It’s been more than 23 years since my first visit to Athenry, County Galway.
On that day, my objective was to see an Irish Rail cement train (traffic long gone), and visit the signal cabin (which was then an active block post and interlocking. I was there the day it closed in May 2003.)
Last month, on our way back from Maam Cross, Kris and I were delivered by road to Irish Rail’s Athenry station. It was wet and windy. We had a half hour to wait for the evening Galway-Dublin train to arrive.
During the interval, an Irish Rail 2800-series railcar on its way from Galway to Limerick arrived to make its station stop before changing directions to head down the Western Rail Corridor.
I made this selection of action photos using my Nikon Z6 mirrorless camera set at high ISO (between 8000 and 12000).
There was a low ceiling at Crawford Notch, NH the other evening. The tops of the mountains were in the clouds, yet the tracks and station were clear from mist.
Kris & I arrived after sunset when there was just a hint of daylight remaining. Regular readers of Tracking the Light may recognize that I like to make photos at twilight, and often work my cameras when there is very little light remaining in the sky.
Below are three interpretations of the same Nikon NEF RAW file that reflect minor adjustments to contrast, color temperature and color saturation.
Two weeks ago ,on our last of three evenings at Moosehead, Maine, Kris and I set up at the East Outlet Bridge of the Kennebec River to catch the westward CP Rail road freight in the fading glow of dusk.
The light was dropping quickly. And by the time the train came into view it was almost dark.
Working with my Nikon Z6 mirrorless digital camera attached to a Bogen tripod, I set the ISO to 4000, the aperture to its widest (f4) and the shutter speed to 1/60th of a second.
Notice the reflection of the locomotive head light on the bridge.
The bugs on the river were fierce!
Long after the freight passed us we could hear it making its way toward the Canadian frontier.
Friday evening I heard a locomotive whistling for Route 302 near White Mountain Oil. This was former Maine Central 573 on its return from Attitash. Our crew had taken it west to clear the line after more than 5 inches of snow had fallen.
When they reached the old Post Office crossing near the North Conway, NH station, they paused.
I looked out my office window in the North Tower of the station and thought, ‘that’s a nice scene, and some nice evening light.’ And so grabbed my FujiFilm XT1 and set the ISO to 3200 and popped off a few digital photos.
Nothing fancy, just a few photos at dusk from my office window.
At first glance this view from November 8, 2005, might appear to be an ordinary container train.
It is not.
During its final season carrying sugar beet, Irish Rail took the tops off some 40ft container and fitted them to bogie (8-wheel) flat wagons to haul beet from Wellingtonbridge Co. Wexford to the sugar factory at Mallow, Co. Cork.
These unusual freight haulers were known as ‘bogie beet wagons’, since Irish Rail’s traditional beet wagons were rigid-base four wheelers.
In this photograph at dusk, a laden sugar beet freight reverses into Limerick Junction, having just come up the line from Waterford that crosses the Dublin-Cork main line at grade (to the right of the signal cabin).
The locomotive will cut off and run around the train in order to proceed to Mallow. This was necessary because there was no direct chord at the Junction to facilitate a direct move. The lights at left had been installed to make it easier to reverse the train at night.
I exposed this photo on a tripod using my Contax G2 Rangefinder with 45mm lens using Fujichrome Sensia slide film. I scanned the slide with an Epson V600 flatbed scanner.
I arrived at the old Maine Central station at Crawfords (New Hampshire) in the ‘blue hour’—that last hint of daylight before night.
It was snowing lightly.
The railroad was quiet. No trains are expected for months to come!
The scene was serene.
To make this photo, I had my FujiFilm XT1 with 28mm pancake lens mounted on a Bogen tripod. I set the meter for 2/3s of stop over exposure in ‘A’ mode at the widest aperture. The camera selected the shutter speed at 25 seconds.
Over the course of several minutes, I made several exposures ranging from 20 to 30 seconds each.