Tag Archives: Dublin

Old General Motors diesel idles under a Victorian Trainshed.

Irish Rail’s 071 class diesels are among the oldest railway vehicles in continuous service in Ireland.

When I made these images last month of Irish Rail 080 under the Victorian-era roof at Dublin’s Connolly Station, the other end of the train was getting all the attention. Dozens of curious on-lookers were anxiously awaiting the arrival of 4-4-0 131.

Old 080 had brought the carriages over from Inchicore and was idling away in comparative obscurity.

How many times have I crossed paths with this old diesel? Now almost a half century old, 080 is a relic among more modern rolling stock.

Where steam locomotive 131 will likely be around for generations to come, poor old 080 is nearing the end of its useful life.

I made these photos using my Lumix LX7.

Great Northern Railway 131 at Connolly

After dozens of visits to Ireland over a span of 26 years, I finally witnessed former Great Northern Railway 4-4-0 number 131 under steam on 24 March 2024.

This also was a reunion with many of my old friends at the Railway Preservation Society of Ireland (RPSI), Irish Rail and Irish Railway Record Society. And, it was Kris’s first trip behind steam in Ireland!

Many memorable photos were exposed that day!

I made these images at Dublin’s Connolly Station using my Nikon Z7-II.

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Then and Now: Changes at Islandbridge Junction!

Over the years I’ve made countless photos at Islandbridge Junction in Dublin.

Last month, Kris and I revisited my old spot at ‘the box’ over looking the Junction, just west of Heuston Station.

I found this place much changed from my earlier views. Not only have modern buildings sprouted up but so has the lineside vegetation.

Compare these photos from 17 May 2005 and 18 February 2024. In both views, I show Irish Rail 201-class General Motors diesels leading Dublin-Cork passenger trains.

Great Northern Railway station at Malahide.

Kris and I traveled on the DART from Dublin Connolly Station to the northern extent of the DART service at Malahide where we spent the afternoon wandering around.

We returned via a 22K series Intercity Railcar (ICR).

I made a series of photos of the station, its trains and environment. The station facilities include a classic former Great Northern Railway (of Ireland) station building. This is constructed of yellow brick and retains its traditional Victorian era canopy.

LX3 photo.
Nikon Z7-11 with 24-70mm lens.
Nikon Z7-11 with 24-70mm lens.
Nikon Z7-11 with 24-70mm lens.
LX3 photo.

Photos exposed using Lumix LX3 and Nikon Z7-II digital cameras. All images were exposed as RAW files and processed using Adobe Lightroom.

DART at Connolly Station

Dublin Area Rapid Transit is an electrified suburban service focused on Dublin’s Connolly Station. This shares routes with diesel powered trains and provides a regular interval passenger service.

The oldest of its cars are the German built 8100, 8300 series units that date to beginning of the service in the early 1980s. I first photographed the DART in 1998.

I made these photos on Satruday using a Lumix LX3. Kris and I were on our way to Malahide, which is the northern extremity of the DART service.

Following its recent re-introduction to my camera arsenal, I’m continuing to experiment with a Lumix LX3, after nearly a decade since my original LX3 failed following more than 65,000 exposures. The LX3 was my first digital camera.

Irish Rail Rail Train at Clondalkin

I’m waiting for someone to call me out on title redundancy.

Actually, according to my notes, this Irish Rail permanent way consist is called the ‘rail trucks.’

It was nine years ago that I joined my friend Colm O’Callaghan on an adventure to the west Dublin suburbs to catch this elusive train on the move.

We set up at near Clondalkin looking east toward the Park West and Cherry Orchard station on the recently opened quad track section of the Dublin-Cork main line.

I made this view using my Canon EOS 7D with an f2.0 EF 100mm USM prime telephoto lens. Exposure was f5.6 1/500 at 200 ISO. I adjusted the file using Adobe Lightroom. Below are three variations, each described in the caption.

