Sir Rod Stewart, 74, called up on Radio 2 today to speak to host Jeremy Vine about his incredible model railway. The singer said he decided to get in touch after his wife Penny Lancaster told him Jeremy had insinuated he couldn’t have built the epic model himself.
Sir Rod 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.
“I started it 23 years ago… I’ve been in to it all my life.”
The Maggie May hitmaker explained the railway is a cross between Chicago and New York and is set at the time when he was born, 1945.
“They say model railroads are never finished, but this one is,” he said. “There’s not much more I can do with it.”
He said: “Well that was fun, the whole thing is about Rod Stewart’s model railways and then Rod himself calls!
“About his own Beverly Hills model railways, he rang in!”
Sir Rod’s 124ft long and 23ft wide model depicts Manhattan life in the post war era and is called Grant Street And Three Rivers City.
Featuring a running railway station, period cars, lorries and as well as paying homage to New York, it also features several classic American city scenes, including a 1940’s inspired Pennsylvania Railroad scene.
Speaking to Railway Modeller magazine, Rod said that it was the scenery and modelling creation that truly engaged him.
He 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’s love for railways began when he was a child when his now-demolished North London home overlooked train tracks and from when he began touring around the US.
He explained: “I got hooked on American railways because I was living there when the layout was started. I just looked out the window and there it all was.”