Irish Rail General Motors diesels

DAILY Post: Irish Rail at Taylorstown Viaduct, December 8, 2001


A Classic Photograph from A Dozen Years Ago Today.

It was just 12 years ago—December 8, 2001—that I stood in the damp grassy field overlooking Taylorstown Viaduct, Co. Wexford, to make this image of freshly painted General Motors 141s leading an empty sugar beet train toward Wellingtonbridge.

Irish Rail General Motors diesels
Irish Rail 148 and 173 lead an empty sugar beet train at Taylorstown on December 8, 2001. I made this image with my Nikon F3 with 105mm Nikkor lens on Fujichrome. Exposure calculated manually with a handheld light meter.

Sugar beet season typically ran from late September until just after Christmas and was a great time to make Irish Rail freight photographs. Operations were focused on loading trains at Wellingtonbridge and tended to result in a series of daylight movements over the scenic South Wexford line.

Between 1999 and 2006, with the help of my Irish friends, I made dozens of trips to photograph, record and experience the sugar beet season. The weather wasn’t always fine; often it was dark and rainy but there were sunny moments like in the scene pictured here.

Unfortunately, sugar beet operations ended in early 2006, and a few years later Irish Rail closed the line between Waterford and Rosslare Strand to regular traffic. The bridge and tracks remain, but movements on the line are now very rare. The locomotives and wagons were scrapped a few years ago.

Also see: Irish Rail, Wellingtonbridge, County Wexford, December 2005

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