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Famous Model Train Hobbyists

Updated September 9, 2019 85.0k views30 items

All aboard! Several famous musicians, actors, and TV personalities are model railway enthusiasts. Some of these celebrities collect Lionel trains, while others prefer a variety of models. One famous musician even put off recording a new album to work on his elaborate railroad model.

Who is the most famous model train hobbyist? Tom Hanks tops our list. His love of model trains reportedly made him eager to sign on as a voice actor in the 2004 film The Polar Express. Frank Sinatra collected Lionel and tinplate model trains. He even had an entire cottage dedicated to the hobby. Neil Young loves model trains so much that he is a part owner of Lionel Trains.

In 2008, it was reported that Phil Collins was incredibly busy building a model railroad at his home in Switzerland, and the album that he was supposed to be recording had to be put on hold. Other notable model train enthusiasts include Eric Clapton, Walt Disney, and Johnny Cash.

Do you collect model trains? Take a look at this famous model train hobbyist list and let us know who you think would have the most impressive collection.
  • Photo: via Pinterest
    Winston Churchill was reportedly a rail transport modeller.
    Sir Winston Leonard Spencer-Churchill (30 November 1874 – 24 January 1965) was a British politician, army officer, and writer. He was Prime Minister of the United Kingdom from 1940 to 1945, when he led Britain to victory in the Second World War, and again from 1951 to 1955. Churchill represented five constituencies during his career as a Member of Parliament (MP). Ideologically an economic liberal and imperialist, for most of his career he was a member of the Conservative Party, which he led from 1940 to 1955, but from 1904 to 1924 was a member of the Liberal Party. Of mixed English and American parentage, Churchill was born in Oxfordshire to a wealthy, aristocratic family. Joining the...  more
    • Age: Dec. at 91 (1874-1965)
    • Birthplace: Blenheim Palace, United Kingdom
    • Gender: Male
    • Profession: Statesman, Painter, Politician, Journalist, Orator

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  • Photo: via Wikimedia
    David Hasselhoff reportedly has a garden railroad in G Scale.
    David Michael Hasselhoff (born July 17, 1952), nicknamed "The Hoff", is an American actor, singer, producer, and businessman, who set a Guinness World Record as the most watched man on TV. He first gained recognition on The Young and The Restless, playing Dr. Snapper Foster. His career continued with his leading role as Michael Knight on Knight Rider and as L.A. County Lifeguard Mitch Buchannon in the series Baywatch. Hasselhoff produced Baywatch from the 1990s until 2001 when the series ended with Baywatch Hawaii. On screen, he has appeared in films including Click, Dodgeball, The SpongeBob SquarePants Movie, and Hop. Before Samuel L. Jackson, Hasselhoff was the first actor to portray the...  more
    • Age: 68
    • Birthplace: Baltimore, Maryland, United States of America
    • Gender: Male
    • Profession: Businessperson, Television producer, Film Producer, Actor, Singer

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  • Photo: via Twitter
    Frank Sinatra collected Lionel and tinplate model trains. He even had an entire cottage dedicated to his hobby.
    Francis Albert Sinatra (; December 12, 1915 – May 14, 1998) was an American singer, actor and producer who was one of the most popular and influential musical artists of the 20th century. He is one of the best-selling music artists of all time, having sold more than 150 million records worldwide.Born to Italian immigrants in Hoboken, New Jersey, Sinatra began his musical career in the swing era with bandleaders Harry James and Tommy Dorsey. Sinatra found success as a solo artist after he signed with Columbia Records in 1943, becoming the idol of the "bobby soxers". He released his debut album, The Voice of Frank Sinatra, in 1946. But by the early 1950s his professional career had stalled...  more
    • Age: Dec. at 83 (1915-1998)
    • Birthplace: Hoboken, New Jersey, United States of America
    • Gender: Male
    • Profession: Conductor, Film Producer, Actor, Singer

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  • Photo: via Twitter
    Walt Disney loved model trains and often included railroads in his cartoons, films, and theme parks.
    Walter Elias Disney (; December 5, 1901 – December 15, 1966) was an American entrepreneur, animator, voice actor and film producer. A pioneer of the American animation industry, he introduced several developments in the production of cartoons. As a film producer, Disney holds the record for most Academy Awards earned by an individual, having won 22 Oscars from 59 nominations. He was presented with two Golden Globe Special Achievement Awards and an Emmy Award, among other honors. Several of his films are included in the National Film Registry by the Library of Congress. Born in Chicago in 1901, Disney developed an early interest in drawing. He took art classes as a boy and got a job as a...  more
    • Age: Dec. at 65 (1901-1966)
    • Birthplace: Hermosa, Chicago, Illinois, United States of America
    • Gender: Male
    • Profession: Businessperson, Television producer, Film Producer, Actor, Animator

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