Category Archives: digital photography

On this Day in 2016, I visited Valenciennes, France.

It was two years ago today (22 April,  2018), that I made my second visit to Valenciennes, France.

Although it was dull, I worked with my Lumix to make these views of SNCF’s TGV high-speed sets at the Valenciennes former Nord railway station.

Not every day is bright and sunny; not every city is blessed with world-class wonders; and not every high-speed train is moving fast.

Valenciennes has a nice old station and a showcase small-city modern tram system.

Later in the day, I caught up with my Finnish friend Mauno Pajunen, and toured Belgian railway sites in the region.

Over the next few days , I made a high-speed railway journey to Bordeaux and  and then through the Channel Tunnel to London—all part of my exploration that contributed to the content of my latest book; Brian Solomon’s Railway Guide to Europe.

Click here to order Brian Solomon’s Railway Guide to Europe.

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One Year Ago: SBB on a Clear April Morning Along Lake Geneva.

I made these photos on 21 April 2017 along the shore of Switzerland’s Lake Geneva near St. Saphorin.

SBB’s busy double track electrified line and stunning Swiss scenery with bright sun was a winning combination for great photographs.

This was one stop on a week-long exploration of Swiss railways with Denis McCabe while I was preparing my Railway Guide to Europe.

Exposed using a FujiFilm XT1 digital camera on 21 April 2018.
Exposed using a FujiFilm XT1 digital camera on 21 April 2018.

 

SBB freight. Exposed using a FujiFilm XT1 digital camera on 21 April 2018.
Exposed using a FujiFilm XT1 digital camera on 21 April 2018.

Exposed using a FujiFilm XT1 digital camera on 21 April 2018.

Switzerland’s Lake Geneva region is one of  many scenic areas profiled in my new book on European railways published by Kalmbach Publishing this Spring.

Click here to order Brian Solomon’s Railway Guide to Europe.

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Lisburn Station on a Sunny Morning.

It was nearly two weeks ago that I exposed these views on a clear cold morning at NI Railway’s Lisburn Station.

There’s nothing like a polarized sky and low sun. The photos almost make themselves.

These were exposed using my Lumix LX7.

Soon afterward I was rolling along toward Portadown.

A clear blue dome; great conditions for photograph.
Lisburn Station is among the best preserved former Great Northern Railway stations.
GNR’s heralds are still in place on the canopy supports.

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Belfast-Dublin Enterprise at City Hospital—4 Views.

On two occasions on 27 March 2018, I made sequences of the Belfast-Dublin Enterprisepassing NI Railway’s City Hospital station.

The Enterpriseservice typically consists of a push-pull De Dietrich sets with a General Motors built 201-class diesel at the Belfast end.

These views were exposed using my FujiFilm XT1 with 18-135mm lens.

A southward Enterprise passes an NI Railways CAF set at City Hospital station.
A cab control car normally works the Dublin-end of the Enterprise, as pictured here.
Trailing view looking through the arches under Belfast’s Donegall Road toward the north junction connecting Great Victoria Street Station. (at right). That’s Irish Rail class-201 number 207 shoving at the back of the train. Hmm 207, so this is a continuation of yesterday’s post is it?
Horizontal version at the same location.

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Blue and Silver Train on a Gray Day.

I’d arrived at Adelaide Station in Belfast on this NI Railways 4000-series CAF railcar from Portadown.

Although it was windy, spitting rain and dull, and I had made photos at Adelaide at various times in recent months, I exposed this view anyway.

You never know when the common will seem fascinating. Someday something in this scene will be gone, and then the picture may take on new significance.

Lumix LX7 photo at Adelaide in Belfast.

Tracking the Light has posted daily for nearly five years.

Class 201 Retrospective: Irish Rail 206, the first of the Enterprise 201s.

As part of my 20 years in Ireland/201 numerical retrospective, this is my opportunity to present  a few views of Irish Rail 206.

When I first arrived in Ireland in 1998, 201-class locomotives numbers 206 to 209 (as they were then identified) were painted for the cross-border Belfast-Dublin Enterprisepassenger service.

