For the first time, Irish Rail’s Killarney simultaneously hosted passenger trains from three different operators.
In addition to its own scheduled service from Tralee to Mallow, Belmond’s Grand Hibernian, and Rail Tours Ireland’s Emerald Isle Express were in the station.
I was one of several photographers on site to capture the moment.
I exposed these images using my FujiFilm X-T1. To compensate for changeable lighting, I processed the camera RAW files in Lightroom, making a variety of small adjustments to exposure, contrast, and saturation to produce more effective photographs.
I arrived at Kent Station, Cork on the 0800 train from Dublin.
My timing was tight; I was aiming to catch Rail Tours Ireland’s Emerald Isle Express under the curved roof.
After arriving in Cork, I had less than five minutes to get into position.
Although visually fascinating, Kent’s Victorian-era shed is a tricky place to make photos. The characteristic curvature makes selecting the best angle tough, while the lighting under the roof is limiting.
Using my Lumix LX7 at ISO 200, I was restricted to 1/15th of second at f2.2.
Sometimes limitations force me to make more interesting photos.
The Emerald Isle Express is an annual tour train operated Rail Tours Ireland in cooperation with Irish Rail and the Railway Preservation Society Ireland.
I had advanced notice of this year’s schedule and planned to catch it running along the Irish Sea south of Dublin on its way down the old Dublin & South Eastern route toward Rosslare Europort.
I rode the DART electric suburban train to Dalkey then hoofed it out toward Sorrento Point, where my planned location turned out to be fouled by undergrowth and related shadows.
‘Uh oh.’ Time to move to plan B.
More walking brought me to this footbridge between Dalkey and Killiney.
Although supremely picturesque, the maze of direct current overhead wires and related masts make finding a suitable angle difficult.
I wanted to include more of the Irish Sea to the right of the train, but putting the train too far to the left didn’t really work as an effective composition. Ultimately I settled on a more conservative angle. Soft sun helps reduce the distraction of the wires.
A minor disappointment; I’d hoped that Irish Rail engine number 071 (in bright orange heritage paint) would lead the train. Instead, I settled for that old stalwart; Irish Rail engine 078.
A decade ago, David Hegarty and I made a project of photographing Irish Rail’s South Wexford line between Rosslare Strand and Waterford.
Sugar Beet traffic ended in January 2006, and regular passenger services were withdrawn five years ago in September 2010.
Yesterday, RailTours Ireland’s Emerald Isle Express (operated in cooperation with the Railway Preservation Society Ireland and Irish Rail) ran as a train of empty carriages across the line. This was probably the first train in months to use the scenic route.
Maximum speed was 15 mph.
Mark Healy and I were among the photographers on site to witness this very unusual move.
In addition to these digital photos, I exposed a handful of colour slides, you know, for posterity.
Today, the Emerald Isle Express began its second annual run working from Dublin Connolly Station to Rosslare Strand, and then empty carriages across the rarely used South Wexford line via Wellingtonbridge to Waterford.
The train was sponsored by Rail Tours Ireland in cooperation with the Railway Preservation Society Ireland and Irish Rail.
It was a beautiful day, and I made dozens of fine photographs. I’ll post more tomorrow! Stay tuned.
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.