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Man Spent £250,000 Building Britain's Biggest Model Railway And Hid It From Girlfriend

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Man Spent £250,000 Building Britain's Biggest Model Railway And Hid It From Girlfriend

A man spent £250,000 ($330,961) building Britain's biggest model railway - and kept the project secret from his girlfriend.

Simon George began creating the 61-metre-long replica train line eight years ago, and for six months he didn't tell his new girlfriend about it in case she thought his hobby was 'dull'.

The businessman - who funded the project by selling his share in a supercar driving experience company - told his partner Marie he was renting part of an old mill to store and sell wine, 'cause clearly he reckoned that had a bit more of a sexy ring to it.

He was actually spending his days with model trains, not wine. Credit: SWNS
He was actually spending his days with model trains, not wine. Credit: SWNS
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But there was no wine in the mill, just a colossal train set that accurately depicts a 1.5-mile stretch of real track at Heaton Lodge Junction, Mirfield, West Yorkshire, from 1983.

"It all started because I used to spend a lot of time at Heaton Lodge as a 12-year-old kid watching the trains go by," the 53-year-old recalled.

"I had happy memories of it all. I wasn’t even into railway models – it could have easily been a park or a corner shop I had memories of.

"It depicts the 1980s as it used to be with lots of coal trains before the miners' strikes.

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"When we're children we have our own special places, but for me I used to come here as a child and spend so much time watching the freight trains go past."

He couldn't keep it secret forever. Credit: SWNS
He couldn't keep it secret forever. Credit: SWNS

Simon couldn't keep his hobby secret from Marie forever though, and he was rumbled when she paid a visit to the cellar and couldn't find any wine. However, it seems she finds him sexy enough just the way he is, because the couple are now engaged.

Simon said: "I met Marie about two years ago and when we started dating, I led her to believe I was a wine merchant.

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"It sounded sexier than saying I was building a model railway, which usually sends women running.

"She came down to the cellar one day and said: 'Where's all the wine?'

"I told her the truth and she was like, 'OK.' But she has an art degree so she appreciated the level of detail and work that went into it. We're now engaged."

The model railway features a lot of detail. Credit: SWNS
The model railway features a lot of detail. Credit: SWNS
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And when he talks about 'level of detail', this thing really has to be seen to be believed.

To get it just right, Simon collected around 500 photos of the track area from 1983, so he could re-create every bush, hedgerow and patch of grass.

He even found a photo of him as a youngster leaning over a fence watching a freight train pass through, which he has recreated on the model.

There are also fly-tipped sofas on the bank, while tiny Tesco carrier bags - with an authentic 1983 design - can be found snagged on branches and railway sleepers along the stretch.

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How beautiful.

The railway is on display at Wakefield’s Market Hall until 21 December.

Featured Image Credit: SWNS

Topics: News, UK News

Jake Massey
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