On 4 March 2000 Irish Rail 206 works the Enterprise at Donabate. Exposed on Fujichrome Sensia II (ISO100) using a Nikon F3T.
On 11 May 2005, Irish Rail 2005 was ‘ex works’ following overhaul after its fire, making one of many trips on a Liner (point to point freight). It passes Islandbridge Junction, one of my often used locations. Exposed on Fujichrome using a Contax G2 rangefinder.
Same location, same train on 17 May 2005. Here I’m using a 135mm telephoto lens on my Nikon F3T to bring in the Wellington Testimonial (obelisk).
And almost the same angle on 16 December 2010, this time captured digitally using a Canon EOS 7D. So while these are three photos of the same locomotive on similar trains at essentially the same location, each features a different treatment as result of changes in lighting, season, type of camera, lens focal length, and the angle of composition.

It is my understanding that these four numbers were chosen for the Enterprise201s to pay historical tribute to steam locomotives of the same numbers that had worked the service in an earlier era.

In my time these were painted specifically for the re-equipped Enterprise using De Dietrich carriages (derived from the original French TGV single-level carriages)

Of the four, 206 River Liffey has been my favorite, but until relatively recently it is also one of the more elusive 201s in passenger service (in regards to my photography).

Around 2002, it suffered a fire and was out of traffic for about three years. When it returned, it spent months working freights.

Only recently, have I again found it regularly working as intended. It now wears the latest Enterprise livery, which is laterally asymmetrical and features a giant purple swoop across the side of the locomotive.

I made this digital photo of 206 at Belfast Central Station on 26 March 2018, working as intended. Lumix LX7 photo. The high angle allows for good detail of the roof, which is not often seen from ground level.

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Western Rail Corridor Train Arriving Limerick

On Saturday, 7 April 2018, I made these photos of an Irish Rail 2800-series railcar working a Western Rail Corridor service from Galway arriving at Limerick’s Colbert Station.

I used my Lumix LX7, then working with the RAW files in Lightroom, made nominal adjustments to colour temperature, contrast and highlight density.

Lumix LX7 photo at Limerick.
Lumix LX7 photo.

Tracking the Light Posts has posted Daily for almost five years.

 

 

Irish Rail 074 at Limerick; A study in contrast—Four New Photos.

Under the train shed at Limerick’s Colbert Station is dark and gloomy.

Outside it had been raining.

Then the clouds drew back and brilliant midday sun blasted across the city.

Bright sun and inky shadows.

I made these views using my Lumix LX7 on Saturday, 7 April 2018.

Irish Rail 074 catches a wink of light under the train shed at Limerick Colbert Station.
Contrast of light and dark makes for a study in silhouette and vivid daylight. (File adjusted in post processing).
Irish Rail 074 up close and personal.
How many years has it been since Irish Rail last used the gantry for revenue freight at Limerick?

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RPSI’s The Branch Line Wanderer-Part 2

Here’s another section of images from last Saturday’s The Branch Line Wanderer, an RPSI excursion that visited various Irish secondary lines.

I exposed these photos using my FujiFilm X-T1.

The trip was operated by Railway Preservation Society of Ireland in conjunction with Irish Rail.

Limerick.
Cloughjordan on the Nenagh Branch.Cloughjordan on the Nenagh Branch.
Cloughjordan on the Nenagh Branch.
Cloughjordan on the Nenagh Branch.
Irish Rail down Mark 4 at Thurles.
Irish Rail up Mark 4 at Thurles.
Sunset from RPSI train near Templemore.

 

Brian Solomon’s Tracking the Light  publishes daily!

18 New Photos: RPSI’s The Branchline Wanderer—Retro Diesel Train Flashback.

Yesterday, 7 April 2018, Railway Preservation Society of Ireland in conjunction with Irish Rail operated its The Branchline Wanderer.

This covered several lightly traveled lines, including the Waterford-Limerick Junction section, which was a favorite of mine in years gone by.

The trip was well patronized. Despite wildly varying weather, I found numerous opportunities for interesting photos of RPSI’s train, its crew and passengers, and the places we visited.

Special thanks to RPSI’s Operating Crews and Irish Rail staff for an excellent day out.

