He's a household name across the UK but there are not many things that Pete Waterman enjoys more than talking about railways.

The music mogul has been responsible for bringing some of the biggest names in the world of entertainment to the forefront of popular culture but the proud Midlander holds a very special place in his heart for railways. During his illustrious career he has worked with the likes of Kylie Minogue, Rick Astley, Cliff Richard and Steps among others, helping them to score number one hit singles. However, away from the studio he is hugely passionate about UK railways.

Be it model, steam or electric, if it travels on rails then Waterman has plenty of time for it. Over the years he has embarked on numerous ventures to help promote railways and ensure that their respective legacies are not lost. In 1988 he was part of a group that revived the London and North Western Railway Company (LNWR) name. This vehicle maintenance business, based in Crewe, had depots all over the country.

Following years of working to rebuild the LNWR, Waterman sold the group to Arriva for £2.4 million in 2008. Upon the sale, Arriva stated that £3 million had been invested in LNWR over the years which had helped to restore steam trains. He also ran the LNWR Heritage organisation which had close links with the original group to renovate old locomotive engines including Waterman's own personal engines.

It is not just the real thing that peaks Waterman's interest as he also holds a major passion for model railways. It is not simply a case of enjoyment as building layouts and running model trains has helped him through some dark times.

His son Paul Waterman died in January 2005 aged just 33 after losing a six-month battle with a mystery illness. The proceeding 18 months were some of the most challenging times of father Pete's life and in an interview with the Express in 2009, he explained how model railways helped him through a hugely traumatic part of his life.

He told the newspaper that model railways offered a great release for him and he simply would not have known what to do if he had not been able to "immerse" himself in the building of his model set.

“Paul and I started to build this model railway together and he would have wanted me to finish it. I used to take him to see trains three times a week while he was still in his pram. He wasn’t as keen on modelling as me but he liked engineering and it gave us something to do together. Railways were our bond.”

Continuing his love for model railways, Waterman founded his own model railway business Just Like The Real Thing. The brand specialises in O Gauge models and with the help of model-maker Laurie Lynch it has produced a range of models for consumers across the UK and even further afield.

It often features at railway shows up and down the country and will be next appearing at Guildex Exhibition at Telford Conference Centre on September 6th and 7th.