Central Ontario Association of Live Steamers
- The COALS track (Central Ontario Association of Live Steamers) was located outside of St George Ontario on Highway 24. The actual location was at the Oak Hill Nurseries. It was a 3/4"only ground level track and held spring and fall meets and even had a night run. It was home to guys like The Hoffmans,The McJannetts, Ivan Gray, Sid Copeland and Ralph Harrison. I always had a good time there but at times, my 3/4" scale body with a 1 1/2" scale gut made it tough to get down to track level at times. Unfortunately, the old track is gone but the club is now at Ralph's place.
The picture of the 4-6-6-4 is the one made by Fred Bohn. The Hoffmans bought the engine from him and then eventually sold it to a private museum in Huntsville. It then went to H Saville then to a gent in Texas I hear. Photo by Steve Bratina.
Steve Bratina writes: The other picture is of my old Niagara. Frank Birch castings were used to make the loco. I bought it from a guy who was planning to make it into a CNR 6400. I changed it back to a Niagara and built the proper tender for it. It was nowhere near a true Niagara like Harold Crouche's but it ran well for me.
Carddo writes: The steaming bays at COALS for, I believe, the 1984 OMLET meet. The brass locomotive in the middle of the photo is Ian Wynd's 2-6-4T while the green locomotive in the lower right is Ted McJannett's B&O President Pacific. I was running Dave Powell's Hoffman Hudson in the event. Of course, Ian's locomotive won handily. How did I do? don't ask! I think that Dave was second or third. Harry Boneham's Britannia also did well that year.
- To add- dad did 22 laps of the track, I seem to think that it was "600 feet" around, in 20 min. The 1986 try was not as successful, as he ran out of fire/steam on the last lap. Our Hoffman Hudson had a rather unique boiler, in that it had 3 rows of stays, vice 2 on a normal boiler. Grate area was 22", I think 5x4.5 or so. It wasn't 6" long in the box, because the wood we burned at TSME wasn't cut to 6" long- Steve Estock cut lots of pallets up for us to burn, he was working somewhere out near the airport and had access to "endless" supplies of wood and enough time to cut it up on a table saw.
- I never drove during OMLET, because they didn't want to let me at my tender age. I did run @ COALS a couple of times, again, I seem to think I rode sitting crosslegged on a flat car (probably the TSME one) behind the Hudson. I should note, we had no tender for the Hudson, so a 1 gal container went on the riding car until the boiler was full, then we'd run for ~20 min with no feedwater. Throttle was a beautiful ball valve mounted on top of the boiler at the cab end, with screw reverse (& 40 TPI...). A single steam line supplied steam through the boiler, with 7/16 tube (after 1987?) to a 1/4" OD superheater/steam drier that passed through one of the tubes. (boiler was all tube, no flue design). Part of that was very deliberate- otherwise, I'd have exceeded the speed of straight, and ended up in a field somewhere.
- Also, in an attempt to even the field out a little bit, the driving car had a huge amount of weight which could be added/removed. Big engines got the high drag/heavyweight version...