Irish Rail’s Tara Mines Run

Fortuitous View From Dublin Bus, 23 July 2013.

Last Tuesday, 23 July 2013, I boarded Dublin’s Airlink Bus (Route 747) on O’Connell Street. I was on my way to London.

The 747 takes a somewhat circuitous route through the Dublin City center. After encircling Bus Aras (Dublin’s central intercity bus station) it wanders along the north quays and then passed the North Wall on its way toward the Port Tunnel.

On this portion of the route, the bus crosses Irish Rail at grade on the line that runs down the Alexandra Road into the port. I was on the upper deck of the 747, and as we approached the crossing I withdrew my Lumix LX3 from my bag.

Most travelers on an airport bus would dread the possibility of being delayed by a freight train. However, I was delighted when the traffic light turned red in front of the bus, and I notice a man in an Irish Rail orange vest with a red flag hovering by the street corner. This could only mean one thing . . .

Tara Mines Run
Irish Rail’s empty Tara Mines train eases across the road as viewed from the Airlink Bus on 23 July 2013. Lumix LX3 photo.

And there it was! Great! Acting quickly, I opened the side window of the bus and positioned my camera. In a moment’s time, Irish Rail’s 071-class locomotive, number 081 eased across the road with the empty Tara Mines train in tow. The flagman walked the train over the crossing to insure maximum safety. I exposed the sequence of photos displayed here.

Freight train viewed from double decker bus in Dublin.
This image reminds me of a photo my father made in the 1960s of an Erie-Lackawanna caboose seen crossing a road from the inside of an old GM bus in New Jersey. Lumix LX3 photo.

It was only a momentary delay. Soon the traffic light returned to green and the bus continued on its way. Oddly, I don’t think any of the other bus passengers shared my enthusiasm for the fortuity of the train’s passing. Can’t please everyone, I suppose.

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