Canon CR2 Raw file without adjustment, converted to JPG for internet presentation.
Same CR2 RAW file as above, but with nominal color corrections made in Lightroom.
Cropped and color corrected version of the Canon CR2 RAW file, scaled as JPG for internet presentation.

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Irish Rail diesel trains August 28, 2013

Here’s a few views from my old Canon EOS7D from ten years ago.

I’ve Imported the old Canon CR2 (RAW) files into Lightroom (version 5.5) to make a host of minor adjustments that were not available to me at the time of exposure.

Although this older Canon digital camera didn’t capture as much data as my modern Nikons, it still did a wonderful job of preserving the scenes.

It’s been a long time since the 071s wore the black and silver livery.

Irish Rail 074 leads an empty ballast train down road near Hazelhatch. This is the ‘HOBS’ (High Output Ballast System).
A 200mm view near Clondalkin in West Dublin of a down ICR on the quad track section.
Up IWT liner approaching the Memorial Road Bridge with 071 class locomotive 083.
The Up-Cork rolls through ‘the Gullet’ on the last leg of its run to Dublin’s Heuston Station. I made this view from Memorial Drive. 28 August 2013.

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Steam to Kilkenny—Ten Years Ago!

On August 25, 2013, I traveled behind 2-6-0 461 on the Railway Preservation Society of Ireland’s The Marble City that ran from Dublin’s Connolly Station to Kilkenny and back via Athy.

At various stops along the way, I made digital photos using my old Canon EOS7D with a 28-135mm lens.

Although I’ve previously published some of these photos on Tracking the Light, for this post I’ve re-edited my selection and made a variety of up-to-day post processing adjustments using Adobe Lightroom, which I didn’t use back in 2013.

Hard to believe this was ten years ago!

Safety valves are lifting at Hazelhatch as The Marble City was overtaken by the down Cork led by Irish Rail 215.
At Kilkenny, I made this roster shot of old 461.
A view from the road bridge at Athy, Irish Rail’s up Dublin-Waterford train was making its station stop while RPSI’s steam crew filled 461’s tank with water.
Classic portrait of the footplate crew at Athy. Look’s like someone needs a cup of tea.

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Irish Rail in Dublin—3 May 2014

It was a typical Irish overcast day on 3 May 2014. Using my Canon 7D, I made this selction photos of Irish Rail.

Last night, I imported my nine year old Canon CR2 RAW files into Lightroom and re-profiled them as an exercise.

Three of the four photos below were adjusted for color, contrast, and exposure. One of the images was the in-camera JPG.

One of the great advantages of working with digital RAW files in post processing is the ability to lighten the shadow areas. This small adjustment can significanly improve the appearance of photos made in dull overcast lighting.

Canon EOS 7D with 40mm pancake lens. Adjusted CR RAW file.
Irish Rail ad on a Dublin Bus. Canon EOS 7D with 100mm f2.0 lens. Canon JPG.
Canon EOS 7D with 40mm pancake lens. Adjusted CR RAW file.
Canon EOS 7D with 100mm telephoto lens. Adjusted CR RAW file.

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Mark4—16 years ago with 24mm

Last night Kris and I watched a Sci-Fi film about time travel.

Afterwards, I thought about how each of my slide binders offers a form of time travel.

Lately on Tracking the Light, I’ve been offering windows in time. Each that looks back through my photographs; one week, five years, etc.

I look at this photo and I think how much has changed since I exposed this frame of Fujichrome.

I was standing at ‘the box’ at the St John’s Road in Dublin on the evening of 29 April 2007. I made the image with a Nikon F3 with 24mm Nikkor lens.

Much of these scene has changed in the intervening years. The old baracks behind the train was demolished and replace by an upscale housing complex. The view of the tracks looking west has been obscured by brush and bushes (don’t ask which is which). And, these days I rarely exposed Fujichrome in Dublin with a Nikon F3.

Irish Rail’s Mark4 sets still work the Dublin-Cork run though. So that’s something.

