Sleb Safari: Rod Stewart's model railway is sailing, it is sailing, home again, cross the sea

Rod Stewart, singer and model train enthusiast
Maeve Connolly

WHAT is a man to do when he has to transport across the Atlantic Ocean a model railway that he’s been building and adding to for nearly three decades?

Does he dismantle it, number and bubble wrap the pieces and then post the whole thing over? If he’s Joe Bloggs, maybe. But when it’s Rod Stewart we’re talking about it’s a different matter altogether.

Rod loves a choo choo train, has done since childhood, and his pride and joy is an exquisite model railway city he has named Grand Street and Three Rivers City. It’s based on a American city from the 1940s, is huge and may very well have its own postcode.

Rod has spent nearly 30 years building it. Imagine if he had spent that many years knitting a jumper; that’s how big this thing is. There’s trains, railway lines, vegetation, bridges, a river, ship, power station, roads with rush-hour traffic, pavements, warehouses and skyscrapers – the tallest of which measure five feet.

No wonder it took nearly 30-years to build this model railway city. Picture by Steve Crise/PA Wire

Rod has said that where possible he would work on parts of it while on tour, booking an extra hotel room and having the furniture cleared out and fans brought in "to improve air circulation and ventilation".

Sleb Safari has long hoped these were human fans. Much better to have a gaggle of life-long Rodettes on their hands and knees, faces inches from the hotel room floor, blowing gently on model trains.

Grand Street and Three Rivers City. Picture by Steve Crise/PA Wire

The only reason we know about this magnificent piece of railway art is through an interview Rod gave a couple of years ago to Railway Modeller magazine. He told the publication that he does not “like to see flat backdrops, they spoil the illusion, so I went for more buildings and streets than tracks.”

He added: “It’s the landscape I like. Attention to detail, extreme detail, is paramount. There shouldn’t be any unsightly gaps, or pavements that are too clean.”

Rod started the Grand Street and Three Rivers City project in 1993 at his home in Los Angeles and it’s not the most mobile of structures, except for the trains of course. Choo choo! How and ever, after 28 years Rod decided the time had come to relocate his railroad city to his Grade II listed home in England and, according to The Scottish Sun, hired seven shipping containers to transport the whole thing, kit and caboodle, across the Atlantic.

Grand Street and Three Rivers City. Picture by Steve Crise/PA Wire

A source told The Scottish Sun “It’s no secret Rod is mad keen on his model railway. He treats them like the crown jewels. He’s managed to sort them being transferred from his Los Angeles home to his Essex home at great expense.”

You know, if reincarnation is a thing, Sleb Safari would like to come back as Rod’s model railway. It’s gone on tour with him, stayed in the finest hotels, seen the world, resided in an LA mansion and then been treated to a cruise upon retirement. What’s not to like?

Viola Davis' dress is the winner

Viola Davis did not win a Golden Globe but this dress was the winner of the night. Exquisite


Gorge Clooney and Julia Roberts together again

ALLOW Sleb Safari to share some truly wonderful news with you. George Clooney and Julia Roberts are to star together in a rom com. That’s right Tik Tok Generation it’s going to be a film about two grandparents falling in love. Or, to the rest of us, it’s going to be glorious.

Danny and Tess Ocean, reunited. Can you picture it?

George Clooney, Julia Roberts and Brad Pitt in Ocean's 11

The film is Ticket To Paradise and they will play exes trying to stop their daughter from “making the same mistake they think they made 25 years ago”.

Sleb Safari is so ready for this film.


Jamie Oliver puts grapes on pizza and the internet is not happy

NOT since the great Pineapple On Pizza row of 2019 has the internet been so incensed by a topping.

That’s right, Sleb Safari is talking about Grape-Gate 2021, that incendiary topping lobbed online by Jamie Oliver.

Jamie was sharing a recipe for sausage pizza on his Channel 4 show Keep Cooking Family Favourites when he casually mentioned that grapes are the perfect addition, along with rosemary.

"Once you try it, the sweetness, the saltiness, the whole kind of thing is beautiful," he explained.

Sleb Safari is a fan of pineapple on pizza and is very much willing to give grapes a go, just as it would urge social media users ready to give the chef hell to instead give peas a chance...

 Sausage pizza with grapes


Social Media Smut


A post shared by Mindy Kaling (@mindykaling)

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