Bagnalstown.

 

Bagnalstown.

Waterford.
Waterford.
Waterford.
Waterford.
Coach D.
Waterford.

 

Carrick-on-Suir.
Carrick-on-Suir.
Carrick-on-Suir.
Clonmel.
Cahir.
Cahir.
Cahir.

This display  represents the first few hours of photos exposed with my FujiFilm XT1. This was one of four cameras I used on the day. More photos to follow.

 

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Prelude to RPSI’s Branchline Explorer—7 April 2018

If everything has gone according to plan, as you read this I’m traveling upon Railway Preservation Society of Ireland’s diesel-hauled Branchline Explorer rail tour.

I made this photo on 6 April 2018 of Irish Rail 071 (in 1970s heritage livery) leading the RPSI preserved Cravens carriages across the River Liffey at Islandbridge in the fading light of the evening.

Thanks to Jay Monaghan!

An Irish Rail ICR working Grand Canal Docks suburban service exits the Phoenix Park Tunnel on 6 April 2018. Irish Rail 071 with RPSI Cravens can be seen in the distance. Exposed digitally using a FujiFilm X-T1 camera fitted with a 90mm f2.0 telephoto lens.
An instant classic: Irish Rail 071 (class leader in retro paint) leads the RPSI Cravens across the River Liffey at Islandbridge in Dublin. Exposed digitally using a FujiFilm X-T1 camera fitted with a 90mm f2.0 telephoto lens.

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A Year Ago Today: Rome

On 6 April 2017, I spent the morning in Rome researching for my new book on European Railways.

You can order Brian Solomon’s Railway Guide to Europe from Kalmbach Books.

https://kalmbachhobbystore.com/product/book/01304

These photos were exposed using my Lumix LX7.

Roman City Gate.
Antique Roman trams and city wall.
Narrow gauge interurban tram at Centocelle, which was effectively the end of the line on the day I visited.
An Alstom-built electric railcar at Roma Termini.
Rome’s Airport train at Roma Termini. Then off to the airport to Dublin.

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Ireland’s Most Colourful Train?

Easter Monday, photographer Jay Monaghan and I were in position at Memorial Road in Dublin to catch the RPSI carriage transfer on its way from Connolly Station to Inchicore.

These were the same carriages featured in yesterday’s post, ‘Steam Crosses Dublin’s Loop Line’.

Getting from Dubin’s city centre to Memorial Road, required a well-timed sprint to catch the 25B bus.

Although we were hoping for Irish Rail 073 in heritage paint, 201-class locomotive 232 in silver, green and  yellow added colour to RPSI’s heritage train.

Irish Rail 232 leads RPSI’s Cravens up the gullet on Easter Monday. Exposed using a FujiFilm X-T1 digital camera.
Tight telephoto trailing view of the RPSI train heading toward Inchicore Works.
Although the train is slightly more distant, I prefer this training view because the trees to the left of the line aren’t cropped.

So, was this Ireland’s most colourful train on Easter Monday 2018?

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Steam Crosses Dublin’s Loop Line.

This scene presented three visual challenges;

  • Dublin’s Loop Line is a difficult bridge to picture trains upon owing to a high degree of foreground and background clutter, complex lattice girder construction, and brightly coloured graffiti.
  • Tank locomotive number 4 is an awkward mass and largely painted black that makes for a hard subject to picture satisfactorily, even on a good bright day.
  • It wasn’t a bright day; the lighting conditions were flat (low contrast) and bland.

Further complicating matters, there wasn’t more than a few seconds warning before the train entered the scene, so I needed to be poised.

Friends on board assisted my timing by keeping me up to date as to the location of the train.

I made my views from the Rosie Hackett Bridge (opened in 2014) looking down river toward Dublin Port.

Rather than work with a zoom, I opted for my fixed focal length 90mm telephoto on my FujiFilm X-T1. This gave me a wider aperture, allowed for shallow depth of field to help distinguish the train from its background, and is a very sharp lens  corner to corner.

DART electric suburban trains made for opportunities to make practice photos to test exposure, depth of field, focus and composition.

