Maxitrak's Stunning 1:4 Scale Steam Locomotives
By James Grahame
Maxitrak in Staplehurst, Kent was founded in 1978. The company produces a stunning range of live steam trains such as 'Jack,' a 1:4 reproduction of the 1898 Hunslet No. 684 locomotive. The original is now in the Leeds Industrial Museum, but this 5-inch gauge reproduction can be yours for just under $25,000 if you skimp on accessories.
The 37-inch long locomotive is capable of hauling 10 adults under ideal conditions, with a working pressure of 900 psi. It weighs 170 lbs and features two gunmetal cylinders, Walschaerts valve gear and mechanical lubricator. Twin Sandboxes are mounted on the top of the boiler in line with the brass steam dome, giving this stunning locomotive a distinctive look.
You'll have to budget an extra $1000 or so for each open bogie passenger wagon or sit-aside trolly for your visitors, and rail costs about $12 per 2.5m length, not including points, rail bending, sleepers or track bed preparation. This is definitely not a cheap hobby -- you'll need tens of thousands of eurobucks for rolling stock and track, and lots of level land to set up your personal railway.
The company has a decidedly modern YouTube channel featuring over 100 videos of their miniature vehicles in operation.