Maxitrak Dixie steam loco

I purchased a Maxitrak Dixie 0-4-0 steam loco, found through an advert in the Maxitrak Owners Club magazine. This is a fairly faithful miniature of a Kerr-Stuart Wren.
My Dixie, named "Dixie", was 13 years old when I acquired it. It a standard model with Hackworth valve gear and is Maxitrak number 1007.
The only modification the previous owner made was to move the hand water pump from inside the tank to the footplate. This does make any pumping much easier. An advantage of my long run is that the mechanical water pump is able to keep the boiler level constant and so I rarely have to use the hand pump. He also made 2 lead castings which fit in the coal bunkers to help improve adhesion.
I fire it on bean sized Welsh steam coal. The fire is started by shovelling a layer of coal on the grate, followed by a lit firelighter. Two or three small wood offcuts are added together with more coal.
A blower powered by a 12V battery (courtesy of "Maverick") gets the pressure up to 10 psi in around 10 to 15 minutes. I use rain water collected in a water butt and passed through a filter. The moving parts are all well lubricated with motor engine oil, and the cylinder oil sump filled with steam oil.
Once the pressure reaches 20 psi, I remove the battery blower and turn on the steam blower which gets the pressure up to the working minimum of 30 psi in a couple of minutes. In this picture, the Y6 tram has brought a wagon out from the shed, ready to couple to "Dixie". With the drain cocks open, water is cleared and the cylinders warmed, ready for the off.
"Dixie" charging up the gradient. The engine is able to pull two or three adults with ease, and can complete an out and back run without tending the fire. The water in the tank is topped up every three runs.
The controls are very simple and easily accessible to the driver.
My Dixie has no brakes. To slow down, I open the drain cocks, shut off the regulator and move into reverse gear. This is sufficient to cut the speed down the straight before entering the curve.
At the end of the outing, the grate is dropped into the ash pit, and the engine rolled out of the way.
The blower and blow down valve are opened to remove the remaining pressure.
I open the boiler plug to empty out the water, with "Dixie" tipped backwards. The bodywork is sprayed with a little diesel and wiped down with a soft rag.
The final job is opening the smokebox door to remove the ash and clean the boiler tubes with a pipe cleaner.
"Dixie" was given a thorough overhaul in the summer of 2002 by Dave James. Worn parts were replaced, and the loco brought to almost as new mechanically.
"Dixie" had her boiler pressure tested by Andy Probyn of Maxitrak at the Maxitrak Owner's Club meeting at the factory in April 2003. She passed with flying colours. This was a great event to meet other Maxitrak loco owners, and to see the various modifications they had made to their engines.