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American Invasion 2008 - Pictures

1981 Views 8 Replies 7 Participants Last post by  rgolding

What a great trip. This is my 5th visit to run in Canada and it was absolutely THE best!

We arrived at the Northland Railroad (Doug Matheson's) on Thursday afternoon.

It wasn't long until a discussion arose. Here, Ric, Gaétan, Peter, and Doug discuss something very monumental. ;)

I did get a chance to run the PNG drop bottom gondolas...along with the original from Don Winter.

Doug has done a lot of work on his railroad since our last visit. It's always fun to see the changes and run my train around while we renewed old acquaintances.

That evening we all sat down for some wine followed by a great barbecue. Gaétan had fun playing with the electric wine opener, though it did take him some time to master.
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Friday dawned rather cloudy, but we were prepared for our first operating session.

Ken and I helped to set out the cars in preparation for the session. (Ken was still not happy about missing the Eastern NG trip. ;) ) All of the cars are stored in color coded trays to make it easier to place them in the correct location.

Gord Bellamy was preparing to run Nelson Yard. Bill Scobie and Doug discuss trains in the background.

Jean was engineer and I was the conduction for train 302/312. This is a way freight out of Fir Grove headed to Nelson Yard. 302 terminates there and changes to 312 for the run to Craig Leigh. Here we pull in to Nelson Yard, running light.

We had some neat challenges, such as doing some local moves involving facing points. Lots of fun!

After lunch, we headed over to Dave McCurdy's. Again, a lot has changed since we visited last year. I got a chance to run my Mogul around the point to point layout. It's over 6 scale miles of track in 1:20...a bit more in 1:22!

Dinner was back at Fred's. It was a great time to socialize and solve our railroad problems. ;) That evening, a bunch of us headed over to Tom Hood's indoor HO layout. It has some wonderful scenery and great operations.
Here' Jean looks over the freight yard as Tom tells Ric how to move the train out of the roundhouse.

Later, Ric conducted a train around the layout as Nicole looked on.
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Saturday is the "traditional" day for operation and we were pleased to see clear skies and cooler temperatures.

There was some time for a bit of chatting before we got going.

The operating crews were attentive to Doug's briefing before we got started. From left to right, (and excusing spelling!) that's Metin, Doug Hayes, Fred Mills, Ralph Dipple, Jan Golding, and Nicole Charette.

Once again, Jean and I ran train 302/312. We had some interesting match-ups as we all seemed to arrive at Ironwood Junction at the same time. Both Ken and Nicole are waiting for permission to move from the dispatcher.

After lunch, Ric talked the hosts into yet another operating session. We decided to stick with 302/312. I was pleasantly surprised to see how operations is different each time, even though we were running the same train. This time, it seemed it was busier at Spruce.

Here, Jan had everyone pull into a siding so she could run the high priority private car on to it's destination. Meanwhile, Ken tries to finish some switching before he has to clear the main to let Jan's train go by.

Later, Jean and I took a thru freight, (455?) and had a totally different experience. Lots of fun running all the trains.

For supper, we had 4 different chili dishes, along with some venison and other goodies. What a great time!

While it seems that every Invasion is better than the next, this one seemed to me to be the best of all. We got to run LOTS of trains and we had plenty of time to socialize. We missed those that didn't attend, but hope that next year brings them back. I think I have about the fewest pictures this year; it seemed like we were always way too busy to even think about taking pictures.

Thanks to all who made this Invasion so much fun!
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It was truly a memorable weekend that went by in a blur ... I took a few pics on friday morning but havent unloaded my camera card yet. IOtherwise I was just totally absorbed in enjoying the ops sessions and catching up with old friends.

In brief ... we had some free running on the Northland and a barbeque on thursday afternoon and evening. Friday there was a formal ops session on the IPP&W in the morning and some good running at Dave McCurdy's massive RGS empire in the afternoon before a t-storm sent us back to the IPP&W. In the evening I took several visitors to see Tom Hood's HO Canadian Northern - a truly huge railroad. Saturday there was a formal ops session in the morning and after lunch, Ric Golding instigated a second ops session for the afternoon. Evening saw a great chili dinner replete with all the side dishes one could ask for. Sunday for those still around we had an ops session on Bill Scobie's Sn3 railroad.

The Finger Lakes Live Steamers were represented by Roger Caiazza and John Spencer ... at least one live steamer took part in each of the three operating sessions and acquitted themselves remarkably well. My Accucraft shay for example ran a total of 2 km actual distance and was under steam for almost 12 hours of operation switching cars. i was wayyy too busy enjoying the fun to keep track of what others did.

Bruce did show the pics of the marvellous drop bottom gons he built from the PNG kits. The Northland took delivery from the Chandler Foundry and Carworks to go along with the Jackson and Burke drop bottom gon Bruce had built a few years back from a Don Winter kit.

The crowd this year was just a bit smaller than in the past - maybe the economy has slowed the travel for some - but we still had a very respectable showing ... and the social activities were as always great fun. I agree with Bruce - a wonderful weekend and the best Invasion yet!

Already the plans are afoot for next years Invasion to be held commencing the 3rd friday in July.

Regards ... Doug
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Wonderful! I got my "operation fix". Sounds like I just got out of the hospital. hehehe!

Thanks Bruce for the wonderful pictures. I can see how it would be difficult to take much time out for photography on so many grand operating layouts. At least now I understand where your operating prowess comes from. It's called "Jean"! :)
Thanks for the photos and the report , looks like a wonderful time at some great places .
Yes, thanks for a wonderful report and especially for the great pics!
You guy are aware that there are international laws baning too much fun. From the pictures It is quite apperant that you have just about broken the laws on too much fun.

Thanks for the great views of the layouts. YOu have much to be proud of.
I've posted more pictures from "the Invasion" over at -

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