Irish Rail Relay Train on the Move.

Sometimes you have to walk the steps one at a time to get the best view.

Over the last few weeks, Irish Rail’s Relay train has made visits to the Dublin area en route from its base at Port Laoise to the Navan Branch (where it was involved in track maintenance) and back again.

The Relay train is one of those elusive trains operated by permanent way department, which makes it a special prize to catch on the move.

Irish 088 leads the Relay train up road near Clondalkin. Sister loco 074 is heading down road light engine as a 'swap' for the loco working a laden timber train to Waterford.
Irish 084 leads the Relay train up road near Clondalkin. Sister loco 074 is heading down road light engine as a ‘swap’ for the loco working a laden timber train to Waterford.
Irish Rail 084 with Relay train up road near Clondalkin. Exposed with Fuji X-T1.
Irish Rail 084 with Relay train up road near Clondalkin. Exposed with Fuji X-T1.
Trailing view of the Relay train. This the gantries at the back are used in the relaying of track.
Trailing view of the Relay train. This the gantries at the back are used in the relaying of track.

Keeping close tabs on the railway aids in finding these trains. But equally important is patience track side and sensing when and where to look.

Irish Rail 084 brought the train up road on February 27, 2015. Like the bullet fired skyward, what goes up must come down. But when?

On Tuesday, March 3, 2015, I took the LUAS down to Spencer Dock and walked to the road bridge that overlooks Irish Rail’s yard at Dublin’s North Wall. There I noted a gray 071 (loco 084) with the Relay train. When the guard came down and started the locomotive, then a few minutes later hung the tail lamps at the back of the train, I knew that it would soon be on the move.

Tuesday, March 3, 2015: Irish Rail 084 with the Relay train at Dublin's North Wall. The engine has just been started. Any bets when it might depart? Exposed with Fuji X-T1.
Tuesday, March 3, 2015: Irish Rail 084 with the Relay train at Dublin’s North Wall. The engine has just been started. Any bets when it might depart? Exposed with Fuji X-T1.

But how quickly would it depart? That’s the million-dollar question (subject to the local exchange rate). Calls were made, transportation arranged, and weathermen consulted . . .

More than two hours later, I caught it on the quad-track section of Irish Rail’s Dublin-Cork mainline at Stacumny Bridge (near mp 8 ¾). As it turned out, the Relay train followed the down IWT liner.

An Irish Rail 22K Rotem-built Intercity Rail Car flies up road at milepost 8 3/4. Fuji X-T1 photo.
An Irish Rail 22K Rotem-built Intercity Rail Car flies up road at milepost 8 3/4. Fuji X-T1 photo.
Waiting at Stacumny Bridge near milepost 8 3/4, I was rewarded by the passage of the IWT Liner with locomotive 8209 wearing an unfinished version of the new Enterprise livery. Fuji X-T1 photo.
Waiting at Stacumny Bridge near milepost 8 3/4, I was rewarded by the passage of the IWT Liner with locomotive 8209 wearing an unfinished version of the new Enterprise livery. Fuji X-T1 photo.
Not long after the IWT liner worked down road, the Relay train came into view. Success! (And yes, I exposed a slide of this elusive train.) Waiting here for a month of Sunday's wouldn't reward you with this photo. (The Relay train tends to run on weekdays.)
Not long after the IWT liner worked down road, the Relay train came into view. Success! (And yes, I exposed a slide of this elusive train.) Waiting here for a month of Sunday’s wouldn’t reward you with this photo. (The Relay train tends to run on weekdays.)
Irish Rail 084 with Relay train passes Islandbridge Junction on March 10, 2015. Fuji X-T1 photo.
Irish Rail 084 with Relay train passes Islandbridge Junction on March 10, 2015. Fuji X-T1 photo.

These digital photos are the teasers: I used my EOS-3 loaded with Provia 100F (the real McCoy, not simulated) for some slides of the action.

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