Sometimes I take a haphazard approach to photography; I explore and see what I find, then run with what is handed to me. This works well some of the time.
However, I often take a more calculated approach, paying careful advanced attention to weather, lighting and train schedules/operating patterns. Obviously, this works best on railways that make an effort to operate to the schedule.
Back in autumn 2006, fellow photographer David Hegarty and I made several focused trips to Co. Mayo to photograph the Westport Line and Ballina Branch.
On Friday’s the once per week Dublin Heuston to Ballina direct passenger train was scheduled to cross the evening Westport-Dublin daily passenger at Ballyhaunis (one station east of Claremorris.) This meant that the cabin had to be staffed to work signals, points, Electric Train Staff instruments, etc.
I think we made three Friday evening visits before getting it right.
On September 15, 2006, I exposed this trailing glint view of the down Friday Ballina train with a class 071 diesel and Mark 2 carriages meeting a class 201 locomotive leading Mark 3s on the up train to Dublin.
Soon all was to change. The signals were replaced with mini-CTC, the Mark 2s were retired, soon followed by the Mark 3s, and as a result the 071s relegated to freight/per way work.
Yet at the time the most difficult part of this photograph was the lighting! Finding a clear afternoon in Mayo isn’t an easy task.
Special thanks to Noel Enright for arranging for the sun to come out at the right moment.
Tracking the Light posts every day!