Sir Rod Stewart defends his love of model railways
The rocker has spent more than 20 years constructing an epic layout based on an American city in the 1940s.
Sir Rod Stewart has said he is “so proud” at the attention his model railroad has received, despite some people thinking it is a “silly hobby”.
The rock star spent more than 20 years painstakingly working on the model layout, which was unveiled for the first time on Wednesday.
The model railway, called Grand Street and Three Rivers City, is based on an American city in the 1940s and spans 1,500 square feet in his attic at his home in Los Angeles.
He said: “It’s really noisy because we have sound effects when the trains go through the city, there’s a city sound of New York, they go through the country, there’s birds singing, it is quite incredible, I am so proud of it and I’m so proud of the coverage it got today.
“A lot of people laugh at it being a silly hobby, but it’s a wonderful hobby.”
But the music star said: “I would say 90% of it I built myself, the only thing I wasn’t very good at and still am not is the electricals, so I had someone else do that.”
He added: “They say model railroads are never finished, but this one is. There’s not much more I can do with it.
“I might upgrade a couple of buildings when I’m back in LA, but otherwise it’s finished. And now I’m going to try and bring it to England but it’s almost an impossibility.”
There is even a Celtic FC liveried bogie open coal wagon representing an American gondola, a nod to his beloved football team.
The display also includes a Great Caledonian Steel & Iron Co building in reference to his Scottish heritage, and a green backdrop of the leafy areas around the city.
On why he based his biggest model railway project on the American railroad rather than the British railways he grew up with, he told Railway Modeller magazine: “They’re bigger, the locos are bigger, but not any better, everything is just bigger.”
The Da Ya Think I’m Sexy? singer worked tirelessly to create “great depth” in his construction, with intricate details on the buildings, the trains and even the trees.
Sir Rod said: “It’s the landscape I like. Attention to detail, extreme detail, is paramount. There shouldn’t be any unsightly gaps, or pavements that are too clean.”
Sir Rod is celebrating his 50-year career with a new album, You’re In My Heart: Rod Stewart With The Royal Philharmonic Orchestra, released on November 22.
The December issue of Railway Modeller magazine is on sale on November 14.
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