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The Story


Central Ohio Area Live Steamers


The purpose of the COALS organization is to continue the core goal of the owner of Mill Creek Central Railroad, Dick McCloy.  Dick's goal has been, from the start, to promote and educate those who have an interest in railroading and to provide them a place to achieve those interests.  

COALS, established in January of 2023, is seeking to become a non-profit corporation by submitting the necessary filings with state and federal agencies and shall be operated exclusively for educational and charitable purposes within the meaning of Section 501 (c)(3) of the Internal Revenue Code of 1986, or the corresponding section of any future Federal tax code.  COALS shall operate at all times on a non-profit basis.

COALS was formed to continue Dick's legacy by initially leasing and ultimately owning, operating and maintaining the Mill Creek Central Railroad, LLC. and its associated equipment, thus allowing the organization to foster a spirit of cooperation among railroaders, both live steam and those with more modern equipment.  COALS will gather and disseminate information pertaining to the design, construction, maintenance, and operation of live steam railroads, locomotives and railcars among the general public that are interested in railroading as well as the members of this and similar associations and hold meetings, meets, operating sessions, work sessions, seminars, conventions and provide public awareness and educational opportunities at stated times for the discussion of topics and the exchange of ideas relating to all forms of railroading, including but not limited to, live steam railroads, locomotives, railcars, infrastructure requirements, track layout design, construction, maintenance and signaling.

COALS prides itself on being a live steam friendly railroad but recognizes that the live steam railroading hobby has gradually changed from solely live steam models to a variety of different types of locomotive power, just like the full-size railroads.  Therefore, the term “live steam,”  shall include steam as well as contemporary forms of motive power. 

COALS is overseen by the Board of Directors who will be responsible for seeing that the organization meets its non-profit goals by providing vision and inspiration for future growth and development.  The day-to-day management will be done by Members who volunteer and that are approved by the Board of Directors to operate and maintain the facility.  The initial Members of the Board of Directors are as follows:


Dick McCloy - OH

Noelle Rogovin - OH

Rob Vanderkarr - MI

Mark Betlem - PA

Jim Henry - OH 

As of February 1, 2023, Central Ohio Area Live Steamers is incorporated in the state of Ohio as a not for profit corporation. The Board of Directors intends to complete all filings by the end of May 2024.  Membership will begin in the April 2024.  To see our Articles of Incorporation, Bylaws and other agency filings to date click on the links below.  As more information becomes available click on the "COALS" portion of this website.  Our intent is to have a complementary webpage on this site for this organization by the end of the year.  We look forward to building onto what Dick has so graciously created, into an organization that all model railroaders can be proud of.  We hope that you will join us as a Member of this organization soon.

Jim Henry

Central Ohio Area Live Steamers

Mill Creek Central Volunteer

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