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Here is an "inside view" of what really went on in the steam locomotive days! Retired locomotive engineer Mark E. Smith, who ran steam, diesel and electric locomotives on the Long Island Railroad from 1943 to 1976, reveals glimpses of the day-to-day operation of a mainline commuter railroad in the glory days of steam! Lighthearted, easy reading chapters with photographs take the reader back in the work force of mid-century railroaders and give the kind of insights and stories that only a 90-year-old retiree could give. Mark was there, and he brings us nearly there as he relates his story in an easy cadence.
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Mark E. Smith grew up in Woonsocket, Rhode Island. As a young child, his mother and father would pack up a lunch and the family would go to a site along the New Haven Railroad between Boston and Providence to watch the trains passing by en route to Boston or New York City. His father had a timetable and was ready for the action! Mark was about 14 years old, and his three sisters were all younger. He often wondered how his father appeased his mother so she would put up with this activity, but she never complained! Starting at age five, Mark had a toy train. As a teenager, he cut a hole between two bedrooms upstairs to lengthen the run. At age 18, Mark hired out as a fireman on the Long Island Rail Road after a tip from a relative on the Island. All yard work and everything east of the electric lines ran hand-fired steam locomotives. In 1942, Mark was drafted into the Army and ended up in a Railway Operating Battalion in Italy for almost two years. There, he was a hostler preparing steam locomotives for the road, and participated in converting many engines from coal to oil. Back home in 1945, he went back to firing steam locomotives on the Long Island Rail Road, and was promoted to engineer in 1947. Married in 1950, his first house was bought under the GI bill and included a good basement for a model railroad. Mark retired in 1976 and moved to Florida, where he built three homes and, with no basements, built model railroads in the garage. Now he understood, after 58 years of marriage with an understanding wife, how it worked with his parents! Mark can still feel the motion of running steam after all these years.
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Book Description CreateSpace Independent Publishing Platform, 2014. Paperback. Condition: Brand New. 80 pages. 9.00x6.00x0.19 inches. This item is printed on demand. Seller Inventory # zk1492869090
Book Description CreateSpace Independent Publishing Platform, 2014. Condition: New. book. Seller Inventory # M1492869090