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Full frame scan of a 35mm slide exposed on Fujichrome using a Nikon F3 with 24mm Nikkor lens. 29 April 2007

Dublin’s Pearse Station, Spring 1998.

Twenty-Five years ago, I was exploring Irish Rail, and seeing this amazing railway for the first time. 

Dublin’s Pearse Station impressed me. The capacious Victorian train shed with a mix of electric and diesel trains reminded me of Philadelphia’s great termini; Broad Street and Reading Terminal.

But also because it was the oldest big city station in continuous use. The station opened in 1834 and although greatly altered over the decades, this had always served as a Dublin hub.

Today, it is rare to find a diesel here, except on permanent-way trains, and more rarely on RPSI diesel tours. Yet, back in 1998, it was a common sight to find a 201-class General Motors diesel-electric working a push-pull Mark3 set in suburban service. The sound of the big GM was amplified under the shed.

Irish Rail 231 at Dublin Pearse Station in 1998. Fujichrome slide scanned with a Nikon LS5000 scanner.

I made this photo on Fujichrome Sensia (100 ISO) using a Nikon F3T with 24mm Nikkor wide-angle lens. Looking at this photo today, it amazes me how few people were on the platform.

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Ten Years Ago-Greening of Dublin

On the evening of 15 March 2013, I walked around Dublin making photos of civic structures that had been lit with green-tinted light to celebrate the upcoming St. Patrick’s Day holiday.

To hold my cameras steady, I worked with a mini Gitzo tripod with adjustible ball head.

Dublin’s Heuston Station, lit green for St. Patrick’s Day. Time exposure with a Lumix LX3. Lumix RAW file adjusted using Adobe Lightroom to obtain better color balance and improve shadow detail.
The Wellington Testimonial in Dublin’s Phoenix Park had a hint of green light reflecting of its eastern flank. Exposed digitally using a Canon 7D.

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Two March Firsts from Years Gone By!

I wish I’d done more of this sort of thing.

This is a good exercise in seeing, and a great way to preserve the effects of change (or not, as the case may be).

Below are two views of Irish Rail’s tracks as seen from atop the Phoenix Park Tunnel off the Conyngham Road in Dublin. These images were exposed exactly one year apart.

In both situations, I was walking back to my old apartment at Islandbridge in Dublin and made a photo of the tracks with a Lumix.

The March 1st, 2014 view was made with an LX3 and exposed as a RAW File; the March 1st, 2015 photo was a JPG made with a Lumix LX7.

The vantage point was nearly identical, although the focal length and framing was slightly different.

LX3 photo-March 1, 2014
LX7 photo-March 1, 2015

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February 1998-Heustion Station, First Look-Two photos six months apart & 25 years ago.

I hadn’t planned on visiting Dublin. I arrived on an ‘Arrow’ from Kildare.

When I disembarked at Heuston Station in February 1998, I found it was a construction site.

I had never seen it any other way.

I never intended to stay.

As it happened, I spent many moons around the place. But in August 1998, I aimed to recreate the same angle I’d exposed six months earlier.

Both photos were made on Fujichrome using a Nikon F3T.

Heuston Station, February 1998.
Heuston Station, Dublin. August 1998.

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25 years Ago at Limerick Junction

I made my first trip to Ireland in February 1998.

After landing at Farranfore, I spent a week in Tralee, then another driving around the West in a hired Citroen Saxo, before enbarking on a rail journey at Limerick for Dublin.

This was argueably the most significant train trip of my adult life. I never intended to visit Dublin. But upon arrival there, I realized that I’d found a special place.

All of Dublin lay in my future. For more than 20 years, I rented apartments in Dublin. And the city was my conceptual office and research library where I wrote many of my books and as used base to travel around Europe.

Between 1998 and 2019, I made tens of thousands of photographs documenting Irish railways.

