Pop culture obsessives writing for the pop culture obsessed.
Pop culture obsessives writing for the pop culture obsessed.

Wake up, Maggie, Rod Stewart's got some toy trains for you

Illustration for article titled Wake up, Maggie, Rod Stewart's got some toy trains for you
Photo: Ian MacNicol (Getty Images)

Sir Rod Stewart, once a radio rock mainstay, hasn’t really had a genuine number one hit since the early ‘80s, so one could be forgiven for thinking he’s been taking it easy all this time, presumably lounging poolside and feathering his hair with $100 bills. Turns out, though, the guy has never really slowed down—in the past twenty-five years, Stewart’s released 13 studio albums and gone on 19 tours, selling out arenas full of aunts and uncles the world over.

These numbers might imply music is still his main passion, but honestly, all that pales in comparison to what Stewart’s apparently been working on during his off hours: a single 1,500-square-foot train model built in the style of a post-World War II American metropolitan hub. No, seriously. Don’t believe us? Well, scroll on down then, disbelievers.


Yep. That is most definitely Rod Stewart in a sweater, proudly standing next to his gigantic, handmade model cityscape straight out of Welcome to Marwen or Synecdoche, New York. Look, that thing is seriously impressive, complete with multiple rail lines, busy city streets, well-worn warehouses and skyscrapers, and even tiny bits of litter scattered along the grimy sidewalks. According to Stewart, around 90% of the model was constructed by his lonesome, and that he mainly only needed help when it came to the railways’ electrical wiring. He even went so far as to consistently ask for an extra hotel room while on tour, solely to house and work on his train set when not singing “Baby Jane” and “You Wear It Well” to thousands of enthusiastic Boomers.

To unveil the project’s completion, the pop legend debuted his astonishingly detailed scene for a cover profile in Railway Modeller, which might seem like your mom and dad’s tame, lame train enthusiast magazine now, but trust us when we say that it broke all kinds of rules back in the debauched, fly-by-the-seat-of-your-pants rock n’ roll toy railroad heyday of the 1970s. Train modeling just felt, like, more dangerous back then, you know? Whatever, you Zoomers and millennials playing with your little drone doodads and iTablets wouldn’t know anything about it.

(via BBC)

Andrew Paul is a contributing writer with work recently featured by NBC Think, GQ, Slate, Rolling Stone, and McSweeney's Internet Tendency. He writes the newsletter, (((Echo Chamber))).

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