Train buff Dave Redman is so hooked on railways he decided to rekindle his love affair with the tracks by building his own line in his back garden.
Granddad Dave spent four years turning his back garden in Lostock Hall into a trainspotter’s paradise with tracks covering a third of an acre.
He said: “My brother thinks I’m loopy but the grandchildren think I’m brilliant.”
The married-grandad-of-four has spent thousands of pounds on tracks, a steam locomotive and two electronic engines and even has a rail replacement service on standby for emergencies - a two foot replica bus bought for him by his grandchildren.
And the engines are large enough to carry two adults or all four grandchildren around the garden at once.
Dave said: “It’s not something I do for the public, just mine and the family’s amusement.
“It’s can be quite an expensive hobby to have and I have spent quite a bit on the engines and the track but my wife, Wendy, doesn’t seem to mind it. However she did put her foot down when I suggested extending the tracks through to the front garden.”
But Dave has been able to add to his back-garden railroad with an engine house and cafe dedicated to his former brood of chickens.
“My wife used to have half a dozen chickens so when we sent them to a friend’s farm I turned their run into a cafe model, ” said Dave. “It’s called the ‘Chicken Crossing Cafe’”,
And in this day and age, Dave isn’t forgetting Health and Safety protocol when he sets to work on his track.
“Even the cat has to wear a high-vis vest when he’s walking along the line,” he joked.
Dave’s love of railways was written in the stars before he was even born. His grandfather was born in the crossing cottage at Preesall and his dad was a railway guard.
He said: “ I suppose railways have always been a part of my life.”