It was more than twenty years ago, back on March 4, 2000, that I exposed this view of Irish Rail 141-class diesel-electric 159 racing northward on the Northern at Donabate.
Denis McCabe, the late Norman McAdams and I were out for a bunch of special trains coming down from Belfast. I wasn’t expecting it, but this light engine was a bit of a bonus.
I was working with Sensia II (ISO) in a Nikon N90S fitted with a manual focus Tokina f5.6 400mm lens that I’d bought second-hand from my friend Doug Moore several years earlier.
Yesterday when I scanned the slide, I thought there was excessive dust on the emulsion and so rescanned after considerable attention with a can of compressed air to clean it. It was only on close inspection that I realized that the ‘specks’ in the sky were, in fact, birds, and not dust!
It was a cool, clear morning at Donabate on the old Great Northern Railway of Ireland north of Dublin, when I set up with a telephoto lens fitted to my Nikon N90S ( loaded with Fujichrome Sensia II slide film).
Irish Rail’s 2700-series diesel railcars were relatively new at the time, but weren’t the main feature of the morning. I was hoping to catch some NI Railways 80-Class that were on their way down from Belfast.
In retrospect, I’m glad I made use of the clear morning light. The 2700-series railcars were relatively short-lived in traffic, and they only operated in that attractive orange livery for a scant few years.
Some advice: take advantage of new trains in great light and make the best photos that you can, even when those trains don’t seem special to you. Over time your photos will age well.