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Homeowner finds huge abandoned model railway in back garden Homeowner finds huge abandoned model railway in back garden

Lauren Chessum, 35, is a self-professed model railway 'newbie' – but she's putting everything into restoring the unique feature in her Derbyshire back garden.

Homeowner finds huge abandoned model railway in back garden

When most homeowners move into a new property, they expect to find a few bits and bobs left behind – perhaps a couple of appliances or old cleaning supplies. But most people wouldn't expect to find a giant 150m model railway track buried in the undergrowth of their new back garden.

Lauren Chessum uncovered just that after moving into her 4-bedroom detached home in Derbyshire in November - and she's been unearthing more and more track as she tidies up the back yard. She's now on a mission to restore the track to a working state and has gained her more than 13,000 followers on TikTok who are eager to see her dream turn into a reality.

Lauren told Yahoo News UK: "We've found around 150-200 metres, at a guess, and it could be more, as there're a lot of double lines you just can't see at the moment.


Lauren was aware of at least one section of railway track from when she and her husband Sean came to view the property, but much of it was covered by a huge bush at the time, and she had no idea how much was lying further back in the garden.

"I'm still uncovering more. I'll find some tracks buried in the mud," she says.

"I think because the garden's full of trees and because it hasn't been maintained for so long, the leaves are falling and it's composting, and every year it's getting a little bit deeper.

"It's like I'm excavating it. Every time I find more and think the track might be missing, I find it further down in the mud."


The previous owner, a model train enthusiast named Frank Hammersley, was an elderly man who lived alone, having lost his wife and child, meaning not enough maintenance was being carried out on the property before he passed away in his nineties.

Lauren is considering ways to pay tribute to Frank after restoring his track to its former glory - such as a station or train named after him.


"I joke on my videos that it's like carrying out an archaeological dig, because you're meticulously being so careful not to damage anything as you uncover it," she adds.


Lauren's three-year-old son is already having fun playing with his Hot Wheels on the tracks, and she thinks her 16-year-old son, who is autistic and non-verbal is going to be "so excited" once a train is up and running.

A few parts of track do appear to be missing for reasons that are unclear, meaning Lauren and Sean may have to spend about £60 per metre replacing those sections.

Rather than settling for cheaper battery powered trains, they plan on buying mini-steam trains for the railway, which can cost upwards of £1,000 each.


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