It’s time for the traditional year-end roundup post. So. 2020. How was that?
Well, you know. We who survived the pandemic lived through it, so there’s no need to belabour the issue. Remember the fallen, honour the front line workers who fought for us, and move on to bigger and better things. I have high hopes for 2021.
I’m grateful that I work from home and I was able to continue working with no real difference in my work habits, except that I didn’t travel for work at all in 2020.
I’m grateful that my wife and kids are healthy, and so are my mom, and my sisters, and my in-laws. Very grateful.
For the remainder of this post, I’m going to use the same section headers as I did in my 2019 roundup post. It should be amusing to see what I planned… and whether I accomplished any of it.
I didn’t travel out of province in 2020, but I did see lot of grain elevators in Manitoba. I photographed Arborg, Arden, Beasejour, Binscarth, Brookdale, Brunkild, Culross, Domain, Dufresne, Dugald, Dundonald, Elie, Elm Creek, Fannystelle, Fredensthal West, Gladstone, Glenlea, Harte, Helston, Homewood, Inglis, La Salle, Mollard, Morris, Niverville, Oakburn, Oakville, Oberon, Rathwell, Rivers, Rossburn, Rosser, Russell, Sandy Lake, Shoal Lake, Silverton, St Jean Baptiste, Starbuck, Ste Agathe, Steele Bridge, Tyndall, and Westroc. 42 locations – I guess that’s a lot.
- 108 posts
- 675 comments
- 11 book reviews
- 4 guest posts
- 1 “10 Questions” post
- 9,794 photos and videos kept (as of Dec 25)
The Trackside Photographer was on hiatus for much of the year, but is back and publishing again.
Tim Hayman’s Tim’s Train Travels were understandably abbreviated by the pandemic this year. I do enjoy his content – very long form – and I encourage you to check it out.
Eric G’s brother David Gagnon posts a lot of interesting material at Rolly Martin Country. My only complaint is that I wish he would allow comments.
George Dutka and occasional partners write frequently at White River Division. It’s a mix of model and 1:1 scale content, always interesting.
Oil-Electric has definitely slowed the pace of blogging in the past few years, but there’s lots of engaging content there to browse…
As I mentioned, I didn’t leave the province in 2020, but we did take a few trips. We took a family trip to Riding Mountain National Park in the summer, and also went a few hours north to Hecla. In both cases I negotiated a little grain elevator time for myself and that’s a lot of the reason why I visited 42 locations this year.
My other “trips” were day trips out of Winnipeg to see trains. I made a point of trying to see the CP military locomotives, and I finally “got” all five recently.
As I mentioned in my 2019 roundup, most of my posts are railfan posts – describing outings I’ve had. This year, I have written quite a few non railfan, non review posts, including:
- Soviet Military Toys
- Railway Coastal Museum Closing?!
- 3, 2, 1, Backup!
- Making a Difference
- Bus Spotting at Osborne Station
- Former Diesels of the TH&B
- VIA Rail in LEGO? and More on VIA Rail in LEGO
- The Chandler Subdivision in 2007
- Scaling Down
- A Photo Scanning Jig
- The Waterloo Central
- Criticism and Praise
- 2001 Census Cars
- Railfanning and Sexism
- Canada Day and Railway Porters
- What is “Enough”?
- Whispers of the Rock
- CP TEC Trains
- Rail Trains
I have been making a point of writing non railfan posts. I do enjoy writing the railfan posts, but I also enjoy writing about whatever I feel like… and in the past I’ve avoided writing posts that I think might be a little “off topic”. This year I decided to just go for it and so far the results have been very positive. Thank you.
This year, I’ve flown my drone 135 times for a total of 11 hours, 14 minutes and 44 seconds. The majority of the flights have been in the summer (naturally) but I flew it quite a bit in the fall, as it has been quite mild. Now that we are in full winter, the opportunities to fly the drone are quite limited.
My drone (DJI Mavic Air) has performed very well – except for one time. I was out near Elie, recording a container train, when I lost control of the drone. Fortunately, the “return to home” function worked perfectly and it came back to me and landed itself. I haven’t been able to figure out what went wrong and it’s worked perfectly since then. It’s a head scratcher!
Like 2019, I haven’t volunteered much in 2020. I worked for a few hours at the Prairie Dog Central one morning but that barely counts for anything.
I have been a moderately active board member of Transport Action Canada, and I continue to donate to a number of organizations in Canada and the US.
Plans for 2021
I think it’s clear that there won’t be any significant travel for me in at least the first six months of 2021. I’m hoping by the fall of 2021 that things will be “normal” enough to allow interprovincial or even international travel.
Given those assumptions, here are my plans for 2021:
- Photograph some grain elevators in Saskatchewan. I really want to see Dankin and Neidpath.
- Fly my drone over some bridges like the Uno trestle in western Manitoba.
- Get published in either TRAINS or Railfan & Railroad.
How was your train watching in 2020?