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Finding Advice On Prudent Methods For Large Scale Train

February 29, 2016

Son of a merchant marine, he was born in Baltimore, Md., his father's home port. They moved next to Brooklyn when he was 3. That's where he was living when at age 5, their neighbor bought him a Lionel train set, the three-railed, O-gauge scale that are many a model railroader's first toy train. (Typical boxcar dimensions are 10 1/2 inches long, 2 1/2 inches wide and 3 3/4 inches tall.) "Our neighbor had three daughters and no sons, and he wanted a train set, so he bought one for me," Smith recalled, noting that in those days, the hobby wasn't considered appropriate for girls. "He would drop by every now and then and help me run it. "But in 1940, when I was 15, I wanted something more realistic, and that's when I started buying my HO cars. HO had come out in the '30s," said Smith, noting that the HO scale is half the O gauge. (Typical boxcar dimensions are 5 3/4 inches long, 1 1/2 inches wide and 2 inches tall.) Serving in the Navy during World War II, Smith attended Dartmouth College on the GI Bill after the war, graduating in 1947. He took a job with the Boston and Maine three days after graduating. Marriage in 1948, five children and assignments to four states with the railroad followed over the next 26 years.

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