I’m already thinking Christmastime … on the rails …

Is it wrong that I’m already planning my shooting locations for 2019?

No.  No, it’s not wrong.  It’s called preparation and everybody deal with it.

For the past few weeks, I’ve scouted around for locations for possible new shots and new photographic techniques in capturing the magnificent Canadian Pacific Holiday Train as it chugs through New York.

Two years ago, I photographed the train as it arrived in Mechanicville for its annual Christmas concert.  What a wonderful time.

Holiday Train concert 2017. Nikon Df camera, Irix 15mm f/2.4 lens. Photo (c) Chuck Miller, all rights reserved.

And last year, I caught the train’s magnificent light show as the rolling stock rolled across the Cohoes-Waterford Bridge.

CP Holiday Train over Cohoes-Waterford Bridge 2018 2. Nikon Df camerar, Nikkor 28mm f/2.8 lens. Photo (c) 2018 Chuck Miller, all rights reserved.

Of course I want my 2019 shooting to stand out.  I’ve seen incredible CP Holiday Train photos that were taken throughout North America.  They’re fantastic, they’re breathtaking, and I want the same.

And the 30-minute holiday concerts – for which the price of admission is a donation of food or cash to your local food pantry – is just the ribbon on a Christmas bow.  For example, here’s the train arriving – and a concert taking place – at the CP Holiday Train’s stop in Columbus, Wisconsin.

Man, I’m getting the feels just watching this now.

But during my research for the upcoming 2019 train tour, I discovered something.

There’s actually a Canadian Pacific Holiday Train set for model train enthusiasts.  Or at least there was one, it was manufactured in 2017 by the model train company MTH.  It had a locomotive, four boxcars that spelled out “Canadian – Pacific – Holiday – Train”, and there was even a stage boxcar that could open and close its side panel.

Oh man I would LOVE this.

If it weren’t for the fact that MTH doesn’t make this any more …

If it weren’t for the fact that the stage car sells on the secondary market for $99-$150 by itself …

Or that the locomotive can run upwards of $600 or more.  Not to mention at least $300 for the boxcars.

And once you have the train … then you must purchase track.  And this is O-gauge track, the same type of track used by Lionel.  That’s the big track.  And I live in an apartment.

So I guess my wish fulfillment for the model train is to watch YouTube videos and maybe catch a glimpse of it at the Capital District Train Show in December.

But I have bigger goals.  I want to capture the best possible photos of the train, of the concert, of the people at the concert, all of this for 2019.

I want these pictures to be so completely awesome, that I can enter them in Competition Season 2020 and have them earn enough colored ribbons to decorate a Christmas tree.

And if i can’t get the train itself – at least not a model railroad version of it – maybe if Santa can help me get a commemorative Canadian Pacific Holiday Train tuque for Christmas?  Something to keep my cold head as warm as toast in the winter?  Something that looks completely awesome when I’m out photographing in the snows?

Don’t mind me … this is the kind of stuff that truly excites me.  You can have your pumpkin spice lattes and Halloween decorations in September …

I’ll be busy while you’re doing all that. 🙂