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2011 American Invasion

The 2011 American Invasion of Ottawa was a tremendous success. Although the weather was hot, everyone enjoyed themselves running trains, chatting with friends, and relaxing during the lunch and supper breaks.

Day 1

The “Invasion” started on Thursday, July 14th at Doug Matheson’s, Northland Garden Railroad. The railway is nestled in a garden growing in the shade of a group of pine trees. Here the host poses with his Shay.


Jan Golding of Carlyle, Illinois is operating her Mogal and custom coach.


A live steam Shay is crossing the steel truss bridges which Doug and his sons built.


A big, bold, and beautiful K27 belonging to Ken Brunt of Pennsylvania. Equally impressive was the quality of sound from this locomotive.


Gaetan and Nicole Charette from Montreal enjoying the evening meal at Doug and Barbara’s with OVGRS members Lela Lyon and Stu Moxley.


Ric Golding is relaxing after his long trip north and grilling supper.


Day 2

On Friday, July 15th the action switched to Fred Mill’s welcomes everyone to the Ironwood, Peter’s Pond and Western Railway and its branch line partner the Rat Portage and Mattawa Railway. These railways are the home base for the Ottawa Valley GRS.


Jim and Sue Henrichs of the Finger Lakes Live Steamers, and Ken Brunt our original visitor back in ’98, enjoy a jovial moment together.


Yardmaster Ric Golding and a young hogger are assembling trains in the Craig Leigh Freight Yard.


Don Howard’s new, Live Steam, Mason Bogey by Accucraft.


Roger Caiazza of the Finger Lakes Live Steamers is using a GP-9 to assemble a train in Dipple Yard, formerly Firgrove Yard. The area has been renamed to honour its ailing yardmaster Ralph Dipple.


John Spencer of the Finger Lakes Live Steamers is using a GP38-2 for his switching assignments in the re-built yard at Bell. Farther down the yard in the sun is his conductor, OVGRS member Colin Churcher.


Behind John is OVGRS member Moe Coté operating a GP-40 for his switching assignments at Glen Hammond.

Later in the day after the standard gauge operation were complete, people took advantage of the break in action with a “run what brung” session.

Don Howard with his live steamer rounding the bend at Lily.


A young engineer in Craig Leigh with an EBT ten wheeler.


John and Linda Spencer in Spruce with an S-4 switcher hauling a train of open cars filled with candy.


Day 3

Saturday, July 15th was another hot day with narrow gauge operations planned for the morning and afternoon.

Ric and Jan Golding are posing in front of their namesake Golding Grains.


Roger Caiazza and John Spencer are preparing trains in Dipple Yard.


A Bumblebee steamer rumbling through the truss bridge just after Lily.


Jim and Sue Henrichs are operating at Mount St. Helens.


A group photo taken after lunch on Saturday of most of the happy attendees.


The afternoon was a “run what you brung” session.

Ric Golding assembling passenger trains in Craig Leigh.


Lots of motive power in the service facility at Craig Leigh.


A family from Montreal dropped in to view the railway.


After some brief instructions, the kids were off running a train around the railway.


As it was an extremely hot day, Lela and I joined others at Mike and Lorraine Charlesbois’ down the street for a dip in their pool.

That evening an elaborate supper featuring grilled chicken and pork steaks served by Ric and Jan Golding topped the weekend off. It was very late before the last members and guests reluctantly called it a night. And so ends another American Invasion of Ottawa, but the attendees are already looking forward to next year’s event.

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