Irish Rail at Killiney—Tracking the Light Daily Post

Ammonia Train in May 2001.

Back then, Irish Rail operated three daily ammonia trains between Marino Point, County Cork and Shelton Abbey near Arklow, County Wicklow. These were tightly scheduled and normally operated with the common 201-class General Motors diesels.

I was tuned into these trains, and made an effort to catch them in interesting locations. The traffic ended with little warning in 2002, so the photos I made are now prized images!

Irish Rail class 201 number 204 leads a laden Ammonia train above the Irish Sea at Killiney. Is that U2's Bono waving off in the distance? Exposed on Kodak Tri-X with a Rolleiflex Model T f3.5 Tessar lens, processed in Ilford ID11 (special mix and time,  1:1 with water.)
Irish Rail class 201 number 204 leads a laden Ammonia train above the Irish Sea at Killiney. Is that U2’s Bono waving off in the distance? Exposed on Kodak Tri-X with a Rolleiflex Model T f3.5 Tessar lens, processed in Ilford ID11 (special mix and time, 1:1 with water.)

In addition to color slides, I exposed thousands of black & white images of Irish railways on 120 size film between 1999 and 2005 (and a few here and there since).

Most of these photos have never seen the light of day. This rare photo of the Ammonia train was just one of several exposures I made on that bright May afternoon in 2001.

Why didn’t I make a color photo? And who said I didn’t? Must color and black & white be mutual exclusive? Why not make a color photo and convert it later? Why color anyway?

I’ve often worked with multiple formats at the same time. Black & white has a number of advantages and I’ve long prided myself on mastering this archaic image-making process.

For more on the Ammonia Train see my earlier Tracking the Light post: http://briansolomon.com/trackingthelight/tag/ammonia-train/

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One comment on “Irish Rail at Killiney—Tracking the Light Daily Post

  1. Colm O'Callaghan on said:

    That train ran 3 times a day in each direction and was taken for granted by so many, up to 1992 it was completely dominated by the A class locomotives, but between 1992 & 1994 was probably the most interesting time for motive power hauling the ammonia with the decline of the A’s you had every class from 121s, 141s and the 071s, with the arrival of the 201s in June 1994, they completely took over the ammonia till the last train ran 16th October 2002.