The New Zealand Railways Magazine, Volume 6, Issue 7 (February 1, 1932.)
A Man's Job
A Man's Job.
A casual onlooker's impression of train-control is that it is not the ideal job for a livery, nervy man; not a task for a dreamy poet or an absent minded professor. This insistent duty, with its ceaseless telephoning and charting, calls for a sturdy worker, proof against irritation, vexation, annoyance, and other troubles which would cause explosiveness in the average person.
Consider the chart, how it grows! At the beginning it is a diagram of the timetable from midnight to midnight, showing two-minute spaces between each pair of the 720 vertical lines. A horizontal line runs to each station, and the lines of the scheduled trains traverse the sheet diagonally. Well, if everything happened perfectly in accordance with time-table anticipation, the controller's coloured pencil would move unswervingly along the black lines of the trains but, even when man has taken the utmost precautions to ensure running on time, Nature may intervene with a drizzling rain to grease the rails, or some other unavoidable incident will push the controller's time line away from, the charted one. Whatever may be the cause of the deviation from the time-table, it is shown on the chart, and the cause is noted. Thus each day's chart becomes a kind of biography of the day's trains—very graphic page 46 tabloid history for the expert eyes of railway men.