Central Ontario Association of Live Steamers

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Steve Bratina writes:

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.

James Powell writes

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...