Observation 1: Much to my surprise, the Canadian National Beachburg Subdivision, from which this blog takes its name, is still standing. For how long? I suspect it will be gone by the end of this spring, but stranger things have happened. With it, the last remnants of a transcontinental rail line will disappear from the Ottawa Valley.
Observation 2: There's treasure everywhere. Even in Ottawa, I have found that it is possible to maintain a railway blog, provided you really, really scour around for photos. This is one photo I took this past weekend when I finally caught CN Local 589 on the Via Rail Smiths Falls Subdivision, headed toward Richmond. To catch this train on this track, you need to be at the right place at the right time twice a week, since this is twice-weekly out to Richmond. More on this to come.
Observation 3: Throwing away film is perhaps the dumbest thing I have ever done. The next dumbest thing is throwing away old prints that I didn't deem to be interesting at one point. When it comes to railroading's past, everything is interesting, I'm finding. Sadly, this is a realization that came too late. This shot below, taken July 20, 1993, is one of a few rolling stock photos that I kept from my archives. I'm glad I did, but it only makes me pine for my shots of the Central Vermont and Burlington Northern rolling stock that were thrown out.
Observation 4: When life hands you lemons... I have tried over the last year to present a mix of photos that tells the stories of railroading in Ottawa as well as other locales in Ontario and occasionally elsewhere. Since the opportunities for train watching here at limited at best, it means you have to look for opportunities to get creative shots. This shot is one of a few that were taken on a very windy day in January. I've taken many shots at the central Via station, many of which I have not posted, but I do try and share the ones that are a little different or tell a story. Like this one.
Observation 5: This blogging thing is fun. I was a little reluctant to start blogging, since there are many knowledgeable people out there who know far more than me. I didn't want to create an uninformed blog that was scoffed at by the experts. This has made some posts tricky, due to the limits of my knowledge. But, thanks to a very forgiving and supportive community out there, I have learned a lot and I hope to have returned the favour a bit. The shot below is of me at the Canada Museum of Science and Technology next to CN's Northern steam locomotive 6400.
So, those are just a few thoughts from the past year. The Beachburg Sub thanks all its readers for their support over the initial year, especially those who took the time to leave messages or to educate me when I was a little off the mark. Over the last few weeks, I have collected a fair bit of material that will begin my second year with a bang. All Aboard for the second year!