British rock singer Rod Stewart has over the years earned a reputation for extreme openness: he’s spoken candidly about his colossal cocaine use in the 70s and losing his virginity to a rotund woman in a beer tent, and righted wrongs surrounding a much-whispered rumor involving a crew of sailors, a gay bar in San Diego, and an emergency stomach pump. When it comes to his model-train collection, though, Stewart has stayed decidedly mum.
It turns out that over the past 23 years—during which Stewart released 13 studio albums and toured 19 times—he’s also been at work on a 1,500-square-foot model railway, which resides inside his Los Angeles home. Depicting an industrial American skyline rendered in impeccable detail, Stewart’s meticulous microcosm comes complete with hand-painted brickwork, road signs, and litter-strewn streets. His 1940s-style cityscape includes hundreds of buildings, from skyscrapers stretching five feet into the air to hulking factories and trackside operators, all inspired by Stewart’s vision of postwar Manhattan and Chicago.