MAX FAQs has been around for two years now, and just about everything I said this time last year still applies. I still like sharing rail-related information and putting it out there for people who want to learn more about MAX at TriMet or light rail in general. As I’ve said before, I figure that if you’re taking the time to read about the trains and learn how the system works, you’re not going to be that person who does something stupid around them. So I do what I can to help show people a different perspective than the public generally sees, and it’s really nice in turn to see that a lot of people are interested in the topic. Everybody wins!
I still skim Twitter for rail-related questions/complaints, and although MAX FAQs is not an official TriMet publication, it’s handy having a resource to link to when some of the common questions are asked (e.g. “Why is TriMet running a single-car train during rush hour?” or “When does MAX stop running?“). Some other questions that people ask don’t have answers in posts here (yet), but on the whole Twitter has been a great place for MAX questions and conversations, both the serious and the silly.
It’s been neat seeing where MAX FAQs is turning up online: someone cited my post about track layouts as a reference on Wikipedia; over at Reddit in a thread about the multi-vehicle accident a few nights ago that didn’t involve MAX trains but blocked the right of way, someone said they had just been reading a MAX blog about the dangers of inattentive people around trains. And in the top searches of the past year, people are now finding my blog by name! “max faqs” and “maxfaqs” were at the top of the list of the most frequent search engine terms that brought people here, along with “pantograph“, “automatic train stop” and amusingly enough, “service horses“.
Overall it has been a good year. Year 1 had been a lot of basic intro-level stuff (and if you’re new to the blog or rail, a lot of those things like the types of trains or all the different signals are also linked at the top of the blog as a good starting point for things that come up in more recent posts). In the past year I built on a lot of those original posts for more detailed Q&As (the signals around Rose Quarter, how trains know where to go, etc). And yes, I’ve also taken to writing about the budget issues including the ongoing contract saga between TriMet and ATU 757. It’s not directly train related, but similar to the rail stuff, I think it’s a perspective that the public should be able to see. That topic also led to a fantastic guest post by a contributing author to MAX FAQs (and like I said last year, I didn’t set out with the intent for this to be a one-man show, so the input and thoughts of other operators, controllers, supervisors, managers, etc that read here are also welcome).
Now some site stats, to compare with next year:
- 65,724 site visits
- In all of March 2010 I had 349 visits, which is less than I got on just March 1 of this year.
- 156 posts (up from 100 – my posting rate apparently dropped significantly over this past year)
- I’ve uploaded 888 images
- 784 comments (up from 375)
- 2451 spam comments (up from 572). Some of them are pretty fantastic, even as far as spam goes:
This has nothing to do with storage tracks. And yet, it’s not like what they said is inaccurate…
Rules, train orders, and more gets more spam than any other post, no idea why. I liked this one in particular because no one has ever described me as “Reasonably unusual” before, but I think it actually fits.
Anyway, thank you all for your interest, comments, and questions. Looking forward to the next year!