I made this view of the Limerick – Limerick Junction shuttle with 121-class number 128 while waiting for the Up Cork that would whisk me toward Dublin (although, I actually disembarked at Kildare to change to a local train consisting 2600 railcars). Exposed on Fujichrome with a Nikon F3T using a non-AI f2.8 135mm Nikkor telephoto.

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Dublin & Kingstown Revisited

In mid-October, I traveled the length of the old Dublin and Kingstown route to meet with my friends in Dun Laoghaire.

The Dublin and Kingstown Railway was opened in 1834 between Westland Row (today Pearse Station) and the harbour in Kingstown (now called Dun Laoghaire).

It was the first railway in Ireland and often claimed as the world’s first suburban railway.

Today, this route is operated as a portion of Irish Rail’s Dublin Area Rapid Transit electric service and hosts InterCity services to/from Rosslare Europort.

I had excellent autumn sun for my spin to Dun Laoghaire and stopped off at a couple of stations to make photos using my Nikon Z6 digital camera.

Approaching Seapoint.
Seapoint station stop.
DART interior.
Dun Laoghaire .
Dun Laoghaire .

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Blue Sky Glass LUAS Duck Under the Loop Line.

In mid-October, I was on my way over to Connolly Station, when I noticed the Ad-wrapped Sky LUAS tram gliding west on the Red Line near the Loop Line Bridge.

Working with my Lumix LX7, I made this view as the tram passed below the bridge.

The unusually decorated tram looked good in the rich morning sun.

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Dublin to Cork

On Monday, 3 October 2022, Kris and I traveled on Irish Rail’s 1200 Dublin Heuston to Cork (Kent) train.

It was a typically dull day with showers and occasional sun across the Midlands.

We had First Class tickets and traveled in Coach A of a five-piece ICR (InterCity Railcar).

At Cork we were given a warm and very special welcome by Irish Rail.

Heuston Station.
Self portrait with the Nikon in Coach A on the way to Cork.
Cork’s Kent Station upon arrival on platform 4.
The arrivals/departures board at Cork had a special welcome for us!
Cropped version of the above photo.

I made these photos of the trip using my Nikon Z6.

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Spin to Howth

Sunday evening Kris and I took a spin to Howth and back on Irish Rail’s DART from Connolly Station.

I made my first trip to Howth on the DART back in March 1998. On that visit I made photos with a Nikon F3T loaded with Fujichrome Velvia.

For Sunday’s visit, I worked with my Nikon Z6 with 24-70mm zoom, while Kris made photos with her Fuji XT4.

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Big Bus LUAS Tour-the Sequel

Here’s a follow up to yesterday’s Post.

Another tip: So when selecting the appropriate Big Bus Dublin, it is helpful to find a relatively empty tour. Not only will the give you the best seat in on the bus (up top, at the back), but also great freedom to move around to capture the best angles.

The first bus of the day tends to be crowded, while I found those mid afternoon to have ample space.

I made these views with my Nikon Z6.

LUAS at College Green from the back of the Big Bus tour.
LUAS near College Green from the back of the Big Bus tour.
LUAS and the Aircoach at College Green from the back of the Big Bus tour.
Heuston Station, Dublin.
Heuston Station, Dublin.

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Sneaky Tips Part 1

Here’s an interesting way to make elevated views of Dublin’s trams: ride at the back of an open-top tour bus.

Kris and I bought 48-hour tickets for the Big Bus Dublin, which provides a half-hourly hop-on hop-off service.

This was primarily a way for us to play tourists in Dubln, but I quickly found that it offered an excellent means to photograph the LUAS.

We traveled on three different types of buses. The variety that was most effective allowed me to shoot over the railing at the very back of the bus. Some of the more modern coaches didn’t have this feature, so you should choose your bus carefully.

I made these photos using my Nikon Z6 mirrorless camera with a 24-70mm zoom.

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August 28, 2012

Ten years ago (August 28, 2012), I made this photo from my standard location overlooking Islandbridge Junction in Dublin of the morning’s down IWT Liner, led by Irish Rail Class 071 number 073.

