There’s something inherently attractive about a railway along water, be it a river, pond, lake or the sea.
SBB’s line along Lake Geneva is a fine example of waterside running. Not only does the lake exhibit wonderful aqua hues, but is surrounded by vineyards, snow capped Alpine peaks and other beautiful scenery.
The trick is finding locations where you can place a train with the water in a pleasing composition.
Easier said than done.
I’d found this location at St. Saphorin by searching the internet and studying Google maps. Last week, Denis McCabe and I arrived by train and made the short walk from St. Saphorin station to a foot bridge designed to grant access to the lakefront for bathers.
Not only did SBB provide transport, but fielded a nice variety of trains. About every five to ten minutes something came rolling along. Below is a sample.
Probably the best thing about the smart phone that I was coerced into acquiring is the interactive map.
When in Italy, I found this map useful in finding locations.
With a touch of the screen, my position was immediately located. Railway stations are highlighted in blue, and I found it easy enough to calculate both distance and estimated walking time.
Using this technique, I navigated my way through the touristy bits of Firenze (Florence) and found the station at Firenze-Statuto, which was a busy place to watch and photograph trains. I’ll call that a successful use of the new technology.
Tracking the Light is post automatically while Brian is traveling.
An FS (Italian State Railway) articulated electric locomotive leads a northward freight at Framura on Italy’s Mediterranean coast.
Using my Lumix LX7, I made this photo in the minutes before sunset in early April 2017. To make the most of the camera’s RAW file, I adjusted contrast and exposure in post processing using Lightroom and outputted this as a JPG sized for internet presentation.
Tracking the Light is posting automatically while Brian is traveling.
A few weeks back I posted some views from the Old Cabra Road bridge where an Irish Rail ICR arrived on scene and partially blocked my view of the ever elusive spoil train. (See: Are Two Trains Better than One?)
Just to clarify the significance of that event: Irish Rail ICRs (Intercity railcars) are the standard passenger train on most routes in Ireland.
Furthermore, a public App for your smart phone will alert you where these trains are running most of the time. Finding an ICR on the move is easily accomplished.
By contrast, the spoil train is difficult to find, even for veteran observers. It doesn’t run often, rarely has a rigid path, and tends run off path even when given one. It doesn’t appear on an App, which makes it even harder to find.
It’s like a ghost train and I’ve missed it more times than I’ve managed to picture it.
Colm O’Callaghan and I scored views of the spoil train from Old Cabra road a few days ago. This was one of my favorite from the sequence.
Persistence and patience are the lessons for the day.
It was a bright April 2017 morning when I arrived at Genova Piazza Principe. The station is scenically situated in an open area between two tunnels.
The challenge of making visually impressive photos of Italian railways lies in finding ways to handle the infrastructure effectively.
Italian Railways are very heavily built and largely electrified. The result is a plethora of columns, poles, masts, wires and other necessary, yet visually distracting elements that can make finding a clean composition a difficult task.
Throw in some graffiti, litter, and a few dodgy shadows, and a photo can appear overly busy and cluttered, so careful attention to detail is a must.
Tracking the Light is posting automatically this week while Brian is Traveling.
Milano Stazione Centrale (Milan Central Station) is a monumental railway terminal that faces the Piazza Anrea Doria. . . [the station’s] design was the result of an architectural competition held in Milan in 1913 . . . Although the plan dated from before World War I, its blocky style and super human scale seems to typify the public architecture of the interwar Fascist period. [Milano Stazione Centrale] was one of the last great railway stations built in Europe before World War II.
Tracking the Light is Posting Automatically while Brian is Traveling.
The Peter Witt was a widely built steel-body center-door streetcar noted for its early use of the ‘pay as you enter’ system, where passengers paid fair to the motorman and eliminated need for a conductor. Exiting passengers used the center door to minimize delays during stops. The car-type was named for its designer, the Cleveland Street Railway commissioner, who originated the car arrangement about 1915 . . . The Peter Witt was adopted in Italy in the late 1920s.
I exposed these images of a venerable Peter Witt working the streets of Milan earlier this month (April 2017) using my Lumix LX7.
The Railway Preservation Society of Ireland is naturally historically minded, obviously. But in this situation I’ve used a vintage 1930s Leica IIIa with period Nikkor 35mm lens to expose traditional black & white film.
All of these photos were made on RPSI’s diesel tour to Galway and Kilkenny on 8 April 2017.
For some images I used Kodak Tri-X processed in Iford ID11 and toned with selenium, for others I worked with Ilford FP4 (ISO 125) which I processed in Agfa Rodinal Special.
Brussels Central Station features six tracks below ground, with an art deco styled station building above ground.
It lies between Brussels two main termini; Nord/Noord (North) and Midi/Zuid (South).
The incongruity in names and spellings is a function of Belgium’s two primary languages (French and Flemish) combined with the tendency of the English language to rename places without consideration for local spelling or pronunciation.
During my most recent visit to Belgium I made a couple of visits to Belgium’s main stations. While not strictly photographic ventures, I always plan to make photographs during the course of my travels.
Opportunity taken on site can save a lot of running around later on.
Railway Preservation Society of Ireland’s Trip to Galway and Kilkenny—Part 2.
More photos from my Lumix exposed Saturday 8 April 2017, on the RPSI’s The Marble Tribesman Diesel Tour that ran from Dublin Connolly Station to Galway via Portarlington and Athlone then to Kilkenny via Kildare.
Located adjacent to the SNCB lines at Schaarbeek (on the north side of Brussels), Train World is Belgium’s premier railway museum.
I visited last week, having arrived by train from the Brussels suburbs. I’d bought my museum ticket in conjunction with my SNCB fare.
City trams also serve the museum.
You enter Train World from the old railway station building, which has been beautifully restored. Beyond are a series of train halls, that display the history of Belgian railways using real equipment: locomotives, railway rolling stock, signals, literature, signage, etc.
It’s well worth a visit.
Photos exposed using my Lumix LX7
Tracking the Light aims to post new material Daily.
On the morning of 27 March 2017, freshly painted Irish Rail class 071 locomotive number 081 worked the down IWT liner.
I made the time to catch this from my often photographed location at Islandbridge Junction near Dublin’s Heuston Station.
Among the advantages of this spot is good morning lighting on westward trains (where most other places face difficult backlighting), ample elevation and the iconic Wellington Testimonial, which is located in the Phoenix Park on the north side of the River Liffey.
Irish Rail crosses the Barrow at Monasterevin, again near Bagenalstown, and finally with a large bridge between Waterford and Campile near Great Island.
Largely forgotten is the long closed bridge northeast of New Ross on the line that once went to the Junction at Macmine via Palace East in County Wexford. More than half a century has passed since the last scheduled train over this bridge.
I made these pastoral views from a road high above the Barrow looking in a westerly direction.
Tracking the Light is on autopilot while Brian is traveling.