For the last 23 years, Rod Stewart has been working on a massive model railroad. The successful singer has been featured in both Railway Modeller (published in his native UK) and Model Railroader (published in the US) over the years, showing off his ever-growing model of a US city inspired by Manhattan. And in the latest issue of Railway Modeller, he’s unveiled the finished product. It features many, many buildings, bridges, houses, and a very detailed landscape with tracks and trains snaking throughout.
“A lot of people laugh at it being a silly hobby, but it’s a wonderful hobby,” Stewart said when he called into a BBC Radio 2 show to talk about his model. “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.”
Per Railway Modeller, Stewart would work on some of the construction while on tour, requesting an extra room in his hotels to do so. “When I take on something creative like this, I have to give it 110%,” he told the magazine. “For me it’s addictive. I started, so I just had to finish. I’m lucky I had the room. If I’d have realised at the start it would have taken so long, I’d have probably said, ‘No! No! Nah!'”
The railroad is housed in his Beverly Hills mansion, taking up its entire third floor. It measures 23 feet wide by 124 feet long.
Rod Stewart's model railway inspired by postwar Manhattan – a design which took him 20+ years to build, and spans 1,500 square feet – looks the absolute shit. pic.twitter.com/epDlRlRgFf
— Martyn McLaughlin (@MartynMcL) November 13, 2019
Stewart is not the only musician that has caught the model railroad bug. Here’s an honestly iconic Nick News segment showing off some of Neil Young’s tracks: