Famous Train Modelers

When you talk about famous train modelers, some have names you immediately connect to the hobby, while others really make you stop and say, "Wow! I never would have guessed!" Granted, the level of enthusiasm runs the spectrum from the casual train modeler to the hardcore fan, but one thing they all share is a love for a hobby most discovered as young children.

If someone asked you what Michael Jordan, Bob Costas, Winston Churchill, Johnny Cash and Joe DiMaggio all have in common, it's unlikely you'd guess it is model trains. Tom Brokaw, Roger Daltry, Sir Elton John, Tom Hanks, Bruce Springsteen and Rod Stewart all have at least one layout even as adults. Stewart is such a diehard train modeler that he landed a cover feature on the magazine Model Railroader. The buzz around his layouts are that they compare to the best in the world.

Another famous train modeler may even be in way deeper than Stewart, though: Neil Young, who started playing with model trains when he was 5 and got his first Lionel engine when he was 12. Since then it has become what some might call an obsession with his multiple elaborate layouts including vintage and new models. He even designed models for layouts including cows that moo.

What makes Neil Young so different from other train modelers, though, is that he created an alter ego so he could enjoy the hobby free of the fame his name carries. Many model train enthusiasts know of Clyde Coil, but few know that he and Neil Young are one and the same. Young even owned a 20 percent stake in Lionel trains at one point. If none of these famous train modelers surprise you, consider some other famous people who may.

Phil Collins, Mel Torme, John Entwistle, Donald Sutherland, Patrick Swayze, Walt Disney and Eric Clapton all have (or had in the case of the deceased) a great love for train modeling. If you are a fan of model trains, you are in great -- and famous -- company.

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