A week ago, Kris and I traveled from Belfast Great Victoria Street to the Titanic Quarter Station in order to visit the Belfast Titanic museum, located on the waterfront near the the famous Harland & Wolff cranes.
I made these digital photos using my Nikon Z6 with 24-70mm lens. I also made a few Ektachrome colour slides with a Nikon F3.
During our month-long visit to Ireland, I’ve been exposing both digital and film photos as part of the record of our honeymoon, and as a continuation of the photography of Ireland and its railways that I began back in 1998.
I wasn’t prepared for what I saw last month when Kris Sabbatino and I re-visited Belfast, Maine.
In 1980, my father and I paid two visits to Belfast, one of which involved a train ride to Burnham Junction and back on the Belfast & Moosehead Lake freight. On those trips I made photos of B&ML’s yard and roundhouse on black & white film using my Leica IIIA.
In August 1997, I revisited Belfast, and found the B&ML yard intact, but ghostly quiet.
I’d read that the good citizens of Belfast despised the railroad yard and its environment and that they had evicted the railroad that the city had once owned.
I was shocked of how completely this quaint delightful compact railroad yard along the Belfast waterfront had been so totally erased from the scene. It has been replaced with a sandy parking lot.
I was unprepared because I had not brought with me the photos from my earlier visits. I found it very difficult to recall exactly where I had stood. The landmarks I knew existed only in my head.
The tracks, the structures, the trains and the character of the environment that I seen in my earlier visits were now gone.
Sadly, I’ll need to return again with my earlier photos in hand and attempt a more accurate series of ‘then and now’ images.
The views below are looking north. My attempts to recreate the roundhouse scenes looking west are not good enough to reproduce here.