Since I brought this blog back in August 2021, I have been blessed with an abundance of material to share, which was made easier by the fact that I have slowed my pace to one post every other week. This means that I posted 24 times last year. That didn't seem like enough.
Those who have been following this blog since the beginning know that I maintained a weekly post pace for years, until the pandemic hit in 2020, when things became different. Personally, I found that I was running short on material and my posts were not up to my personal standards. I like to include elements of railfanning, a little bit of railway technical knowledge, some history, lots of storytelling and some big-picture commentary. I found I was not hitting many of those goals in my posts, so I parked the blog, not knowing if I wanted to resume what I was doing.
I found that I had begun to rediscover my passion for sharing railway stories in August 2021, although I was wary of falling into the same trap of overpromising and underdelivering. That said, I now find myself in the position of having at least a half year's worth of posts in planning or production, which means I am creating a backlog. That is not a huge problem to have, until such time as when some of the posts cease to be fresh. I know I have a few posts that need significant updating.
Chatham, Ontario Via Rail station, March 2022. Expect to see a post about this railway town.
My solution this year is to post three times each month. I am aiming to post 10 days apart. That means you will see new content on the 1st, 10th and 20th of each month, with a gap a little bit longer at the end of each month.
With this change of pace, I am going to continue developing content that is more far-reaching than ever. In the past, I have explored the various elements in a single railway photograph. I did the same thing earlier this year when I shared the various elements of two photographs I took of boxcars in Ogdensburg, New York. When I say far-reaching, I mean that I aim to explore more than just the nuts-and-bolts of where I shot a certain train, its number, what type of engine was pulling the consist and in which direction it was travelling. These are all elements I have included in the past, but it doesn't interest me as much as the intangibles of railroading. I thrive on my family railway stories, the challenges of getting shots in tight spaces and what railroading means to people. I find that sometimes railfanning becomes tiresome to me when it becomes more about the technical aspects rather than the intangibles.
We all remember the thrill trains gave us as kids, I assume. I want to keep that spirit alive in my posts. I have a hard time understanding when people count axles on a train, for example. I see that a fair bit and I find it a bit mystifying to be honest. That's not a critique, by the way. If that is what people thrive on, that's great. You just won't find that level of detail here.
I will never profess to be the best photographer. You can visit any number of other blogs to see more proficient imagery and more informed technical information about railways. But for me, the stories will continue to be the main emphasis of my writing. I think it's just as important to show shots that didn't quite turn out and explain why.
I will try to maintain a strong focus on Eastern Ontario, but given its limitations, I will continue to branch out whenever I can and tell railway stories from wherever I happen to be.
All this to say, this blog will continue to evolve. I know that, since my hiatus, a large chunk of my readership has scattered, many to Facebook. I see some people slowly coming back, which is exciting to see. However, I am aware that blogs aren't what they used to be and it seems as if the trend toward railfans clustering on social media rather than on blogs will continue. That's okay. To each, their own.
I will continue doing my thing here as honestly and actively as I can. I thank everyone for continuing to visit. Please feel free to make suggestions for content you'd like me to cover or pass along any information or images you'd like to share.
hammond.michael77 AT gmail dot com.