As the train clattered across the bridge I made several exposures, trying to minimize the distractions of bridge infrastructure and background clutter.

My first view of RPSI No. 4 on the bridge. This subtly shows Dublin port in the distance and features traffic on the south quays.
This is probably the best of my efforts. I adjust the contrast locally to help emphasize the smoke from the engine. I suppose that’s cheating in some eyes, but all I did was enhance the smoke to help show direction and that the engine was working and not static.
How about this view of RPSI’s nice painted Cravens carriages? The rippled patters in the Liffey was an attraction of this angle.

Although these are nice attempts, I’m not 100 percent satisfied, but without better light and an elevated view, I’m not sure how I could have made substantially better photos.

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DART in the Snow.

On the 18th of March, snow fell in Dublin, again.

I made these views at Connolly Station of a southward DART suburban train using my FujiFilm XT1.

The trick is not underexposing the snow.

Falling snow can make for a great sense of depth.

Connolly Station, Dublin.

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Milk Tram at St Stephens Green—LUAS Avonmore Ad Tram Round 2!

Two weeks ago, I was traveling south on the LUAS Green Line from Marlborough Street to Harcourt Street, when I spotted the one-of-a-kind LUAS Avonmore advertising tram taking the bend around Dublin’s St. Stephens Green.

My Lumix is always at the ready, so I made a few grab shots from the windows of the tram, which was bound for Broombridge.

I’d worked out in my head roughly how long it would take for it to make a return trip, and did some shopping to kill time.

An hour later I returned to the curve and made a few more photos of the same tram going the other way.

Dawson Street.
Trams crossing at Dawson Street.
Trailing view.

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Location Location Location: Making Claude Road Work.

I was trying think of a title that would get you to read this!

The Claude Road footbridge in Dublin offers an interesting vantage point for Irish Rail, but comes with its fair share of challenges.

It’s a location on an S-bend, which is a good thing, but also a visual puzzle, calling for the optimal lens-camera combination to yield satisfactory results.

I like the location because of the old mill in the distance to the west, and the views of Croke Park stadium to the east that offer distinctive location identification.

An Irish Rail ICR heading east for Connolly Station approaches Claude Road.
A slightly wider view of the same train.
An inbound 29000 series railcar heads toward Drumcondra Station, Croke Park looms in the distance.
An outbound 29000 series railcar some a similar vantage point.
To make the most of this image, I adjusted contrast and exposure in post processing.
Irish Rail 077 works ‘light engine’ toward Inchicore. This is a trailing view to make the most of the morning sunlight.

High railings at the center part of the footbridge can make it difficult for me to obtain the perfect angle, without aid of a footstool or tilting rear camera display.

I made these views on a sunny morning with my FujiFilm X-T1 with 18-135mm lens. The Fuji’s adjustable rear display allows me to hold the camera at arm’s length over the bridge railing..

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Working With Glint: Cherry Orchard and a Late Running Liner.

Last week, Irish Rail operated a late IWT liner that departed Dublin in the evening, instead on its normal mid-morning path.

A group of my friends went to Cherry Orchard in the west Dublin suburbs to capture this relatively unusual move. While waiting for the freight, I made views of the evening passenger parade.

The sky was clear of clouds and sun was aligned with the Cork line making some interesting possibilities of glint and silhouette photographs.

In the 1990s, I exposed hundreds of images in this type of dramatic lighting conditions. The characteristics of Kodachrome 25 slide film made it well suited to glint photographs and I had my K25 exposures refined to a high art.

Glint photographs are more difficult to capture digitally, and I find that I have to control contrast and use digital masks/digital applied graduated neutral density filters in post processing to obtain the results that I expect.

An up-cork with a Mark 4 push-pull set catches the evening glint at Cherry Orchard.
I made this view of a down road Intercity Railcar from the north side of the line.

 

Irish Rail’s IWT liner roars toward the setting sun.
Glint light is an excellent means of capturing the drama of railways in motion.

Key to this exercise is underexposing a raw file sufficiently to retain detail in the sky and glinty areas of the image, than lighten shadows while making localized highlight adjustments in post processing.

These photos were made using my FujiFilm X-T1.

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Steam on Retropan.