Working with a zoom lens, I made vertical and horizontal images of the freight as it worked around the bend this was facilitated by my ability to change focal lengths quickly.

My question is: does the ability to change focal lengths rapidly allow for better photos or does it make the photographer lazy?

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Irish Rail at Edgeworthstown-26 March 2005

Among the dozens of rolls of slides that I retrieved from storage at a friend’s house in Ireland was this one exposed of Irish Rail at Edgeworthstown, County Longford back on the 26th of March 2005.

On that day the down midday Connolly-Sligo passenger train terminated at Edgeworthstown and the passengers were transferred to a bus for the remainder of their journey west.

Locomotive 083 was hauling the train.

These were three of the photos I exposed on Fujichrome using a Contax G2 rangefinder.

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Locomotives at Inchicore

During April 2022, on an official tour of Irish Rail’s Inchicore Works, I had the opportunity to make photos of locomotives and equipment.

Having been away from Ireland for several years, one of the things that struck me during my week-long visit was the variety of paint liveries on Irish Rail equipment.

Its really a pretty colorful railway!

I made these images using my Lumix LX7, which was my primary camera during this trip.

The Lumix is compact & lightweight, but versatile and capable of extremely highquality photos despite its small size. It’s Leica lens is extraordinarily sharp.

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Ten Years Ago May 11th

On May 11, 2012, I made this digital photo with my Lumix LX3 of a LUAS Tram (dressed in Emirates advertising) passing Arnotts department store on Abbey Street in Dublin.

Less than two weeks ago we visited Arnotts on a shopping trip.

Now back in New Hampshire Arnotts just seems like a dream.

Exposed using a Lumix LX3 on May 11, 2012.

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Three Trains at Islandbridge Junction.

Toward the end of April, for the second morning in a row, I was in position at ‘the box’ on St Johns Road in Dublin to witness the passing of Irish Rail’s down IWT liner.

It was a cosmic alignment. The sun came out just as three trains converged upon Islandbridge Junction. The first was an ICR that emerged from the Phoenix Park Tunnel and stopped across from Platform 10. The second was an ICR heading toward the tunnel.

Then the down IWT liner emerged from the tunnel weaved around both ICRs on its way through the junction.

Sometimes, it helps to be in place at the best spot and just wait out the action.

Exposed in April 2022 using a Lumix LX7 digital camera.

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Waiting for the DART on Platform 5

Last Monday (25 April 2022) , we arrived at Dublin’s Connolly Station by LUAS tram and made our way to Platform 5 to catch the DART to Blackrock.

The sun was high in the sky as I focused on a northward DART while waiting for our train south.

All photos were exposed digitally using my Panasonic Lumix LX7.

Diesel Railcars Under the Roof at Connolly Station—25 April , 2022.

I first visited Irish Rail’s Connolly Station in February 1998.

That seems like a lifetime ago and the station facilities have been greatly altered since my early visits.

On Monday, 25 April , 2022, we transfered from the LUAS to Irish Rail’s DART at Dublin’s Connolly Station and on the way between the tram and the train, I exposed this Lumix LX7 photo 29000 and 22K series railcars under the old roof.

Although these are common varieties of trains in Ireland, there’s a certain thril of seeing them again in an historic setting, which reminds me that the common today will someday seem captivating. Everything changes and it helps to have been away for spell to better appreciate the effects of change.

An open eye can produce creative vision and a record for history.

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Dublin’s LUAS at Heuston-10 March, 2014 & 10 March, 2015

When in Dublin, I’d walk by Irish Rail’s Heuston Station almost daily.

In the evening on 10 March 2014, and again one year later, I captured views of the passing LUAS trams at Heuston.

Where the setting and scenes seem routine, I always try to make a new angle on the subject.

10 March , 2014, tram 3025 glides away from its Heuston Station stop, the 1840s headhouse and offices of the station loom to the left. LX3 photo.
Tram 3021 hums over Sean Heuston Bridge on its way to Heuston Station. Exposed using a Fuji XT1 with zoom lens. 10 March 2015.

