All posts by brian solomon

Author of more than 50 books on railways, photography, and Ireland. Brian divides his time between the United States and Ireland, and frequently travels across Europe and North America.

Paris Gare de Lyon

For my money Paris Gare de Lyon is the coolest station in France.

Here’s just a few views from my brief visit earlier this month.

All were exposed using my Lumix LX7. Film enthusiasts fear not! I also made some colour slides of this iconic railway terminal.

Read more about railway stations, buy my book Railway Depots, Stations & Terminals published by Voyageur Press.

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SNCF’s TGV; Brussels to Milan

A couple of weeks ago, I found good deal on-line for a 1st Class SNCF ticket from Brussels Midi to Milan via Paris.

It was an early start from Brussels. I enjoyed some fast running, a quick change at Lille Europe, and an hour and half to navigate my way across Paris.

I made these photos of the train journey with my Lumix LX7.

Brussels Midi just before sunrise.
Gliding along at speed near the Belgian-French frontier.
Lille Europe high-speed station.
I traveled on this TGV Duplex between Lille and Paris Gare du Nord.
Upstairs on the TGV Duplex.
Paris Gare du Nord.
The longest and final leg of my TGV journey was between Gare de Lyon and Milan on this multi voltage TGV set.

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RPSI Gone Retro.

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.

You’ll spot subtle differences in tonality.

Kodak Tri-X, rated at ISO 320 and processed in a two bath developer then toned with selenium for 9 minutes mixed 1 to 9 with water.
Kodak Tri-X, rated at ISO 320.
Portarlington. Kodak Tri-X, rated at ISO 320
Ilford FP-4 processed in Agfa Rodinal Special.
Kodak Tri-X, rated at ISO 320
Kodak Tri-X, rated at ISO 320
View from the train near Woodlawn. Ilford FP-4 rated at ISO 125.
Focused on the train at Attymon. Ilford FP-4 rated at ISO 125.
My view of the train at Attymon in black & white. I’ve got a tight shot in colour. Ilford FP-4 rated at ISO 125.
Galway. Ilford FP-4 rated at ISO 125.
Galway. Ilford FP-4 rated at ISO 125.
Galway. Ilford FP-4 rated at ISO 125.
Ballinasloe. Ilford FP-4 rated at ISO 125.
Portarlington. Kodak Tri-X processed in Ilford ID11 and toned with selenium. Note the extreme range of exposure latitude. 
Kilkenny. Ilford FP-4 rated at ISO 125.
At the end of the day in Connolly Station, Dublin. Ilford FP-4 rated at ISO 125.

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Bruxelles Central/Brussel Centraal (Brussels Central Station)

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.

If you are interested in railway stations consider my book: Railway Depots, Stations and Terminals published by Voyageur Press.

SNCB is a very busy railway and Brussels Central handles a tide of trains at rushour.

This sign represents the Flemish spelling for the station.

Photos exposed using my Panasonic Lumix LX7.

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Underground, on the Surface, and on the Elevated: Trams in Köln.

Just a few views from the lens of my Lumix LX7: trams on the roll in Köln during my recent visit.

Köln’s extensive light rail network has endless opportunities for photographs. Over the years I made a few images, but I’ve long felt a more extensive exploration is in the cards.

Someday . . .

At the Dom/Hauptbahnhof station.
Rudolf Platz, Köln.
On an elevated structure approaching Neusser Str.

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Köln Hbf—March 2017

At the end of March 2017, I revisited the Köln Hauptbahnhof (main railway station).

It was almost 21 years since I made my first visit here with my dad back in 1996.

I was delighted to see that a few of the old East Germany class 143 electrics were still on the move. Once very common, these old electrics have become relatively scarce.

This image was exposed digitally using my Lumix LX7.

Köln Hbf in March 2017.

Portraits, engine photos and station-scapes with my Lumix LX7 on 8 April 2017.

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.

Galway. (something behind me must be more interesting than old 081 beneath the shed!).
Irish Rail’s 081 catches the sun at Galway. Not much left of the sidings in the goods yard here.
Photo at Woodlawn, County Galway.
Welcome to Woodlawn! (Thanks to Stephen King for pointing out the sign).

Detail of 081 at Kilkenny.
Station stop at Athy, County Kildare.
Reviewing photos from the stop at Kilkenny.
A surprise birthday song for barman Jon Nabb (left).
Jon opens a gift.

Also surprised for his birthday was RPSI’s Fergus (left).
We arrived back at Connolly Station at dusk after more than 12 hours on the road.
Engine 088 having been uncouple from the train waits to run around at Connolly Station, Dublin.
Group portrait of Irish Rail staff and hangers on at Connolly.

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