"All my dreams fall like rain on a downtown train..."
May 23, 2019 9:17 AM   Subscribe

"The acclaimed songwriter of hits like Forever Young and Maggie May contacted Model Railroader magazine to talk about his other achievement, Grand Street & Three Rivers Railroad."

Sir Rod took 23 years to build his personal model railway. When he goes on tour, he books an extra room to set up his trains. When the singer toured in Boston, he took a side trip to Peabody MA just to view another gigantic model train layout. [via]
posted by jessamyn (24 comments total) 23 users marked this as a favorite
 
Wonder if he and Neil Young ever get together to bond over model trains. Heck, maybe Rod bought some of Neil's collection.
posted by SansPoint at 9:18 AM on May 23 [4 favorites]


Love this, thank you!
posted by Melismata at 9:27 AM on May 23


Salem News story: model train buff and singer Rod Stewart

Awesome.
posted by The Bellman at 9:27 AM on May 23 [3 favorites]


This is cool. It's neat that he has such a specific hobby to which he is clearly very devoted and that he makes connections with the other people in the hobby, treating them as the celebrities that they are within that niche.

(Though the writing in that first link, which describes his wife and son as if they were possessions is a bit ugh.)
posted by jacquilynne at 9:32 AM on May 23 [1 favorite]


This helps appease some of my own concerns about my obsession with video-games and how we all have our thing that we go all in on. Rod Stewart's just happens to be model trains. I love this so damn much!
posted by Fizz at 9:33 AM on May 23 [2 favorites]


And he just recently was generous enough to help out fellow rail buffs beset by tragedy.
posted by St. Oops at 9:35 AM on May 23 [13 favorites]


Great post. One small nitpick: Shouldn’t that tag be choochoo?
posted by Bella Donna at 9:52 AM on May 23 [1 favorite]


One small nitpick, Rod Stewart didn't write Forever Young. I will credit him with the balls to copyright it as his, and somehow getting Dylan to accept only half credit.
posted by stupidsexyFlanders at 10:04 AM on May 23 [3 favorites]


One small nitpick, Rod Stewart didn't write Forever Young Downtown Train. Tom waits did.
posted by dobbs at 10:14 AM on May 23 [10 favorites]


My local model railroad organization does a display at the art museum every Christmas. Two years ago they had a box of old copies of Model Railroader to give away, and you bet I picked out this very issue due to the headline on the cover.
posted by subocoyne at 10:14 AM on May 23 [4 favorites]


That’s a good looking city in that cover photo.

I was going to make a joke about how I used to have a subscription to Model Railroader when I was a kid, and how I wish that I knew what I know now when I was younger — but it turns out Ronnie Wood sang that song, so never mind.
posted by shapes that haunt the dusk at 10:34 AM on May 23


I've filed this information in the part of my brain that contains "pleasant facts about musicians," alongside Neil Young's model railroading and Steve Vai's beekeeping.

Stewart's layout features more than 100 structures, some more than five feet tall. Inspired by the 1940s New York Central and Pennsylvania Railroads, the layout is complete with skyscrapers, streets, cars, billboards, people...

So many small faces!



I'll show myself out.
posted by mandolin conspiracy at 10:36 AM on May 23 [17 favorites]


(Though the writing in that first link, which describes his wife and son as if they were possessions is a bit ugh.)
posted by jacquilynne at 12:32 PM on May 23

Oh, it gets worse in link 3:

In Beverly Hills, and at the vanguard of dull, Rod Stewart, 71, has given over a vast tract of houseroom to his miniature railway. And when he goes on tour, he books an extra room to set up his trains. Rock’n’roll! What his model wife makes of her model rivals is anyone’s guess.

blech
posted by ZaphodB at 11:04 AM on May 23


I learned about No Such Thing As a Fish from jessamyn in mathowie's interview for Hobby Horse last year, and my life is better for it. A podcast designed for my short commute. I can stop and start and not feel lost or that I will never catch up. Thanks!
posted by terrapin at 12:06 PM on May 23 [3 favorites]


Classic model train collecting was pretty big for a while there. I guy I know, into that, would bid hundreds on ebay for a Lionel Locomotive, which was in the original box, then turn around and sell that box alone for more than he paid, and keep the car.

Seems the hobby is partially a nostalgia for boomer's childhoods, like, "Dad would have loved this car, it has the brass bell on the front, not the nickel-plated one that we had."

My sister in CA has a wealthy neighbor who bought the house next to his, just to set up and display his trains.

I would compare model train collecting to tournament bridge players. Smart, highly engaged persons in a hobby that is going the way of the buggy whip.
posted by StickyCarpet at 1:11 PM on May 23


This is wonderful, thank you.
posted by LobsterMitten at 2:10 PM on May 23


So many small faces!

Choo La La
posted by hal9k at 2:21 PM on May 23 [2 favorites]


I would compare model train collecting to tournament bridge players. Smart, highly engaged persons in a hobby that is going the way of the buggy whip.
I would add stamp and coin collecting to that list.
posted by Multicellular Exothermic at 4:29 PM on May 23


This is just delightful.
posted by hurdy gurdy girl at 5:55 PM on May 23


Of course he's into model railroading. He wears a Mister Rogers sweater...
posted by jim in austin at 6:42 PM on May 23


I grew up in Peabody and delivered the Salem Evening News as a kid. This gives me two reasons to be happy:

1) Rod Stewart doesn't suck anymore in my mind. He rocks again.
2) I have a reason to go back and visit Peabody, if I can get in to see this.

Also the Rod Stewart/Neil Young model-train-liking thing reminds me of the Sebastian Bach/Patrick Swayze storyline in Trailer Park Boys.

THANKS FOR POSTING THIS YOU ARE AWESOME
posted by not_on_display at 8:09 PM on May 23 [2 favorites]


So many small faces!

Choo La La



Itchychoo Park
posted by e1c at 10:10 AM on May 24 [1 favorite]


Previously.
posted by charred husk at 10:58 AM on May 24


I love hobbies. I love having hobbies, I love hearing about hobbies. I don't care about your job; tell me about your hobbies.
posted by The corpse in the library at 8:36 AM on May 25


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