The other evening some friends and I traveled from the Dublin city centre to Blackrock on the DART-Dublin’s electrified suburban rail-transit service.
The DART branding mimic’s the Bay Area’s third-rail rapid transit brand ‘BART’ (Bay Area Rapid Transit).
While sometimes my rail travel is focused on the making of photos, this trip had another primary purpose; yet with my Lumix LX7 at the ready, I used every opportunity to make photos.
Significantly, Dublin’s Pearse Station, formerly-known as Westland Row, is credited as the world’s oldest city terminus in continuous use. It was opened in 1834 with the Dublin & Kingstown Railway. Of course, the D&K has the distinction as the world’s earliest operating suburban railway.
In 1984, the DART began electric services between Howth and Bray. This offered an improvement to existing Dublin suburban services by wiring existing routes. The service was later extended to Greystones and Malahide.
The line between Pearse Station (formerly Westland Row) and Dún Laoghaire (formerly Kingstown) had been opened in 1834 and is considered the world’s oldest suburban railway.
The hum of DART’s electric multiple units are a familiar tone of Dublin transport.
Over the last few weeks, I’ve made several images of DART trains during my travels around Dublin. All were exposed with my Canon EOS 7D.
While waiting for my southward train, an 8600-series DART set pulled into platform 6. It was the first DART set that I’ve seen featuring the new Irish Rail logo.
This logo was introduced a few months ago, and thus far I’d seen it on some of the Mark IV and 22000-series Intercity trains as well as a few ‘HOBS’ ballast wagons (HOBS is an Irish Rail abbreviation for ‘high-output ballast system’).
The sun was out brightly, which made for a good opportunity to document this nominal change.
The all-black variation of the logo on the front of the DART car is different from what I’ve seen on other equipment.
From my experience, It’s always a wise move to photograph these types of changes as soon as they appear, because you never know when some little change might turn out to be a short-lived one-off.
Fifteen years ago today, I exposed this image of Irish Rail’s empty Ammonia train at on the South Eastern route Bray Head (former Dublin & South Eastern Railway, nee Dublin, Wicklow & Wexford Railway).
At that time, there were three daily ammonia trains between Marino Point, County Cork and Shelton Abbey near Arklow, County Wicklow. The trains operated to tight schedules and were among the most predictable freight trains on the Irish Rail network.
For me the Ammonia was a bonus. I was actually out for a Railway Preservation Society Ireland (RPSI) steam special running with engine 461. To make the most of the morning, I taken the first southward Dublin Area Rapid Transit (DART) run from Pearse Station (Dublin) to Bray, then walked roughly two miles to this location in anticipation of catching the regular passenger trains and the empty Ammonia.
The line itself was in transition. If you look carefully, you’ll see the electrification masts along the line, as Irish Rail was preparing for extension of DART services to Greystones (the next station south of Bray).
The run around Bray Head is one of the most scenic on Irish Rail. Here the line clings to cliff and passes through several tunnels all the while in view of the vast expanse of the Irish Sea.
It was my first July 4th outside of North America. Irish Rail’s ammonia traffic ceased in 2002, when the fertilizer factory at Shelton Abbey closed. Today there’s no regular freight traffic on the South Eastern route.