On one level, it seems appropriate to make images of steam locomotives and their environment with Retropan. ‘Retro on Retro’ right?

Yet, I know many old-school black & white photographers would object to the essential qualities of Retropan black & white film, which by design is comparatively soft and grainy.

Yes, there are sharper films; and of course there’s colour, not to mention digital, but the reason I chose Foma Retropan for these photos was because of the gritty quality it offers.

Someone might ask why does the RPSI run a steam locomotive, when there are more efficient diesel railcars available?

Connolly Station, exposed on Retropan 18 March 2018.
Connolly Station, exposed on Retropan 18 March 2018.

Ooo! Look an efficient diesel railcar. And it’s on Retropan too! Drumcondra, Dublin.
Approaching Glasnevin Junction, Dublin.
Maynooth.
Locomotive number 4 at Maynooth. Notice the modern signal in the distance and the bright lamps on the locomotive.

 

Psssst! I also made some colour slides, and a whole bunch of colour digital image on the same day.

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My new book ‘Brian Solomon’s Railway Guide to Europe features RPSI trains in its section on Ireland.

It is due out in May 2018 and may pre-order the book from Kalmbach Books: https://kalmbachhobbystore.com

For details on  RPSI and passenger excursions see: https://www.steamtrainsireland.com

Irish Rail 073 in Heritage Paint at Dublin’s North Wall.

Irish Rail 073 was repainted in 2017 into heritage orange paint.

When I arrived in Ireland 20 years ago, most locomotives were in some variation of this orange-livery. Today, 073 is a novelty.

The bright orange with white trimming makes for a great subject, even on cloudy days since its stands out well from the background.

I made these views last week at Dublin’s North Wall of the arriving IWT Liner.

FujiFilm XT1 with 90mm lens.
FujiFilm XT1 with 90mm lens.
FujiFilm XT1 with 90mm lens.
FujiFilm XT1 with 90mm lens.

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Fool in the Rain, Irish Weather Part 1.

On the way to Belfast from Dublin a couple of weeks ago, the rain lashed down. Instead of changing trains at Portadown, I opted to remain dry a little long and remained on the Enterprise all the way to Belfast Central.

It was still cloudy in Belfast, but the rain had stopped.

I traveled to Great Victoria Street, then changed for an all stops NI Railways train and alighted at Adelaide just as the clouds receded and bright evening light prevailed.

An express to Lisburn passes Adelaide. You’d hardly know that an hour earlier it was lashing rain.
A few minutes later, a 4001-series CAF passes on an all stops service. This pair of photos offers a good comparison between the 3001 and 4001 series CAF railcars employed by NIR.
NIR 4010 slows for its station stop at Adelaide.

I exposed these views with my FujiFilm XT1 fitted with a Fujinon 18-135mm zoom lens.

So I wasn’t a fool in the end; or was I?

If I’d changed at Portadown, I would have arrived at Adelaide sooner and I may have photographed a train with a rainbow.

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Looking Down on Great Victoria Street, Belfast.

Plans are afoot to redevelop Belfast’s Great Victoria Street Station.

Although NI Railway’s platforms are not an architectural wonder, I’ve been making photos of the present arrangement before it changes.

Belfast Great Victoria Street Station from Durham Street.
Great Victoria Street at dusk 1/5 second at f1.8 ISO250 with Lumix LX7.
Inbound NIR train arriving Great Victoria Street at dusk 1/5 second at f2.0 ISO250 with Lumix LX7.
Great Victoria Street at dusk 1/5 second at f1.7 ISO250 with Lumix LX7.

I made these views with my Lumic LX-7 from the Durham Street bridge which crosses above the platforms.

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Tracking the Light Extra! Dublin Greened for St Patrick’s Day 2018! Five NEW photos!

Lumix photos by Brian Solomon.

Dusk is a great time to capture the light. Once the blue in the sky has faded, the photos just are not as interesting.

O’Connell Street at dusk.
Grand Central at Abbey and O’Connell Street.
Irish Rail’s Loop Line Bridge with the Custom House.
Irish Rail’s Loop Line Bridge with the Custom House.

