I always knew there was a reason I liked this man:

He has long been known as a model railway enthusiast — even if at times he didn’t want to talk about it.
But now Sir Rod Stewart’s legendary layout — 26 years in the making — can be seen for the first time in all its finished glory.

…and it’s stunning.  Hie thee hence to see it.

I always wanted to do this, only my layout would have been an Alpine scene in Germany, circa 1900.  Back in the early 1990s, I even bought period-correct Fleischmann HO engines (three), half a dozen carriages, and built a couple of model houses (also period-correct).

Alas, life got in the way (i.e. divorce, lost the house and therefore the basement) and I never got to build it in.  But Rod did, and good for him.


  1. I first saw part of Rod’s layout in a Model Railroader magazine probably close to 20 years ago, so to us enthusiasts he’s always been on the radar. The man has some talent besides music.

    Now that I have the time and space, I can begin my own railroad empire, at least until the weather warms up enough to pursue outdoor hobbies like fishing (sometime around my birthday in mid-June probably). In fact WAY back on your old site I mentioned model trains, and you emailed me to ask me if I was interested in your equipment. I wasn’t because I don’t model European prototypes.

    If you’re still interested in building something, there are LOTS of online resources for small (in some cases REALLY small) layouts.

    Have a look here: http://www.carendt.com/

    The original owner died, but others have kept the content alive. He used to do contests for building small layouts in various pre-determined sizes like pizza box, shoe box, or letter (entire operating layout had to fix in 8″x11″). IIRC the largest layouts he had were 2×4 feet. While lots of them are American prototype, you could adapt them. Drop me an email if you’re interested, I can point you toward other resources.

    Sure, you couldn’t model the Alps, but you COULD model a portion of a small village.

  2. Neat! I dabbled in model trains a bit as a kid, but lack of room and funds made me swerve into model aircraft and armored vehicles instead.

    The model airplanes proved useful in later life. When in the Air Force I was questioned about how I was able to ID various aircraft types so quickly. I realized the answer was that I had built (at least one) model of the subject aircraft and therefore had seen it from every possible angle over an extended period of time. So I continued building models as new Soviet and Chinese (which covered NK and the Mid East) types came on the market.

    My time spent on WWII German tanks and other armored vehicles did not prove to be as useful (except for cringing when watching war movies).

    1. Same story here. Not a terribly useful skill, being able to quickly and accurately identify an aircraft or armored vehicle, sometimes with only a very partial view.

  3. Been thinking about some z-scale myself. Garden railways are becoming a thing up here. work on models of building in the winter. N scale for the most part Battery powered and remote control. Kind of cool over all.

  4. My Dad was a model railroad guy, HO scale. He did the ’50s era Great Northern because he worked for that railroad as a young man after doing his bit in Korea. He ended up with some other gents his age converting the top floor of a two story garage one of them had into a quite impressive layout.

    Like Randy above, as a youngster I was more into modeling WWII armor, etc. Especially the Tamiya kits.

  5. I got a chance to see the real thing a couple of weeks ago. Union Pacific has their locomotive 4104 “Big Boy” on a tour to commemorate the 150th anniversary of the Transcontinental RR. It made an overnight stop in my town.

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