. To the young man about to enter the railroad service, let it be known that the object for which any railroad exists is to secure freight and passenger traffic at remunerative rates and to transport the same with economy and dispatch.
To obtain such results it became necessary for the railroad companies to create traffic, operating, and accounting departments, which are mutually dependent. The station agent is the recognized representative in his locality of these departments, and is necessarily subject to the instructions of those in charge of securing, handling, and accounting for traffic.
Through the agent the business of the railroad company with its patrons is conducted. His position is one of responsibility, since, in a great majority of cases, as much business is done over his counter as over that of any merchant in town. He is engaged in selling a commodity, namely, transportation—and, like all merchants, business methods are necessary to his success. Whether his station is large or small, his duties arduous or otherwise, such methods are equally necessary. He can not succeed, nor do the company justice—especially in a competitive station—unless he is active, industrious, and courteous, any more than a merchant can succeed who lacks these qualities.