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Dublin’s Elusive Super Milk Tram.

Well it’s the only time I’ve seen it .(so far)

I was on Abbey Street, when I heard the familiar Dong-Dong warning of a LUAS tram . . .

this wasn’t a red line tram, but rather a car working the new Green Line Cross City route on Marlborough Street.

So there it was in all its creamy-whiteness; the red-white-blue Avonmore Super Milk Tram!

LUAS Tram 5010 painted for Avonmore Super Milk passes the Abbey Theatre.
Avonmore Milk Tram in the Dublin City centre.

Lucky for me I had my Lumix LX7 at the ready.

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Cover Considerations:  Out-takes from my Railway Guide to Europe.

What makes a good cover photo?

The short answer is the image that the publisher hopes will best sell the product.

When I was asked to supply potential cover images for Brian Solomon’s Railway Guide to Europe, I searched through hundreds of photos that I thought might work.

I exposed the cover photo in Germany’s Rhein Valley using my FujiFilm XT1 with 18-135mm lens.

My book should be available at the end of May.

You may pre-order it from Kalmbach Books: https://kalmbachhobbystore.com

It is aimed at people looking to travel around Europe by train.

I hoped for a cover image that showed a modern passenger train in a classic setting. Also, while the book covers a wide geographical span, I thought it would be best for the cover to focus on central Europe.

Kalmbach books narrowed my selection about 8 photos; while the choice was ultimately theirs, the image of a DB Regional Express passing a medieval tower at Oberwesel made my final cut.

This photo was exposed in nice soft sunlight; it offers a pleasant scenic summer setting with a simple, yet striking composition showing a river, a castle and a decidedly modern European passenger train. The train’s paint scheme makes it easy to distinguished it from the surrounding landscape and it appears relatively high in the image area (if it appeared too low, it might not work well to sell the book). Also, there’s ample space for the book title and other writing.

I made the cover image while on a visit to the Rhein valley with Gerry Conmy, Stephen Hirsch and Denis McCabe. We spent the afternoon of 8 September 2015 photographing a parade of trains on the Rhein’s ‘left bank’ line.

The cover image was selected from a burst of 4 photos. I’ve included a variety of the other photos I made during the same afternoon.

This photo was made slightly later in the sequence of photos from which the cover image was selected.

 

This Mittelrheinbahn local train was exposed a few minutes after the cover image. The lighting isn’t as nice as the cover image.
A DB class 101 electric leads an IC train at Oberwesel. Although a dramatic image, the train is lower in the image area, the catenary masts present greater visual clutter and the train is a generation older, thus will tend to date the book more quickly.
DB auto train. Admittedly, while I like the views of freight trains, these are are unlikely to sell the book to passenger train riders. I did include a handful of freight photos inside the book. Including a vintage image my father made on an SNCF freight in 1960.
A Swiss Cargo intermodal freight at Oberwesel. This was one of many freights that I photographed that afternoon.
An Austrian EC train with leased Taurus electric and ÖBB carriages, makes for a nice international image. The colors of the locomotive don’t work as well as the DB Regional Express ultimately selected.

 

Crossrail is one of many private operators running freight on German rails.
A DB class 101 leads an EC train with SBB carriages. Now who left his camera bag in the photo?
Catching this vintage class 225 ‘Rabbit’ with a maintenance train was a real coup. Yet, hardly cover material for a book aimed at riding trains.
Here’s a slightly different angle at the same location. This features a castle perched atop the hill, but is a more cluttered view.

All of these images were exposed over the course of less than an hour using my FujiFilm X-T1 digital camera.

Brian Solomon’s Railway Guide to Europe should be available at the end of May.

You may pre-order it from Kalmbach Books: https://kalmbachhobbystore.com

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Holywood Sunset?—Febraury 2018.

At Holywood, NI Railways skirts the Lagan estuary on its way from Belfast to Bangor.

Although a mostly overcast afternoon,  hints of colour and the occasional shaft of light appeared in the evening sky.

I’d been trying to put the pieces of a lighting puzzle together where I could feature an NIR train with the dramatic sky, but I didn’t manage to get what I envisioned.

