Ireland’s Bord na Mona at Lanesborough, October 2013—Part 3

Intense Activity is Followed by Quiet Periods.

Bord na Mona.
A pair of laden trains work a double track section near Lanesborough. Digital image exposed using a Canon EOS 7D with f2.8 200mm lens.
A close view of the second of two laden trains. Lumix LX3 photo.
A close view of the second of two laden trains. Lumix LX3 photo.

By virtue of its operations, Bord na Mona peat trains tend to operate in pairs. This suits both loading and switching, since trains often need to reverse into or out of temporary loading spurs.

So, when one train appears, its ‘buddy’ is usually close at hand. Sometimes these operate very closely, often only a few yards apart, other times they might separated by five or ten minutes.

Mid-morning, laden trains return toward Lanesborough while empty train prepare to head out to loading areas in the surrounding bogs. The result is that a parade of trains tend to converge on double track sections near the Lough Rea Power Station.

Once the loads are in and the empties have gone out, the line is again quiet, although maintenance trains will occasionally appear during these lulls. After lunch the whole sequence repeats.

Bord na Mona
A Bord na Mona gatekeeper closes the level crossing as a pair of laden trains approach. There are only a handful of manned crossings on the Bord na Mona network. Most crossings are operated by the train drivers. Lumix LX3 photo.
Bord na Mona
First of two trains crosses the highway at Derraghan More on the main road from Mullingar to Lanesborough. This is pretty and rarely visited part of Ireland. Lumix LX3 photo.
Bord na Mona
An older locomotive with working siderods handles at maintenance train near Lanesborough in October 2013. Lumix LX3 photo.
A panel train at a remote level crossing near Mount Dillon. Bord na Mona is like an enormous model railway and uses fixed track panel sections to reach peat harvesting areas. Lumix LX3 photo.
A panel train at a remote level crossing near Mount Dillon. Bord na Mona is like an enormous model railway and uses fixed track panel sections to reach peat harvesting areas. Lumix LX3 photo.

 

For the photographer the bursts of intense action is both opportunity and a challenge. Everything seems to happen at once, making for chances to catch two or more trains in a photo. However, if you are out of position, you could miss everything.

Headlights are often not illuminated in daytime and sometimes it is the sound of a train that gives you advanced notice.

The bogs are quiet enough. Listen for the sounds of Wagon Master locomotive roaring along with a syncopated clatter of wagons. The trains don’t travel very fast, but you need to be ready for when they arrive.

Bord na Mona
A pair of empties at Derraghan More on the way out to the bog for loading. Digital image exposed using a Canon EOS 7D with f2.8 200mm lens.
Bord na Mona
Lumix LX3 view of the same pair of empties at Derraghan More. October 2013.
Back lit trailing view features some nice evening clouds. Lumix LX3 view.
Back lit trailing view features some nice evening clouds. Lumix LX3 view.

See yesterday’s post for more on Bord na Mona’s Lanesborough netwrok:

Bord na Mona, Lanesborough, October 2013—Part 1

Bord na Mona, Lanesborough, October 2013—Part 2 

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