Two film superfans have teamed to build the world’s first full-size replica of a steam train used in the Back to the Future franchise.
And it’s seriously impressive.
Mike Hutchinson – who left a career in the finance industry to begin work in the events sector at the start of last year – joined forces with fellow Yorkshireman Ian Robinson, who works as a props maker at Harrogate Theatre and has sadly seen his day job curtailed by the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic, on the big build project, which has seen the pair recreate the Time Travel Train from the third instalment of the cult-classic film franchise starring Michael J Fox and Christopher Lloyd.
Despite the fact it only features on screen for a few short minutes, those familiar with the iconic films will recognise that the steam train was made famous by Lloyd’s character, Doc Brown, in the final film of the sci-fi trilogy released in 1990.
The replica also features the character’s initials, ELB, on the side of the cabin.
The train took the two pals around four months to build, with Ian more or less working on it full time, and Mike lending a hand a couple of days each week.
The incredible attention to detail of the replica has already got people talking on social media.
“Where we were building it was an empty building, apart from me and Ian. It took quite a long time to build it, [around] a good three or four months [and] we only went out of our homes to build it when we were allowed to do so by the government COVID-19 restrictions.
“A lot of the train project was taken up in the research into it on the internet.
“We had to look at some pictures of the train over and over again, as it only has about three minutes of screen time in the film.
“We have done the rails for the train as well.
“It can all be broken down. It’s like a large prop jigsaw puzzle. It’s takes about 90 minutes to two hours to rebuild it once it is broken down.
“It is quite an achievement to build a steam train replica.”
And this isn’t the first time Mike has tried his hands at creating iconic replicas either.
“I built Delboy’s front room from Only Fools and Horses [too] and hoped to make my millions, but that never happened.” Mike told us.
In 2015, he also spent about two years and £20,000 turning his car into a replica of the DeLorean used by Marty McFly in the 1985 cult classic, with the conversion work including castings from the original car, which is in Universal Studios in Hollywood.
Mike continued: “As Doc Brown once said, ‘If you’re gonna build a time machine, why not build it with style?’, [and after all], where we’re going, we don’t need roads (or a train track for that matter)”.
He has plans to build a replica of the Kitt car from 1980s TV favourite Knightrider too.
The Time Travel Train is available to hire for any occasion – including future corporate and comic con events, and education and train enthusiast events – when government COVID-19 guidelines allow.
You can also see the railway lines snaking through the city centre, cars nipping around the ring road, and the comparatively small apartment blocks around Castlefield.
Commenting on the video, one person said: “This is mint.”
Another wrote: “Fricken love this!!!!”
Featured image: @lef_tsotour
Question Time audience stunned as first-time buyer says mortgage quote DOUBLED
Thursday night’s Question Time audience could be heard audibly gasping after a fellow crowd member revealed that her mortgage quote had doubled followed the recent mini-budget.
Taping in Manchester on 29 September, the current events and politics programme was discussing property when would-be first-time buyer Rabia revealed that her mortgage offer had jumped from an initial amount of 4.5% interest to a shocking 10.5% in just a matter of days.
As you can see in the incredible clip, both the audience and the panel are taken aback at the revelation.
The Greater Manchester resident said she is desperate to know what the government’s plan for mortgages is as following the latest revision, she says she simply cannot afford to put the money down on her first home.
Labour leader Sir Keir Starmer weighed in on the social media reaction, quote tweeting the clip from his party’s own account and stating that “the Tories must get back to Parliament and reverse their kamikaze budget” as the current economic mess is being “paid for by working people”.
To make matters worse, Rabia was given no clarification from her lenders, only that they were pulling her offers. Conservative MP and Minister for Local Government, Faith and Communities, Paul Scully had little information to offer her either, simply stating it is a short-term effect and that the market will stabilise.
Scully was subject to an entirely different reaction from the audience as well after his blind attempts to defend Prime Minister Liz Truss and Chancellor Kwasi Kwarteng were met with laughter. Conversely, Richard Bacon was met with applause after he labelled the mini-budget “absurd”.
As if the anti-Tory sentiment wasn’t already at a high, the chancellor’s mini-budget – which saw the corporations, bankers and the generally wealthy benefit ahead of the working class – has seen fresh calls for a general election to be held as soon as possible.
Beyond declaring a so-called £2,500 limit on energy bills (which many have warned isn’t a guaranteed cap), there was seemingly very little in the way of policy that
For those still unclear as to what was announced in the divisive mini-budget, here is a quick summary:
Speaking in a speech at the Labour conference in Liverpool on Tuesday, Starmer said that the government “haven’t just failed to fix the roof, they’ve ripped out the foundations, smashed the windows and now they’ve blown the doors off for good measure.