By the time I found the optimal location for a photo with a train, the really dramatic light had faded.

I exposed these views with my Lumix LX7.

Sunset over the Lagan looking toward Belfast. Exposed with m Lumix LX7.
Train on the left; dramatic light on the right. (And no suitable location on the far side of the tracks.)
This location would have made for a perfect angle of a train with the dramatic sky, but by the time I reached this spot the light had faded. You can’t win all the prizes.

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RPSI Driver Training Special at Laytown.

A rare sunny Sunday in Ireland. It was clear from dawn to dusk.

Making it extra special was Railway Preservation Society of Ireland’s driver training special using tank engine No. 4 and the preserved Cravens carriages.

This worked the Northern line between Connolly Station in Dublin and Drogheda.

I was traveling with William Malone and Honer Travers.

We decided to visit the viaduct at Laytown, which offers a good place to catch a steam locomotive at work.

I made this view using my Lumix LX7, but also exposed a sequence of Fujichrome colour slides with my Nikon N90S and 35mm lens. We’ll have to wait to see those.

My Lumix LX7 is a nifty tool for making action photos of train. Although a small camera, it has the ability to produce both RAW and JPG files and features a remarkably sharp lens.

I find that engine number 4 photographs best from a broadside angle. It looks awkward viewed head-on.

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Sun on the Bog; Nice Light on Bord na Mona—February 2018.

This is a follow-up to Friday’s post:

February 2018 Foray into the Irish Bog in search of Narrow Gauge freight. [https://wp.me/p2BVuC-5jR]

The Irish Midlands are famously cloudy.

However, when the evening sun shines it makes for some wonderful photographic opportunities.

In February, Denis McCabe and I waited out the clouds, and caught two pairs of laden Bord na Mona trains in bright sun.

These images were exposed near Rathangan, Co. Kildare.

FujiFilm XT1 with 90mm lens.
FujiFilm XT1 with 90mm lens.
FujiFilm XT1 with 90mm lens.
FujiFilm XT1 with 90mm lens.
FujiFilm XT1 with 90mm lens.
FujiFilm XT1 with 90mm lens.
FujiFilm XT1 with 90mm lens.

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Tracking the Light Extra: Views from today’s 1320 Enterprise to Belfast.

I’d booked on the 1120 to Belfast, but the first Dublin-Belfast Enterprise to depart Dublin Connolly since Thursday was today’s 1320 (that’s 1:20 pm)

Ground transport was still non-functional when I left Islandbridge, so I made my way through the slush to Connolly on foot, mostly following the rusted over LUAS tracks.

There was a big crowd for the train at Connolly. We were slow on the DART route to Malahide, then nominally delayed at Drogheda when a disruptive passenger fought with Irish Rail staff.

All and all it was an interesting trip! I’m posting from an NI Railways CAF on its way to Great Victoria Street.

I made these views using Lumix LX7.

On my walk to Connolly I passed this scene on Abbey Street.
Connolly was frosty.
I was happy to see the Enterprise ready on Platform 2.
It was nice to be welcomed, but a little information would have been nice. Reminds me of a story my late friend Bob Buck used to tell about a woman passenger inquiring of the Boston & Albany Station agent at Framingham. ‘I asked you for information but all you give me is bullshit!’
Passengers were anxious to get on the train.
Finally a friendly member of staff came along and opened the doors.

Hmm, snow on the platforms!
I’m checking the level of snow on the DART and lines from the North Wall.
NI Railways CAF Railcars at Portadown a few minutes ago. LX7 photo.

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Tracking the Light EXTRA! A Dozen photos: Irish Transport at a Standstill.

Heavy Snow Shuts Irish Rail, LUAS and Bus Services.

Today, 2 March 2018, public transport was suspended across the Republic of Ireland. Irish Rail stopped operating trains yesterday afternoon.

Earlier today I made a cursory inspection of Dublin’s Heuston Station.

Drifts covered the line at Islandbridge Junction; trains were idle at the Heuston yards; the LUAS tram tracks were completely covered, and buses were idle at the Conyngham Road bus garage.

