Gallery Post 7: Irish Rail in November Light

Railway Preservation Society Ireland steam locomotive 461
Railway Preservation Society Ireland with 461crosses the Curragh, County Kildare 6 November 2012. Exposed with a Lumix LX3; ISO 80 f3.5 1/640 second in ‘A’ (aperture priority) mode.

Low sun, frosty damp weather combined with constantly changing conditions make for a challenging but potentially rewarding setting for railway photographs. Add in a classic steam locomotive and you have all the potential for stunning dramatic images. That was my experience on Irish Rail yesterday (Tuesday 6 November) . I’ve already posted a few images from Monday and Tuesday (5-6 November, see: Gallery Post 5 and Gallery Post 6), I’ve now had time to plow through many of the digital images I exposed yesterday. As previously mentioned, in addition to digital images made with my Lumix LX3 and Canon 7D, I also exposed some Fuji Provia 100F. Deciding to use film or digital is a spot decision; while I use past experience with these materials to gauge when film or digital may be best, when the action is under way, I’m often juggling cameras and exposing as quickly as I can. When working with steam locomotives, wafts of steam and smoke and changing light mean that each moment can product dramatic changes in composition. Not only is the exposure impossible to predict, but the whole scene can change quickly and fantastically. Reaction time is crucial.


Railway Preservation Society Ireland with 461, 2-6-0 built in 1923.
Boiler pressure on 461 is set at 160 lbs psi; safety valves lift at Portlaoise as the locomotive is being serviced in preparation for its return trip to Dublin. Initial reports indicate the locomotive enjoyed a very successful trial. Exposed with a Canon 7D; ISO 400, f8.0 at 1/1000 sec with 200mm f2.8 lens hand-held.
Irish Rail Rotem-built 22000-series Intercity Rail Car (ICR) makes a station stop at Portlaoise on 6 November 2012. RPSI 461 waits for a signal on the down road to complete running around its train. Exposed with a Canon 7D ISO 400, 200mm lens.

Railway Preservation Society Ireland’s locomotive 461 and Irish Rail’s IWT intermodal liners were my primary subjects, but I focused on all elements of the railway, photographing the regularly scheduled trains, stations, and infrastructure, as well as what ever else caught my eye.

Irish Rail locomotive driver Ken Fox. Exposed with Lumix LX3.


Irish Rail class 201 diesel and 22K ICRs.
On the afternoon of 6 November, Irish Rail class 201 (General Motors diesel built in London, Ontario) running light meets an Intercity Rail Car working uproad at milepost 40 east of Portarlington . RPSI 461 was just a few minutes behind the scheduled train on the up main—minutes that dragged like hours as the sun wafted in and out of clouds. Exposed with a Canon 7D with 200mm f2.8 lens.


RPSI 461 at milepost 40
Low sun backlights 461 and Cravens carriages working uproad near milepost 40 east of Portarlington. Dramatic light accentuates railway action. This was one of more than a half dozen exposures made in sequence with a Canon 7D with 200 mm lens.


Steam and smoke at milepost 40; RPSI 461 works toward Dublin on 6 November 2012. Exposed with a Canon 7D and 200 mm lens.


Irish Rail’s Portlaoise Station (formerly Great Southern & Western Railway’s Maryborough Station) catches the light on 6 November 2012). Exposed with Lumix LX3 at ISO 80 f4.0 1/500 second.


Railway Preservation Society Ireland 461.
Locomotive 461 crosses the fill near Cherryville Junction county Kildare on its way to Portlaoise from Inchicore on 6 November 2012. Exposed with a Canon 7D with 28-135mm lens.
Railway Preservation Society Ireland's 461 at Sallins overtaken by Dublin-Cork train.
The Railway Preservation Society Ireland trial train has taken the loop at Sallins as the 1100 Dublin-Cork passenger train (led by a 201 class General Motors diesel) overtakes it on 6 November 2012. Exposed with Canon 7D and 200mm lens.
Railway Preservation Society Ireland steam locomotive 461 at Portlaoise
RPSI 461 passes the station on Portlaoise on its run down from Dublin, 6 November 2012. Exposed with Canon 7D fitted with 28-135mm lens.

These are just a sampling of my results. I’ll be very curious to see my slides, but it will be weeks before these are processed.

Brian Solomon will be giving an illustrated talk titled “Ireland  from an American Perspective 1998-2003” at the Irish Railway Record Society’s Heuston Station premises in Dublin at 7:30pm on Thursday November 8, 2012. Admission free.

 Here’s the Apple iBookstore link to my iPad eBook ‘Dublin Unconquered’:

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One comment on “Gallery Post 7: Irish Rail in November Light

  1. Sean Solomon on said:

    Not easy to make a cloudy November day look good!