Blogging for TrainMasters TV

Barry Silverthorn and I had a lot of time to talk in the truck as we drove down to Scranton PA at the end of March to cover the 2015 Finescale Model Railroader Expo for TrainMasters TV… and at some point the conversation turned to blogging.

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I think one of the most important things a blogger can do is post regularly: If readers like what you’re doing, they look forward to new content. It keeps readers reading and encourages them to comment – and that’s valuable on a hobby blog like this one because I learn so much from the comments on my posts:

– I learn about Port Rowan and St. Williams.
– I learn about the Canadian National Railway.
– I learn about the 1950s in southern Ontario.
– I learn about S scale.

All of this combines to make me a better modeller. (And thank you, yet again, to those of you who contribute regularly! Your engagement with this blog is always appreciated.)

(I must admit that while I do a great job of posting to this blog, I’m not as good about maintaining the Achievable Layouts or Adventures in Live Steam blogs that I started. Writing entries for the Layout Design blog requires time to draw up plans and a lot of prototype research – something that I enjoy doing but that takes away from the research I need to conduct for my own layout. As for the other blog – there hasn’t been much of an adventure. I’m not the gardener my mother hoped I would be – and time to devote to my live steam interest always seems to take a back seat to Port Rowan, working my border collie Mocean on sheep, and other activities.)

Barry’s website, TrainMasters TV, also has a blog, but between shooting and editing stories for the show he’s finding he hasn’t had the time he would like to devote to keeping the blog updated. And as we discussed the problem while en route to Scranton, I realized I could help with that.

So, I’m going to be posting regularly to The TrainMasters TV Blog. This blog is open to everybody – one does not need to subscribe to TrainMasters TV in order to read it, although obviously I hope that you are subscribing. (And if you’re not, then perhaps something I write on the blog will encourage you to give it a trial run.)

My first post is about Streamliners at Spencer – a remarkable event that took place in North Carolina about a year ago. Barry produced a three-part report for TrainMasters TV on this gathering of vintage cab units – plus one streamlined steam locomotive. Knowing that some hobbyists would prefer a hard copy, that others do not have the bandwidth required to watch an HD video online, and that still others may enjoy seeing the event on a larger screen (or even in their home theatre), Streamliners at Spencer has now been reformatted as a documentary and will soon be available on DVD. Click on the image, below, to read more about this and find out how to pre-order:

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I have more posts in the pipeline, and plenty of ideas. Some will be related to stories that have been covered on TrainMasters TV in the past. Others will take readers behind-the-scenes, to shed light on what goes into making a professionally-produced show about our wonderful hobby. And while we’re not yet sure of the frequency, I’m hoping that as I get into the groove of writing for for the blog I’ll offer up one post per week at a minimum.

Enjoy if you visit, and I hope you’ll bookmark The TrainMasters TV Blog.

4 thoughts on “Blogging for TrainMasters TV

  1. I am not sure about blogging but I do a lot of posting to Facebook – 3 subjects are covered – restoration activity by the Dirty Hands Club of the Bytown Railway Society Inc., in Ottawa under the moniker “New Life for an Old Coach”; pictures of the now embargoed Wakefield Steam Train as we seek to get it up and running (I was a spare list fireman for several years); and my hockey adventures (no title but it does chronicle the perils of elite midget hockey in eastern Ontario. Subject matter can be an issue and I am amazed at how you keep things rolling. The hockey is the simplest for me as every game is an adventure and railways can also be worked in as many of the communities we play in are/were served by rail once upon a time. I try to avoid making the Wakefield piece political while the “New Life” chronicles always have something new in them – restoring a railway car is not unlike modelling, it is just that you are in 12″ to a foot scale. I really appreciate what you do and your efforts have definitely helped to keep me consistent in the frequency and hopefully variety of my posts.

  2. Trevor, I agree that a blog has to be regularly updated, though I am curious to know how many of those who regularly read or post have signed up for either RSS or email? I know I haven’t, but then I do drop by about once a week!
    Although there might not be anything directly relevant to me, often the article will give me inspiration.
    I hope the TrainMasters TV blog doesn’t dilute this?

    • Hi Brian:
      Good questions. I can’t speak to the number of RSS users as that system doesn’t generate data for my blog. As for email subscribers, I’m pleasantly surprised that I have well over 200 people following my posts by email.
      Is there a reason you don’t use one of these methods to subscribe? I’m a huge fan of RSS since I never have to remember to visit favourite blogs – the reader does that for me and says, “Hey – here’s a new article for you to read”…
      No – the TMTV blog will not dilute this one – not any more than my professional life as a writer does. It’ll cover different topics – and I’ll cross-post or link to anything that is relevant to my layout.

      • Trevor, probably because I drop by / read, if updated, your blog at the same time as several others, a sort of Blog Fest, whereas I read emails as and when and then delete when they have been actioned, so the email may be there for a week or so!

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