Class 201 Retrospective: The Elusive 202

Also See: Irish Rail 202! Hooray!

Here’s the backstory: In the dozen or so years between 1998 and when Irish Rail withdrew and stored a portion of its relatively modern EMD-built 201-class locomotives (numbers 201-205, 210-214), I spent a lot of time wandering the system making photos.

Some locomotives were common; I must have a hundred photos of class leader 201 on the roll (featured in the first 201 Retrospective installment). And every time I turned around, I seem to find 215 leading a train.

Of the 35 201s, I found that engine 202 was by far the most elusive.

Several years ago, I scoured my files and located just 3 colour slides of 202.

A subsequent review of black & white negatives turned up another image (displayed in my October 2017 post, linked above).

I knew there must be more. Irish Rail 202 was among the 201s to receive the improved orange and black livery with bright yellow ends. I simply had to have made photos of it in that livery!

So, as I was trolling through hundreds of boxes of slides over the last few months, I kept an eye open and lo and behold! I found several more images of the elusive locomotive.

My questions are: why was 202 so elusive? Was it simply luck of the draw that I rarely saw it on the move? Was 202 hiding somewhere? Was it especially unreliable and spent most of the time at Inchicore awaiting repair?

You might wonder why I didn’t find these photos sooner. The answer has several considerations; at the time of exposure the photos didn’t make my final cut. While there’s nothing horribly wrong with these photos, there’s minor technical flaws that resulted in me discounting them.

Also, the significance of these images wasn’t evident to me at the time of exposure and so remained in the little green boxes and hadn’t been transferred to my preferred files. Lastly, I don’t organize my slides by locomotive number, so finding a specific engine photo can be challenging.

On 5 May 2006, I made this view of Irish Rail 202 at Portarlington. If you look carefully, you’ll notice that the photo isn’t level. That was the initial reason I rejected it. Easy enough to fix digitally now, but a no-go for the slide show!

The point of this exercise is that sometimes the content of a photo becomes more interesting as time passes. The photo of a fairly ordinary locomotive at work has greater interest after that engine is withdrawn from traffic.

So what’s wrong with this photo. A 201 with Mark3s at Cherryville, at the time it couldn’t get any more common than that! As a result this slide stayed in the box for almost 12 years. Now, I’m really glad I made the picture!

Tracking the Light Posts Daily!

 

2 thoughts on “Class 201 Retrospective: The Elusive 202”

Comments are closed.