The human element in railroading was never more prominent than during the era of steam power. By their nature, steam engines not only required a high level of skill and physical labor to operate, they required a considerable amount of time and effort just to get them ready to operate. They had far more moving parts than the diesel-electrics of today and those parts endured high levels of stress on a continual basis. A simple lack of attention to detail on the part of the crewmembers could spell disaster in short order. The record of safety and reliability of these machines was, in large part, a testament to the incredible dedication of the people to ran, maintained and cared for them.