Monday, September 29, 2014.
Today saw a rare movement on a line devoid of regular traffic. Railtours Ireland’s Emerald Isle Express train was operated as empty carriage across the length of the South Wexford line from Rosslare Strand to Waterford.
Railtours Ireland’s Emerald Isle Express is a high-end tour train making a week-long tour of Irish Rail. This position-move was the most direct means of getting the train from Wexford to Waterford and saved a lengthy deadhead via Dublin and Cherryville. It was operated by Irish Rail in conjunction with the Railway Preservation Society of Ireland.
This was the first time I’ve photographed a train on the South Wexford in about six years. This line is storied ground: it was a favorite subject of mine a decade ago when a regular passenger service ran from Rosslare Harbour to Waterford using vintage General Motors diesels, and Cravens carriages like those that traveled the line today.
It was also the route of seasonal sugar beet trains that loaded at Wellingtonbridge, County Wexford for processing at Mallow, County Cork. Between 1999 and 2005, I made more than 50 trips to photograph the sugar beet, a project that resulted in thousands of color slides, black & white negatives, and DAT audio recordings. I could make a book of it.
Today, I traveled down from Dublin with Mark Healy to catch this unusual move. It was strange (and sad) to see this once-familiar line with rusty rails and heavy over growth along the right of way.
While my best photos of the day were exposed on Fujichrome Provia 100F with my trusted Canon EOS 3, I’ve published a few of my digital results here.
Special thanks to everyone at Irish Rail, Railway Preservation Society Ireland, and Railtours Ireland for making this unusual move possible! (And thanks to Mark for the lift!)
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