For years, the Ottawa Valley Garden Railway Society has hosted a series of operations sessions on a weekend in July.
It started with Ken Brunt from Pennsylvania coming up to visit and operate on Fred Mills’ Ironwood Peter’s Pond and Western Railroad. While the IPP&W hosts regular operating sessions each weekend during the warmer weather, this has become an annual event that is now referred to as the American Invasion -
When I read about this on the forums, the 2004 session sounded like it had been a great time and I resolved to find out more about it. In September 2004, Jean and I visited Doug & Barb Matheson in Manotick. While there, we not only got a great tour of Ottawa, but we were also able to attend one of the weekend operating sessions on the IPP&W. This was the first time I had ever operated in any scale and I was hooked.
Since that time, we have made it a point to attend each year.
American Invasion 2005
Our first “American Invasion”. This event started about five or six years ago with a visit by Ken Brunt from Pennsylvania. Since that time it has grown every year, and attracts a number of Americans.
American Invasion 2006
This year was our second Invasion, but it’s been going on for over 5 years. It starts with a “free run” session on Friday on Fred Mills’ IPP&W. This is a chance to run your own train, but you’re on your own, as there is no dispatcher.
American Invasion 2007
Out 3rd Invasion; we feel like we are regulars now.
We add an extra day to our trip to stop by Doug's first.
American Invasion 2008
This was the year of operations. I know, it’s always about operations, but this year we operated a LOT.
American Invasion 2009
This is one of those events that just keeps getting better over the years. Perhaps it’s because we get to renew old acquaintances while making new ones. Or, maybe it’s the joy of operating on some great garden railroads.
American Invasion 2010
This year we went up early to run and work on Doug Matheson’s Northland Railroad.
American Invasion 2012
This year we decided to spend a few days in Quebec City before the Invasion, and we thoroughly enjoyed it.
We got to Doug’s place early afternoon on Thursday and set to running a few trains.
American Invasion 2013
This year’s Invasion started a bit differently. Instead of going to Doug’s we find ourselves starting at Fred’s on Thursday afternoon, and we also operate there on Friday and Saturday.
Sunday morning we head over to Doug to operate on his Northland Railroad. That afternoon we headed to the Finger Lake Live Steamers in New York.
American Invasion 2014
This year’s Invasion starts in Belleview Canada.
Next we head to Ottawa to run on Fred Mills' IPP&W on Friday and Saturday and over to Doug Matheson's on Sunday morning.
Jean has back surgery scheduled for the following Thursday, so we leave Canada on Sunday and head home.
American Invasion 2015
This year we're only doing the Ottawa session. It starts with standard gauge operations on Friday morning and is followed by narrow gauge operations on Saturday. On Sunday, we head over to Doug's for another standard gauge operations.
American Invasion 2016
We drive up Thursday and start with narrow gauge operations on Friday morning. Next we do standard gauge operations on Saturday. On Sunday, we head over to Doug's for another standard gauge operations. Sunday afternoon is spent driving down to visit the Finger Lakes Live Steamers. On Monday they have #1 gauge operations and ride on in two different scales.