Are Two Trains Better Than One?

Last year Irish Rail cleared its cuttings on the northern approach to the Phoenix Park Tunnel in Dublin in preparation for introduction of a regular passenger service over the line to Grand Canal Docks.

This work had the secondary effect of improving a number of photo locations, such as this view from the Dublin’s Old Cabra Road.

Last week on advice from Colm O’Callaghan, I opted to work from this vantage point to photograph an Irish Rail empty ‘Spoil train’ [that carries debris left over from line works etc] that had been scheduled to run to the North Wall in Dublin.

Shortly before the focus of my effort came into view an empty Irish Rail passenger train arrived and was blocked at the signal outside the tunnel.

My question to you: are the photographs made more interesting by the presence of the passenger train?

Exposed using a FujiFilm X-T1 with 18-135mm lens set at 135mm.
A wider view from the same vantage point.

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3 comments on “Are Two Trains Better Than One?

  1. Graham on said:

    Surely, it all depends on what YOU the photographer is trying to depict. It then depends on how you choose to present it “Oooh, wasn’t I lucky, two trains” or “that passenger unit got in the way of the spoil train”. Your wording says to me the latter; if it was my photograph I’d be saying the former.

  2. tom rochford on said:

    I think the passenger train diverts ones attention from the more interesting “spoil train” and they both divert attention from the right of way. I would think that this gulley was once “cut” by hand many years ago (think of the labor involved!) and wonder how and where the “spoil” was transported!

  3. Michael Walsh on said:

    In this case, the second (passenger) train does not conceal the primary subject, but it’s a real pain when you are all set up, and your perfect positioning is ruined by another service arriving at the wrong moment.

    I’ve been trying for several years to get a really good image of the West Australian “Australind”, the only surviving narrow gauge country passenger service, in the Perth area, but success has been constrained by the intensity of the electric suburban service and the unpredictability of the “Australind” on its inward trips.

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