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Irish Rail 084 at BlackHorse Avenue—Dublin.

As it rains ice outside my window in Conway, New Hampshire, I was thinking back to greener warmer times last summer in Ireland!

It was toward the end of August 2019, when I made this view of Irish Rail 084 working an up-IWT Liner from Ballina, Co. Mayo to Dublin’s North Wall approaching Blackhorse Avenue in Dublin.

Exposed digitally using a FujiFilm XT1 with a 90mm lens.

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Irish Rail 225 on the 0800 to Cork.

This morning, Irish Rail 201-class diesel-electric number 225, recently overhauled after years of inactivity, worked the down 0800 Dublin Heuston to Cork passenger train.

From what I hear, this is the first time this nearly quarter-century old locomotive has worked a passenger train since returning to service.

I made these photos a few minutes ago at Islandbridge Junction while out for my morning walk.

Exposed using a FujiFIlm XT1 with 27mm pancake lens.

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Classic Dublin with Low October Sun—Claude Road.

Monday, 28 October 2019 was a bright day in the Irish capital.

Although the main focus of the day was catching Irish Rail’s IWT Liners and the Railway Preservation Society of Ireland’s Haunted Expresses, the weather was conducive to making captivating photos of the more pedestrian trains.

Photographer Jay Monaghan and I had spent the day traveling around Dublin, grabbing angles of the passing trains.

In the afternoon we made our way to the Claude Road footbridge west of Drumcondra Station and set up for the outbound RPSI train.

While waiting, I made this view of an outbound ICR (intercity railcar) working the afternoon Dublin to Sligo service. In the distance is the Croke Park stadium. Further, are the iconic ‘Chimneys’ or ‘Stacks’ for the Poolbeg Generation Station.

135mm view with a FujiFilm XT1.
Wideangle photo exposed with a Lumix LX7.

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Parallel Moves: Belmond and Enterprise—Three photos.

On the afternoon of Saturday, 14 September 2019, Belmond’s Grand Hibernian was due at Connolly Station, Dublin .

Earlier I’d caught the train being shunted at Heuston Station, and expected it to make the run with Irish Rail 071 in retro orange paint.

A group of us were in place at Connolly anticipating the navy blue cruise train led by the orange loco.

But which platform would make a better photograph?

At the last minute, photographer Kevin O’Brien suggested platform 3. I owe him one for the idea. As it happened the Belmond and a late running Belfast-Dublin  Enterprise  approached Connolly at the same time.

My friends over on platform 2 didn’t get the view they hoped for since in the final seconds the Enterprise effectively blocked the view of the other train.

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Lidl Tram Prowls Dublin’s LUAS Red Line—3 photos.

In recent weeks, two advertising trams have been working the LUAS Red Line in Dublin. Previously, I featured a view of the white TESCO tram.

In this post, I ofter a few view of the brightly adorned Lidl advertising tram.

This really stands out and distinguishes it from the multitude of LUAS Citidis trams on the Dublin network.

Abbey Street, Dublin.

On Benburb Street at Blackhall.
Smithfield, Dublin

I made these photos with my Lumix LX7.

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Steam and Diesels at Connolly Station Dublin-7 photos!

After photographing Railway Preservation Society of Ireland’s private charter crossing the Liffey in Dublin, and catching the train with the TESCO painted Red Line tram at Gardiner Street, I walked briskly to make more photos of the train arriving at Connolly station.

Steam locomotive number 4 was unhooked and sent to Connolly shed, while Irish Rail 082 took its place to bring the RSPI Cravens across to Inchicore Works.

I made these photos using my FujiFilm XT1.

Nothing sweeter than a wink of sun. A colourful collection of Irish Rail EMDs at Connolly.
Just a few frames remaining on my card, so make each one count!

The camera battery was flashing red and my storage card was alarmingly low on pixels. Where were my film cameras? Not with me at Connolly.

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