IT’S A train enthusiast’s ultimate dream — a life-size model railway in your back garden.

Adrian Shooter boasts a fully restored 120-year-old Darjeeling steam locomotive complete with track in his three-acre estate at Steeple Aston, near Bicester.

It’s not the biggest train set he has, though – he’s also chairman of Chiltern Railways.

Last week Mr Shooter invited friends and family to take a ride in the train, with wife Barbara on duty as guard.

Mr Shooter said: “I can’t think of many people who have a full scale, working train in their back garden.

“I have had a passion for trains for as long as I can remember so when the opportunity came up to buy it I didn’t think twice.

“My garden is about three acres, so a decent size but not huge.

“The train and track just about fit in.”

The train was restored at Tyseley, in Birmingham, after being bought from a US museum and has been in Mr Shooter’s garden for about six years.

It pulls two coaches along track in the shape of a figure-of-eight loop, and stops in its own Indian-style station.

The engine weighs 20 tonnes and each coach can hold 25 people.

Mr Shooter declined to say how much the train cost but admitted its upkeep was expensive.

He said: “It is a little piece of India in Oxfordshire.

“I have been involved with the Darjeeling and Himalayan Railway in the past and I have managed to bring a little piece of it home.

“Let’s just say that keeping it running and in tip-top condition is not cheap. I have certainly spent quite a lot on it over the years.

“It is really just a bit of fun and I get enjoyment out of seeing other people riding on it. The open day is a perfect way to share it with others.”

In 1996, Mr Shooter and five others made a successful management buyout for Chiltern Railways. It is now owned by state-owned German operator Deutsche Bahn, but the team running the railway has been the same for 15 years.