Today, Irish Rail 216 wears a one of a kind navy-blue livery and is seasonally assigned to Belmond’s luxury
Grand Hiberniancruise train .
This has become one of the most popular trains to photograph in Ireland and I’ve caught it here and there over the last few years.
For my 201 retrospective, I thought I’d present a few photos of 216 before it was blue.
Irish Rail 216 was among the first 201 class diesels I put on film. Here it is at Westport, County Mayo back in February 1998. Exposed on Provia100 with my Nikon F3T and 135mm lens.
In April 1998, I made this view of 216 at Heuston Station, back when the station shed was blue, but 216 wasn’t! 24mm view with Fujichrome Sensia.
Also in April 1998, 216 with a Mark3 set at Kent Station, Cork. A 135mm view on Fujichrome Sensia (100 ISO).
This seems unusual now: Irish Rail 216 in orange paint on the container pocket wagons (CPWs) then assigned to Dublin-Cork midday liner. Photographed at Islandbridge Junction in Dublin using a Contax G2 with 28mm Biogon Lens. Give me a good price, and I’ll sell you the lens. (I’m totally serious!) email@example.com
And there’s 216 in fresh green, yellow and silver paint, rolling through Cherryville Junction with a down Mark3 set on 20April2006. How things have changed!
Stay tuned for more soon!
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There’s a certain thrill to having two trains approach simultaneously.
Saturday, Denis McCabe, David Hegarty and myself had selected a bridge near Mosney (mp25) on the old Great Northern Railway Dublin-Belfast line as a good place to catch Belmond’s
Grand Hibernian cruise train.
The Belmond train departed Dublin Connolly behind an Irish Rail local passenger train and its progress was slowed when it encountered restrictive signals.
Another Irish Rail local was scheduled in the Dublin direction.
As it happened the two trains passed below us.
Belmont’s Grand Hibernian rolls northward at milepost 25. The lighting was tricky. Diffused backlit sun made for a complicated exposure calculation. I used a Lee .6 graduated neutral density filter to hold detail in the sky. In post processing I lightened shadow detail slightly while controlling highlights to reduce glare on the top of the locomotive.
I turned quickly to make this grab shot of the Grand Hibernian meeting an Irish Rail 29000-series diesel railcar on the opposite main track. In retrospect, I think I’d could have made a more dramatic image if I’d used a telephoto lens setting.
I moved over a few feet to get a better angle of the approaching railcar. The gray roofs on Belmond’s Mark3 carriages isn’t especially photogenic.
I exposed this sequence using my FujiFilm X-T1.
Tracking the Light posts often.
What was once common is now extraordinary.
Fifteen years ago, if you told me that I’d be out on a Sunday morning specifically to photograph a 201 class diesel with Mark 3 carriages on Irish Rail’s Dublin-Cork line, I wouldn’t have believed you!
This morning Colm O’Callaghan and I did just that.
The dark blue color is difficult to photograph satisfactorily though.
Irish Rail 201-class diesel (built by General Motors in Canada) number 216 is specially painted for Belmond’s Grand Hibernian cruise train. The train’s glossy dark blue represents a photographic quandary. I made this photo with my FujiFilm XT1; ISO 640, f5.6 1/500th of a second using a 18-135mm lens.
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