Irish Rail to Sallins, July 27 2014

Sun, Clouds, Rain,  Railcars and . . .

Yes all true, but I’d traveled down to catch the return leg of steam hauled The Marble City rail tour operated by the Railway Preservation Society Ireland.

Earlier in the day I’d photographed the train departing Dublin (as featured in yesterday’s Tracking the Light post The Marble City Tour at Islandbridge.)

I departed Dublin Heuston on the 1430 suburban train heading for Sallins. I was fortunate to travel on a five-piece intercity rail car (ICR), which was comfortable and mostly empty.

Interior of my train at Heuston Station Dublin. Lumix LX7 photo.
Interior of my train at Heuston Station Dublin. Lumix LX7 photo.
Irish Rail's Rotem-built Intercity Rail Cars are comfortable trains. Lumix LX7.
Irish Rail’s Rotem-built Intercity Rail Cars are comfortable trains. Lumix LX7.

Arriving Sallins, County Kildare at 2:55pm, I had time for a leisurely bacon and cabbage lunch at the Lock 13 Pub—located along the Grand Canal a short walk from the station. I’d arranged to meet fellow photographer Hugh Dempsey after 4pm to explore some track side locations nearly in anticipation of photographing locomotive 461 with The Marble City.

The Lock 13 Pub at Sallins, County Kildare. Lumix LX7 photo.
The Lock 13 Pub at Sallins, County Kildare. Lumix LX7 photo.
Sallins station with a foreboding sky. An ill wind was blowing; beware beware! LX7 photo.
Sallins station with a foreboding sky. An ill wind was blowing; beware beware! LX7 photo.
The 1600 Dublin-Cork ICR approaches Sallins at speed. An automatic voice warns, 'please stand back, train now approaching.' Canon EOS 7D with 200mm lens.
The 1600 Dublin-Cork ICR approaches Sallins at speed. An automatic voice warns, ‘please stand back, train now approaching.’ Canon EOS 7D with 200mm lens.
A few minutes later another ICR passes, this time in the Dublin-bound direction. Canon EOS 7D with 200mm lens.
A few minutes later another ICR passes, this time in the Dublin-bound direction. Canon EOS 7D with 200mm lens.

The special was scheduled to depart Athy at 2:55 pm and according to Irish Rail company literature would depart Kildare at precisely 5:23 pm and 30 seconds. Armed with this information we scouted a bridge near milepost 17 and waited.

Shortly after we arrived at milepost 17 the sky opened. It was like standing in Niagara Falls. Canon EOS 7D with 200mm lens.
Shortly after we arrived at milepost 17 the sky opened. It was like standing in Niagara Falls. Canon EOS 7D with 200mm lens.
An uproad ICR races toward Dublin in the rain. Canon EOS 7D with 200mm lens.
An uproad ICR races toward Dublin in the rain. Canon EOS 7D with 200mm lens.

The usual procession of up and down passenger trains passed, mostly using the common Irish Rail Rotem-built ICRs—like the one I’d traveled down on.

The weather changed from sunny to pouring rain rather suddenly; uncomfortable, but not unusual.

We’d expected The Marble City to pass by about 5:50pm. More ICRs up and down, but no sign of the steam. By 6:30pm we were wondering what had gone wrong.

After another hour we learned that there had been a fatality on the line south of Cherryville Junction (where the line to Kilkenny and Waterford diverges from the mainline to Cork) and 461 with The Marble City was being held at Athy! Oh no.

That didn’t bode well at all!

Stay tuned for more. . . . !

The down Dublin to Cork Mark4 approaches milepost 17.
The down Dublin to Cork Mark4 approaches milepost 17.

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2 thoughts on “Irish Rail to Sallins, July 27 2014”

  1. In front of Flanagan’s Mill, there is a red bench (?) with white marking. What is that marking or is it spilt paint? And are those red items benches?
    Sallins Station: So much for that bike!

    1. I believe that the white markings delineate a pedestrian zone. This is a representation of the universal ‘person walking’ used for cross-walks and the like. There are some benches outside the pub.
      Brian Solomon

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