Walter Scott Brown, a retired Baltimore & Ohio Railroad civil engineer whose career overseeing the railroad's infrastructure spanned nearly 40 years, died Monday at the Fairhaven retirement community in
Mr. Brown, who family members said "remained sharp until the end of his life," was 106.
The son of a building contractor and a homemaker, Walter Scott Brown was born at home in Lafayette Square, where he was raised.
Mr. Brown was a 1924 graduate of Polytechnic Institute and earned his civil engineering degree in 1928 from the
"He had a fascination with trains and attended the Fair of the Iron Horse in 1927 at
The B&O immediately hired Mr. Brown after he graduated from college. He began his engineering career in a second-floor office above Camden Station, and later moved to the railroad's headquarters building at North Charles and Baltimore streets.
His engineering responsibilities included the maintenance of bridges, buildings and structures in the Baltimore area.
With the coming of the Depression, he was furloughed in 1930, and worked for several years for the Washington Terminal Co., which maintains Union Station in the nation's capital. He returned to the B&O in the early 1930s.
From 1943 to 1948, Mr. Brown was assigned to the B&O's Connellsville-Pittsburgh division, where as chief engineer he was responsible for 100 miles of track, bridges and buildings.
After returning to Baltimore, he was put in charge of maintenance of the newly established B&O Railroad Museum on the grounds of the Mount Clare shops.
He was also charged in the 1950s with the regrouting of the historic Thomas Viaduct in Relay and modification of the B&O's Curtis Bay coal pier.
He retired in 1965 and spent the next decade as chief engineer for the Maryland Public Service Commission, until retiring a second time in 1975.
Mr. Brown applied his engineering expertise to building a double-tracked OO-gauge model railroad in the basement of his
"He even built the signals and used relays to control the trains. The technology was like what real railroads use," his son said.
The layout was on pulleys, so when it was not in use, it was pulled up to the ceiling to keep it out of the way. He later built an HO-gauge layout.
Mr. Brown was an accomplished woodworker and boat builder who regularly sailed the Chesapeake Bay for 75 years. He also collected stamps.
He was a Baltimore Colts, Orioles and Johns Hopkins lacrosse fan.
His wife of 61 years, the former Lydia Burbank, died in 1998.
Formerly of Anneslie, he had lived at Fairhaven since 1990. He was also a longtime member of Grace United Methodist Church.
Funeral services will be held at 10 a.m. Saturday at Fairhaven, 7200 Third Ave., Sykesville.
Also surviving are another son, Howard B. Brown of Lexington Park; a daughter, Joyce B. Layman of Reisterstown; seven grandchildren; and nine great-grandchildren.