Thursday, April 30, 2015

Reflections on two years

Today marks the second anniversary of this blog. I was debating whether to mark the occasion, since it's not terribly important in the grand scheme of things. However, it's an accomplishment nonetheless. I think about how much I have learned through my interaction with this blog's readers and it makes me proud to know how much I have learned. I'm also proud that I stuck with it and have produced something that people seem to enjoy.

When I started this blog two years ago, I had a handful of old photos from the 1990s and little else, except a notion that I wanted to write about my love of railroading. I didn't know what type of stories these old photos told. Like this one below. At first glance, I didn't see a whole lot. But, as I continued writing, I discovered there is no shortage of topics to discuss. The beauty of a blog is that you can talk about whatever you want, no matter how trivial, and you'll still likely find a crowd that appreciates the same things.

GP9 1621 in Windsor, Ont. in 1991. A caboose is visible behind the old geep.

Since beginning with this first post, a number of things have changed. I now have a collection of photos, taken by me and a few contributors, that numbers close to 2000 images. I began this blog quietly, not really sharing it with many people, including my family. I was content just to write and let people find it for themselves. Since those first few weeks, I have been able to connect with a number of bloggers (see the side bar for great train blogs) and I have even been able to share my passion with my family. I am now able to share shots taken by my brother, my sister and even my wife. The passion is definitely spreading. Well, maybe not my wife.

Here's a great shot my brother took in Sarnia in March of a BC Rail locomotive

Here's a shot my wife took from the passenger seat of our car on Highway 401 on Dec. 20, 2014. She caught the head end of an eastbound container train near Kingston. I was driving at the time.

Also, I now bring my daughter along with me each Sunday morning on visits to the Smiths Falls Subdivision, where we watch a morning Via Rail train go by and hope to catch a glimpse of CN 589. Just last week, my family welcomed our second daughter. I hope she likes trains as much as my first daughter seems to at the moment. My two-year-old's only complaint when I took her trackside this past Sunday was that there was only one train to see!

Via corridor train approaches the Moodie Drive crossing on April 26, 2015. This is one of the best shots I have ever taken in this location. Great cloud cover, good framing and great colours shining through, thanks to the conditions.

I am grateful to my fellow bloggers and my growing list of contributors that have really made this blog into what it is today. There have been times over the two years where I wondered whether I told all the stories I wanted to tell and have exhausted the goodwill of my readers. But my readers and blogging friends have reassured me that, together, we've created something good with this blog. Make no mistake, every time you read this, comment on a topic or reach out to me via email, you are contributing to this blog's success.

The rail removal machines at Torbolton Ridge Road in November 2014.

So, thanks to all, from blogging friends to commenters to contributors. You have ensured that a railway blog can survive in Ottawa. I will continue to blog about railroading's past and future like I have for two years. The Beachburg Subdivision may physically be gone (mostly), but it's not gone. Not here. Not really.


Eric said...

Great post for a significant milestone, Michael. Congratulations! Don't worry too much about writing for your readers. Write a little selfishly. Others will follow as they have - they will share some if not all of your specific interests.

It is sad that Ottawa has lost much of what it had, but you are finding lots to write about regardless.

Great to hear about your interest going family-viral. Some viruses mutate and spread more slowly and deliberately!

I'm proud to have Trackside Treasure in your sidebar. Keep up the good work.

Most importantly, congratulations on the arrival of your second daughter. A true gift!


Canadian Train Geek said...

Congratulations on your two year anniversary! And even more congratulations on your new daughter.. wonderful.

Michael said...

Many thanks, Eric and Steve.

David said...

I don't comment often, but always read your blog posts. Keep up the good work, and congratulations on two years, and the second daughter!


AJ said...

Wow two years already? Seems like I was one of those people who seemed to stumble by and find the block only a month or two ago. Congrats on the milestone and the addition to your family as well!

Michael said...

Thanks David and AJ. I'm not big on victory laps, so I'm looking forward to continuing on and keeping the conversation going.

Eric said...

I would take some time to savour the victory, Michael:)

Two things I`ve noticed about blogs:

1. As AJ noted, sometimes I stumble across a blog or website that I wish I`d stumbled across long before.

2. Many blogs have no posts for 5 months, then: `Well, it looks like I haven`t posted anything in a while`which always gives me a queasy feeling.

I`m not saying we have to blog every week, day or several times daily, but...a healthy blog is a consistent blog. This in turn encourages readership, and recognizing life`s twists and turns, should keep a blogger invigorated.

Savour the victory and press on, Michael! Keep up the good work! Oh, and no pressure.


Michael said...

Thanks again Eric. I do enjoy looking back. But, that's the history nerd in me.