JOHN Smith is plain loco about his hobby.
The Washington grandad has had the same train set for almost six decades – and it now takes up an entire room in the home he shares with wife Anne, in Concord, Washington.
Sixty-nine-year-old John has been extending his layout since he was bought his first set by dad Ikey 57 years ago.
The L-shaped lay-out is now 4ft wide, 15ft long down one side and 9ft down the other.
John admits he is so obsessed that the room which houses the layout hasn’t seen a lick of paint for a quarter of a century for fear of damaging the model.
“My wife plays hell with me and keeps telling me it’s about time the room was decorated, but I just can’t bring myself to do it,” he confessed.
John’s collection includes miniature versions of some of rail history’s most famous names, including the Mallard, Prince of Wales and The Flying Scotsman.
“I just love steam,” he said.
“I still like playing with the set and I run it every fortnight to make sure the lines are in working order.”
John’s love affair with railway modelling may have begun when he was still in short pants, but his layout certainly isn’t child’s play.
“I have two sons, four grand-daughters and one grandson but they aren’t allowed near unless I’m with them,” he said.
“The set looks nothing like the one my dad bought me – I have added farms, goods wagons, a church, a school, three stations and a shopping centre.”