Highball to 2024

That’s a wrap on 2023. Get on the train – the conductor’s giving a highball signal for 2024!

2023 was, as the Tori Amos song goes, a pretty good year. Not fantastic, not awful, just pretty good. Maybe better than 2022?

2023 Recap

I visited my oldest child in Kitchener-Waterloo in the late summer, and rode the GO Train and the UP Express back to the Toronto airport. I hope to visit him again this spring and do some more model railway stuff. He’s building an N scale layout and I’m excited at the progress to date. I was happy to help prepare the room when I was there.

My middle child is working part-time, and my youngest child is graduating from high school this spring. Gulp. Time flies.

My beloved cat Felix died in February. I still miss that guy.

A few weeks after Felix died, we adopted another cat, Max. He’s mostly black with a little white and he’s very affectionate, although he and our other cat Millie have never become friends. They mostly tolerate each other now with the occasional fight.

Millie is the floofy one and Max is the big guy on the right. The vet says that he has “blossomed” since we adopted him – a little too much. Max is very affectionate and likes to sleep on people.

My wife and I went to Germany in the late spring, landing in Frankfurt and taking the train to Nuremberg. We spent a few days there, then rented a car and drove around the Bavarian region, visiting castles, and ended up in Munich for a few days before we flew home. The castles were amazing.

I did photograph some trains – and trams – and I’ll write about those in due time.

In September, I joined Daryl Adair of Rail Travel Tours as a co-guide for a bus and train trip through western / northern Ontario. We covered a lot of kilometres, and from a railway perspective the highlights were riding the Agawa Canyon train and riding the VIA Rail RDCs from Sudbury to White River. Truly a rare and wonderful experience.

Later in the fall, I visited the Maritimes, briefly, catching CN 120 en route to Truro, and doing some night photography at the New Brunswick Railway Museum.

I was pleased to meet up with a few friends for an evening of CN and VIA Rail railfanning outside Winnipeg. I also ran into a few more railfans late in the year while photographing the CPKC Holiday Train.

I didn’t get trackside as much as I did before 2022, but hey, that’s OK! I am totally fine with “not feeling it” and doing other things at home, or going for a walk or a bike ride.

Here’s a little “top 9” image I made for Instagram and Facebook. It’s not based on actual “likes” but these are my favourites from 2023. You may recognize some of them.1saaa

By the Numbers

  • 89 posts
  • 161,000 page views here in 2022 (12.1K more than 2022)
  • 358 comments (thank you so much!)
  • 51 videos published on my YouTube channel
    • 189,700 views in 2023
    • 5,100 viewing hours in 2023
  • Three new & continued non-railway series of posts:

Plans for 2024

I have a few firm plans for 2024 and a few… let’s call them “aspirations“.

My wife and I are traveling to France in the spring, so there will be trains ridden, cathedrals visited, and (gluten-free) food consumed.

I will visit my son in Kitchener-Waterloo at least once in 2024, hopefully in the spring.

I will attend SUPERTRAIN in Calgary in 2024. I’ve never attended this giant model train show, so 2024 is the year.

I aspire to visit the Maritimes a couple of times in 2024.

Despite talking about doing a grain elevator tour of Saskatchewan for the past couple of years, that hasn’t happened. I aspire to photograph some Saskatchewan grain elevators – probably to and from SUPERTRAIN, assuming I drive there like I expect to.

Most of all, I aspire to get outside, enjoy life, and maybe see some trains if I feel like it. No pressure and no FOMO.

2024 is going to be a great year. It’s off to a great start.

CN Sprague subdivision mile 137, January 1, 2024

6 thoughts on “Highball to 2024”

  1. There’s a really interesting a choice of words that I picked up on in the post, Steve. You said 2024 is going to be a great year. Then you said it’s already off to a good start. I think the key to everything is you picking up on positive information instead of wishing for positives. Not being a fan of positive thinking without facts to back it up, I applaud your choice of words. There should never be any pressure to feed to beast, as it were. We will enjoy whatever you feel like sharing.

  2. All very good stuff Steve, Keep it up WHEN the mood suits. I saw you at the Truro show talking to Will L. I believe at the time. Didn’t want to interrupt so just kept looking over, then poof you were gone. Oh well maybe next. Steve east.

    • Hi Steve, sorry we didn’t meet up at the Truro show. Will and I had a pretty deep conversation as I recall. Hopefully my aspirations to head east this year will work out.

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