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Famous Celebrities You Never Met Who Enjoy Model Trains And Railroads

What’s got Johnny Cash, Winston Churchill, Eric Clapton, Phil Collins, Roger Daltrey, Joe DiMaggio, Rick Green, Gene Hackman, Tom Hanks, David Hasselhoff, Elton John, Michael Jordan, Frank Sinatra, Bruce Springsteen, Rod Stewart, Neil Young and Gary Coleman in common?

All these celebrities love to see miniature trains that go through mountains, rivers and miniature villages.

In short, everyone is addicted to model trains.

Johnny Cash, the American singer-songwriter, did television commercials and sponsored Lionel Trains in the 1970s.

Neil Young is a co-owner of Lionel Trains.

Rod Stewart, between getting into blondes and who knows what else, invested a lot of time and money building model trains. In fact, Rod’s impressive replica of New York’s Grand Central Station, with 100 feet of span, buildings and figures in 1940s period dress, was featured on the cover of Model Railroader in October 2007. An honor that Rod claims it means more than ‘being on the cover of the Rolling Stones’.


The late Gary Coleman is another hobbyist of model trains. In an online interview with ABC News, he said: “I am currently making Lionel trains. I am making them in the most prototypical way possible, even though they are toy trains. I still like to do it in the most realistic way possible.”

Gary Coleman reportedly also left his entire train collection to Allied Model Trains, The Original Whistle Stop, and The Train Shack in Los Angeles. So if you are a train modeler, you know you are in great company. You can even get Frank Sinatra’s train designs on DVD.

So what is the appeal of these toy trains?

First of all, they are not toys. Enthusiasts will tell you they are works of art. They are reduced versions of the real thing. They work like the real one. There are a myriad of skills you need to master a job design. You are an expert in all trades: carpenter, electrician, metallurgist, painter, sculptor, and semi-competent designer all rolled into one.

There is also the joy of escapism. You can forget about the business of living for hours on end as you carefully study the plan for a perfect world, created by yourself.

And it is never complete. Just keep looking for more things to add to your model to make it perfect. Adding a mountain here, a pond there, more clues. The list is endless. It can take years. Then, of course, there is the ultimate thrill of seeing their trains circling the track.

It’s no wonder so many celebrities are hooked on model trains!

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