Friday, September 20, 2019

Beachburg Sub Milepost 300

Earlier this year, I very quietly passed the six-year mark, or at least the sixth anniversary of my first post on the Beachburg Sub blog. To be honest, the six-year mark came at a time when I was contending with a busy household, ballet lessons, swimming lessons, volunteer commitments, a basement that needed to be gutted and rebuilt as well as a relentless cold snap that prevented any time trackside.

I recall only thinking of the sixth anniversary (April 30, 2013 was the first post) a few weeks after I had actually passed the mark. Since that time, my basement has been rebuilt and the demands on my time have eased up a little bit. That’s when it hit me that I was approaching another milestone, or milepost, perhaps.

I was nearing my 300th post.

This here is Milepost 300.

I am proud of the fact that I’ve stuck with it as long as I have, considering how challenging it is to produce a blog from a city with so little in the way of railway fodder to offer. Over the years, I’ve learned a lot and managed to make the most of what little there is to see in Ottawa. But, that deficiency has also served me well as it has allowed me to engage in some interesting online discussion with other enthusiasts about railway policy, particularly at the local level (spoiler alert for any newcomer to this blog: local railway policy is a disaster).

I’ve given a lot of thought over the last year and a bit about this blog. I’ve thought about what I want to do with it and what stories I’d like to tell still. At times, I wondered if the well was running dry. As you might have guessed if you’ve been here before, I’m not content to just share photos of trains I’ve caught trackside. I like to tell stories and share information about railways as well. I’m not terribly well versed on the operational side (obviously), but I really enjoy delving into the history of railways. In fact, I’d like to start looking for a few historic topics to explore in new posts, since I haven’t done a lot of those recently.

I’ve been fortunate this summer that I have caught more trackside action than I did in all of 2018. I suppose it’s a glass half full situation. I am spending more time sharing recent trackside experiences and less time digging into some historic topics. When one well begins to run a bit dry, the other one always seems to have something fresh to offer.

It seems as though whenever I feel I’m running out of material or interesting things to share, something always comes along.

The end result of these musings is not really a result at all. I don’t know how long I will continue this blog and I like that I don’t know. I want to keep this project open-ended. I’ll do it as long as I enjoy it and I feel I have something worthwhile to share. I’ve had this approach since Day One. I have kept to a weekly schedule through much of these last six years, although I did have to ease my pace last year given all the things I mentioned above. I even took a small sabbatical this summer while I was on vacation in Southwestern Ontario, which allowed me to do a lot of railfanning and form the basis for about three months worth of posts.

So, as I pass MP300, let me just say thank you to everyone who stops by to read, comment, offer tips and sometimes even submit guest content (that list is quite large, so I won't mention everyone). I’m not really sure that a blog is a terribly relevant entity on the interwebs these days, but I like this blog and I enjoy sharing what little I have to offer with fellow enthusiasts.

Okay, enough navel gazing. As they say en francais, on-y va. Let’s go.



Canadian Train Geek said...

Congratulations on post #300 and a belated "happy anniversary"! I really enjoy your perspective on rail matters around the capital region, and your railfan stories. Keep doing it as long as you enjoy it!

Keith Boardman said...

There are many reasons to write, question your motives, and continue.

I started writing (something I had wanted to do for a while) about 6 years ago, and I'm coming up on my 150th story. Not sure where it will go, but positive feedback keeps me going, and I have no clue when/if it will come to an end.

Congrats on your achievement!

Eric said...

Keep on blogging one day longer than you think you should, Michael!

Michael said...

Thanks, gentlemen. I am still enjoying this and having fun. Let's keep rolling.

Keith -- congratulations on your writing. I've been writing for years as well (fiction mainly) and absolutely love it. Keep going...

Adam A said...

Congratulations on 6 years and MP300! I stumbled onto "The Beachburg Sub" about 2 years ago and have thoroughly enjoyed reading your posts and stories about Ottawa and beyond! I especially like the posts about local topics like the Arnprior local. It is hard to find information about the on goings of Ottawa's receding freight activity and it is important to document it while it is still here.

Keep up the good work.


MrBaz said...

Congratulations and here's to many more!

AJ said...

Congrats bud. It's a huge accomplishment and I think you serve a great little dedicated community of use local rail fans. I finally started a podcast (which admittedly is very very lousy as you'd expect from a rookie) so I can appreciate the effort, time and work that goes into what your doing here. It's definitely not easy, but just the same, it is very much appreciated. You are certainly carrying the railfanning torch for Eastern Ontario!
300 was great, but I am eager to see what the next 300 have in store.


Michael said...

Thanks, guys!