UK’s largest model railway finally finished

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An Englishman used the country’s pandemic lockdowns to build a colossal and minutely detailed railway model.

The aim was to recreate his childhood memories, and the result is astonishing – it’s the UK’s largest model railway.

As this train rolls through trees, houses and greenery, it could easily be mistaken for a typical English railway route.

But it is in fact an extravagant project which cost $344,000 and was finished during lockdown.

Stretching 164 feet long, it’s a recreation of Calder Valley Line – a railway route in northern England.

Simon George spent much-cherished days of his youth with his friends watching trains.

Eight years ago he decided to recreate this childhood memory.

“It was just a case of not just making it big by making it really detailed. So it’s just like a photographic image in 3D of the real place.”

But it’s not “just” project – it’s become the UK’s largest railway.

The detailing on the model railway is remarkable – and Simon even made figurines of himself and his friends watching trains which were recreated from a photograph.

For him, the railway has become an important way of keeping in touch with his childhood.

“It was just an eccentric way of reliving my past,” he says.

The railway uses three miles of model track and an astonishing eight miles of cable.

Simon has made great efforts to bring the 1980s into the present.

Ford Escorts can be seen being ferried around and the iconic British Rail logo is stamped on the back of a figurine rail worker.

It was his own way of getting through the long days of COVID-19 lockdowns.

“During lockdown I was down here ten hours a day because it actually enabled me to really get cracking with it,” Simon says.

And Simon’s resolve has paid off – there are plans to take it to exhibition halls across the country – and it will take no less than three lorries to do it.

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