Building model trains, or railway modelling, is a popular hobby, one that thousands of people across the word take very seriously. The pastime sees hobbyists create miniature versions of railway tracks, trains and train stations, with painstaking detail and accuracy. Little do many people know, but it’s actually a popular pastime with some seriously A-list celebrities. Here are the most unlikely celebs who are big model train fans.
1. Michael Jordan
Rumour has it that basketball legend and sporting superstar Michael Jordan also has a profound love for building model railways. His achievements include a N Scale layour based on the Chicago and North Western – with Jordan famously playing for the Chicago Bulls.
2. Rod Stewart
Sex, drug addition, X-rated backstage stories – rock legend Sir Rod Stewart has opened up about them all to various magazines and newspapers. But there’s one thing he didn’t discuss until recently – his hobby for model railways. Stewart once even appeared on the copy of hobbyist magazine Model Railroader, revealing his 26 years of creations. His proudest achievement? Grand Street And Three Rivers City, a 124-foot long recreation of a 1940s American city.
3. Jools Holland
Best known for lighting up New Year’s Eve with his colourful variety show Jools’ Annual Hootenanny, Jools Holland is also a keen model train enthusiast. The master musician has also appearaed in the prestigious Model Railroader with his own 100 foot model train collection. Holland also also worked on a landscape of a route from Berlin to London – very impressive.
4. Frank Sinatra
Legendary singer Frank Sinatra loved his hometown of Hoboken, New Jersey so much, he decided to immortalise it – in a model railway. The icon is said to have owned over $1 million worth of model trains which he kept in a special room in his Palm Springs compound, Rancho Mirage. The room’s name? ‘All Aboard’.
5. Roger Daltrey
Having spent his youth fronting one of the biggest bands in British music, The Who, Roger Daltrey has now turned his attention to model railways. Revealing his love to Chris Evans on his breakfast show in 2014, Daltrey said: “The great thing about model railways is you can be doing a bit of woodwork, a bit of painting, a bit of this, a bit of that, and having fun with your mates and you can listen to the radio.”
6. Pete Waterman
Pete Waterman has produced some of the most iconic pop tunes in the world, think Especially for You and Respectable. However, his greatest sense of pride comes from model railroading. “Modelling is better than getting Kylie to Number One,” Pete Waterman told the Daily Express in 2009. “Because you have to use your brain and you are doing it with people who are as focused as you are.”
7. Tom Hanks
Loveable actor Tom Hanks is said to be a huge model railways hobbyist. It’s beacuse of his hobby, that Hanks was so excited to sign up to voice the conductor in the 2004 film, The Polar Express. The actor is reported to have a large workspace at home and is working on a layout based on a Freelanced Southern Pacific Line.
8. Elton John
Word on the street is that Sir Elton John is a keen model rail hobbyist, and even has one going through his back garden. We now love the singer, musician and general icon even more.