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COSHOCTON -- The sounds of clickety-clack resonate from southern Coschocton County as locomotives and rail cars from the Mill Creek Central Railroad makes their way along its miles of track.
Set within the hills just west of Coshocton on County Road 6, trains travel into rail yards, over trestles spanning small ravines, around hillsides and through woods and fields. These trains pull a wide variety of cars from boxcars and coal cars to tankers and passenger cars.
And if all that's not enough, an awesome operational round house allows for engines, with names such as Chesapeake and Ohio, Baltimore and Ohio, and Pennsylvania, to enter, spin, and be sent out on another line.
This unique railway is not your average railroad however. This is one that model railroad enthusiasts can actually ride upon.
Dick McCloy, owner of the MCCR, may be a little loco -- motive, that is, about his hobby gone wild. He began building his 1/8 scale railroad layout in 1997 laying the first track two years later.
Dick said what started out as a hobby has turned into an adventure of sorts. With five miles of main line track, multiple trestles, two tunnels and more sidings than one can count, the 34 acres on which this massive train layout sits is straight out of a model railroaders dream.
McCloy said, "I've liked trains since I was a kid. I think my first words were 'choo choo.'"
Not only does he really enjoy the trains but its the people associated with it, too. "I enjoy all the people who come by and watch them having fun. It's meeting all the people that matter."
Upkeep on this huge layout takes many hours of man power for the constant mowing, trimming trees and brush, and working on the rails. McCloy said he has a number of volunteers that come out and help on a regular basis with those chores.
Clee Streets is one of those who likes to assist. "Streets said, "I've always been into trains. My grandfather worked for the Pennsylvania Railroad. I like it because it keeps me busy."
Locomotives, whether steam powered from coal, propane, gasoline or electric powered, pull from the main station and are able to travel on a number of routes. Most take about an hour to make a complete run on the main line depending on the speed of the train.
The engineers control the engines by remote control or manual while riding on a car behind it. Behind him -- the passengers riding on specially designed cars.
Before anyone goes out and prepares to buy a train, just know that this hobby comes with a hefty price. The cost of an engine is usually around $20,000 and around $1,000 per car.
This railway is a privately owned route and is not open to the public, only other model railroaders.