Science of Railways Locomotive & Motive Power Department Locomotive Its Work

Science of Railways Locomotive & Motive Power Department Locomotive Its Work

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Science of Railways Locomotive & Motive Power Department Locomotive Its Work
Science of Railways Locomotive & Motive Power Department The Locomotive Its Working Described and Illustrated by Marshall Kirkman Hard Cover 1915 Approx 431 pages.  Indexed.   Locomotive failures and breakdowns, the supervisory duties of the motive power department
Explaining the construction and working of the locomotive and measures to be taken in case of engine failures and breakdowns: the subject illustrated in detail by engravings and diagrams prepared expressingly for this volume.    
I do not set out to write an exhaustive account of railway affairs, but rather to discuss those things which every railroad man may reasonably desire should form a part of his knowledge, if not of his experience. In the early history of railroads ignorance was general. This is no longer the case. Railway men now recognize that they must not only know thoroughly the particular work assigned them, but have more than a cursory knowledge of the duties of others. No man's experience is, in itself, wide enough to command this knowledge, and it is the object of this work, the result of nearly fifty years' practical experience and extended research, in some measure to supply.
The ancients believed the world ended where their vision ceased. Beyond was nothing; a void, simply. And so it is with ignorant men. They are insensible to the value of knowledge; to the accumulated experience of mankind. It lies beyond their vision or comprehension. Its invaluable treasures are to them as if they were not.
Not only this, but they resent knowledge in others. In the early history of railroads, books and treatises on the subject were angrily rejected by practical men, and the writers thereof held up to contumely. Fitness was based solely upon individual experience; upon the kaleidoscopic views of the needs of railroads which began and ended with particular persons. This is no longer the case. To-day knowledge in regard to railway operations is sought wherever it can be found. Men no longer rest content with their own experience. Books and treatises, which would in earlier days have been ridiculed or angrily resented as an impertinence, no longer irritate the egotistical nor excite outward expression of aversion upon the part of the obdurate and narrow minded. Because of this spirit the railway world is ceasing to be a benighted region wherein men grope about in semi-darkness-the blind leading the blind. Its votaries are not only enlightened and tolerant, but anxious to avail themselves of the knowledge and experience of others. This spirit grows so rapidly that we may confidently look forward to the time when it will be everywhere recognized as necessary that railway men shall not only possess personal experience and skill, but also familiarity with the skill of others. Then an officer or employe, instead of being a mere speck on the railway horizon, will be a center of light, familiar not only with his own department of work, but, in a general way, with the whole railway world. Thus his mind will be liberalized and his intelligence strengthened and deepened.
Railways are still in a state of evolution, and continue to take on each day the complexion of those who operate them. Every thing in which man is interested, like himself, advances or recedes. There is no stationary period. This is true of railroads. At this time they are on the upward plane. That which seems perfect to-day is bettered to-morrow. So that since the first edition of my books was issued I have labored unceasingly, not only to improve them, but to supply their shortcomings, until now the work is recognized by railway men as a library on the subject, having for its object the presentation of the underlying principles of all departments and the accepted practices that prevail therein. The object of such books is to present to railway men sources of information from which they may glean the facts that urge men in every department of human endeavor to achieve the highest results attainable and to provide them with easily accessible knowledge necessary in the performance of daily duties; for in such knowledge lie advancement and ultimate success. The success of the railroad man of today cannot depend alone on physical capacity, integrity, sobriety and intelligence. To these must be added knowledge-a knowledge not only special, that is, of the work on which he is engaged, but general, that is, of his profession as a whole. Only those who have this larger knowledge are recognized as worthy of preferment or competent to administer departments or take executive position. This larger knowledge is impossible of attainment by those whose daily duties confine them within the narrow compass of routine toil, unless indeed they will study and avail themselves of the knowledge and experience of others.
As already stated, I have had (aside from my own practical experience of nearly fifty years) the advice and active assistance of men of the highest constructive and practical talent in the preparation of THE SCIENCE OF RAILWAYS, and so I trust and believe it will prove valuable to railway men who seek to enlarge their sphere of usefulness.

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