COALS discusses all aspects of Live Steaming in Australia. Anyone is welcome to take part, there are threads of interest to modellers and prototype fanatics alike. Presently the list generates around 10 to 30 messages per day and has a very good signal to noise ratio. At any one time there are about 100 members on the list, predominantly Australians. If you have steam questions, this is the place to be. Better yet, if you want to discuss any aspect of Australian Live Steam Modelling such as the current boiler codes, some of the people who wrote and maintain those codes are COALS members. You will also see many of the regular authors from AME (Australian Model Engineering) here.

You can subscribe by sending an e-mail message to This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. with a the word "subscribe" in the subject and nothing in the message body. The rest is automatic.

Welcome to the Conversations of Australian Live Steamers (COALS) List server. Anyone with an interest in live steam (locomotive, traction engine, stationary engine, pumps, etc) is welcome to join. Actually anyone at all can join, but you would be somewhat bored if you are not interested in live steam! I'm very proud to host this list now going on its fifth year as my contribution to steam preservation in Australia. I operate the list out of my own pocket for your enjoyment - so enjoy it :)

Ian Kirby deserves credit for the idea of this list.

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Disclaimer: Paul Pavlinovich provides the list server and bandwidth free of charge. The members of the list do NOT speak for Paul. Any opinions expressed on the list are those of the person expressing them. Paul takes no responsibility for the content of the list.

Mailing List - Nettiquite

Net Police

They are necessary evils and play an important role. Nobody likes to do it but everyone needs a punch in the arm sometimes and they do it for us. Don't shoot the messenger. Let them post in peace unless they take their role too seriously. Then approach them off-list with your concerns with their actions.

Off-topic postings

Use the phrase "Off-topic" in the subject line.

In the text, ask for all replies to be made directly to you, in other words: "off-list"

To all that reply, please reply off list

You are responsible for that "thread". If people start replying to the list and the thread in general starts consuming a lot of bandwidth, you are responsible for contacting the people privately and asking them to contact you and the other interested parties off list. Likewise, if the thread starts getting interesting and you think it would benefit most subscribers, I ask you to move back onto the list by contacting the original parties to the conversations, cc-ing the list, etc.

Grey area postings

Post away. The thread will run it's course usually without causing any great problems even if it is of limited interest. Also, the thread may wander into areas of genuine concern for everyone. I would hate to miss a great thread just because initially it was of borderline interest.

How to deal with a thread you do not like

If you don't like a thread, please use your delete key. If the intrusion and inconvenience of a thread is more than you can stand, please contact folks participating in the thread individually and off list.

Usually criticisms made to the list are greater evils, in my estimations, than any thread being discussed.

Formatting your message

Always include a subject line, if your reply to a message changes the subject then change the subject line.

Please include your return e-mail address, city, state and country in your .signature file (ie. at the end of every message).

Keep your posts close to the topic (of the list)

When replying, delete any material not relevant to your reply

Some last wordsPatience, tolerance and maturity are the watch words of any list. Remember there are many people subscribed and a divergence of what is considered relevant is to be expected.

Avoid posting "me to", "I'd like a copy too" and "right on" type messages to the list - reply off list

If you must flame someone, do it privately off list

Before pressing "Send", read over your note, consider if it is really interesting to the list members, you might also consider that your note will be kept in the archive for posterity.

Hard and fast rules

I run the list out of my own pocket, and attempt to minimise it's cost to me personally both monetary, and on my time. I have a family, and prefer to spend my non work hours with them. Every time a delivery to a list member fails, it generates mail I have to look at. While I'm happy to ignore the occasional delivery failure (after all it happens to all of us) - repeated failures will lead to the member in question being unsubscribed. I will try to warn the member for unsubscribing them, but no promises.

No attachments please

The COALS server has limited bandwidth

The COALS server has limited disk resources

The bandwidth of everyone who is forced to download the message instead of being able to delete it at the source

It is basically annoying to receive unsolicited attachments If you need to send a picture to the list members, please put it on a WWW page and mail the URL to the list. I can provide temporary space for this sort of thing on my server.Note that the list server will accept messages with attachments and send them to the list. 1st offense gets a warning, 2nd offense may lead to being banned from the list.

Thanks for listening, and lets have fun!