Snow covers Irish Rail tracks at Islandbridge Junction in Dublin. 2 March 2018.
Irish Rail’s Liffey Bridge at Islandbridge, Dublin on 2 March 2018.
Irish Rail trains idled at the Heuston Station yards. 2 March 2018.
Irish Rail trains idled at the Heuston Station yards. 2 March 2018.
Irish Rail trains idled at the Heuston Station yards. 2 March 2018.
Snow covers the normally busy LUAS tram tracks at Heuston Station. Irish Rail’s terminal is shut.
LUAS display at Heuston.
LUAS tracks lay beneath a blanket of snow on Steevens Lane.
All is quiet at Heuston Station. 2 March 2018.
Dublin Bus stop at Parkgate Street. 2 March 2018.
Dublin Bus stop at Parkgate Street. 2 March 2018.
Idle buses at Conynham Road Garage. 2 March 2018.

I’ve heard that there’s greater amounts of snow inland. In many places roads are impassible. Air travel has been grounded.

Reports from Northern Ireland indicate that NI Railways continues to provide service, possibly with some delays.

My photos were exposed digitally using Lumix LX7 and FujiFilm XT1 cameras.

Tracking the Light Posts Daily.

 

 

February 2018 Foray into the Irish Bog in search of Narrow Gauge freight.

Since 2012, Denis McCabe and I have made detailed exploration of Bord na Mona’s three-foot gauge railways networks.

See: Irish Bog Railways—Part 1 [https://wp.me/p2BVuC-8J]https://wp.me/p2BVuC-oR

Irish Bog Railways—Part 3, March 2, 2013 [https://wp.me/p2BVuC-oR]

Irish Narrow Gauge: Bord na Mona Approaching Sunset [https://wp.me/p2BVuC-28X]

These photos are from our most recent foray. We caught this pair of empty trains working their way east from Clonbulloge to a loading area near Rathangan.

Bord na Mona typically operates trains in pairs to ease the loading process.

Moon-like landscape on the bog east of Clonbulloge.

Fair weather clouds were gradually giving way to sunshine.

Images were exposed using a FujiFilm XT1 with 90mm f2.0 lens.

Tracking the Light Posts Daily.

Square Crossing O’Connell Street—Dublin.

Construction of Dublin’s new Cross City LUAS tram route has resulted in two square crossings. One at Abbey and Marlborough Streets, the other at Abbey and O’Connell Street.

This has opened up a variety of photographic opportunities to get two or more trams in one photo.

I made this view on O’Connell Street looking east on Abbey Street toward the pub called Grand Central.

Exposed digitally using a Lumix LX7.

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Irish Rail’s IWT Liner on a Saturday

I was traveling with Denis McCabe.

‘So where do we go?’

‘Try Cherryville first,’ I offered.

It was a bit brushed in and completely backlit. But we knew that.

‘How about Monasterevin? If we go to the bridge over the Barrow the sun will be side on.’

And so it was. We caught a the parade of Saturday morning passenger trains (I posted one of these yesterday). But then it clouded over.

‘Not much use here when there’s a white sky.’

So we moved up to the station.

We didn’t wait there long before the headlight of an 071 appeared.

In short order we caught the IWT Liner passing on its way to Ballina, County Mayo.

After  exposing a few colour slides,  I made a burst of digital images using my FujiFilm XT1.

Owing to the high contrast scene, I opted to make some exposure and contrast adjustments in post processing. I did this within the parameters of the histogram and so retained all the detail captured in my RAW file.

Tracking the Light Posts Daily.

Irish Rail Crossing the Barrow at Monasterevin.

I made this broadside view of an Irish Rail InterCity Railcar (ICR) crossing the River Barrow at Monasterevin.

To stop the action, I set my FujiFilm XT1 manually as follows: ISO 400, Shutter Speed = 1/1000th second, f-stop = f6.3.

I was working with a fixed focal length 90mm telephoto (a ‘prime’ lens which is not a variable focal length ‘zoom’).

The XT1’s digital format this is roughly equivalent to a 135mm lens on 35mm film.

A high shutter speed is necessary for stop action photography when photographing at a right angle to the subject’s direction of travel.

Tracking the Light Posts Daily.