Thanks for posting this story. After reading it I just ordered a set for the grandchildren.
As a toddler my first trains were plain and unpainted and ran on wooden rails. Then they went out of fashion for a generation. I read somewhere that it is not a coincidence that O-gauge trains fit and run on the straight sections. Later I thought that I was a clever boy for discovering that the tapered floor ramps that came with the wooden track would also fit neatly into the end of a straight length of Hornby tinplate track. I have never seen a modern set that includes a tinplate adapter, obviously.