Tag Archives: #Grand Hibernian

Irish Rail 077 with Belmond; Three Days—Harsh Light, Soft Light and an ICR.

Over the last few days, I’ve intercepted Belmond’s Grand Hibernianin my neighborhood three times. All hauled by Irish Rail class 071 number 077.

In each instance the lighting was less than calendar perfect.

In each instance I made digital images to best suit the scene.

Hints of autumn foliage dot the Dublin landscape, and soon Belmond’s train will conclude its touring season.

Irish Rail 077 approaches the Phoenix Park Tunnel. Backlighting helps accentuate autumn foliage. FujiFilm XT1 with 18-135mm zoom lens.
Wide angle view from the same vantage point as above: Irish Rail 077 approaches the Phoenix Park Tunnel. Backlighting helps accentuate autumn foliage. FujiFilm XT1 with 18-135mm zoom lens.
Sunday morning at Memorial Road, Irish Rail 077 works towards Waterford. Lumix LX7 photo. 30 September 2018.

 

The Grand Hibernian working toward Heuston on Monday 1 October 2018 passes and Irish Rail ICR in the gullet. Fujifilm XT1 with 90mm lens.

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Irish Rail 071 Leads the Grand Hibernian—Variations on a Theme.

I’ve been unusually fortunate to catch Irish Rail’s 071 almost everyday for the last couple of weeks.

This locomotive is the class leader and features a heritage livery based on the as-delivered General Motors scheme.

It is very popular with photographers.

On Saturday 22 September 2018, locomotive 071 worked the Belmond Grand Hibernian cruise train from Dublin Heuston to Connolly Station. Until yesterday, it had been assigned to the Dublin-Ballina IWT Liner container train.

To make this view, I used my FujiFilm XT1 fitted with a Zeiss Touit 12mm lens. To help bring in sky detail, I attached a Lee 0.9 graduated neutral density filter (a physical filter), then made further adjustment to RAW files in post processing using a digitally applied graduated neutral density filter, which allowed me to make adjustments to highlight and shadow detail.

Additional adjustments were made globally (the entire image) to modify contrast and colour saturation to improve the appearance of the photograph.

Compare these images with my earlier post: Irish Rail 071 in Retro Orange and Lessons in Exposing for RAW Adjustment 

A view from Dublin’s Conyngham Road above the south portal of the Phoenix Park Tunnel on the branch that runs from Islandbridge Junction toward Connolly Station.

Thanks to Paul Maguire for lending me an SD card! (I’d left mine in the computer, and the spare on my desk, and the second spare in my other bag! Poor show on my part.)

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Bad Luck with the Belmond!

Two Sunday Mornings in a row I walked up to the line with an aim of catching an 071 class locomotive in heritage paint leading Belmond’s Grand Hiberniancruise train on its run from Dublin Connolly to Waterford.

Two Sundays, two locations, two heritage locomotives (numbers 073 and 071 respectively), and two different Irish Rail scheduled trains that got in my way.

Gosh, bad luck!

In both instances, I came away with different photos than I’d set out to make.

Irish Rail 073 leads Belmond’s Grand Hibernian in Dublin on 2 September 2018. An Irish Rail intercity rail car destined for Heuston Station is stopped at a red signal. Bad luck! The Belmond train was running a few minutes behind the advertised.
Bright sun, fluffy clouds, elevation, all the elements for a calendar perfect image. Oh no, an ICR! Shoo shoo!
Well, that didn’t work out as hoped! But then again, I have a zillion photos here anyway.

My question: might these photos age well? Perhaps the intrusion of the ROTEM ICRs may make these photographs more interesting in years to come?

 

I’m not one to get overly excited when a photo opportunity doesn’t work as planned. Sometimes it’s best to just keep making photos when a scene plays out.

PSSSST! (I also made some sneaky 35mm slides that may make the most of both situations).

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Belmond’s Grand Hibernian on the Middle Road.

On Sunday’s an Irish Rail class 071 works Belmond’s luxury cruise train, the 10-car Grand Hibernian, on its run from Dublin Connolly to Waterford.

Although slightly back lit, I found the famed ‘Gullet’ offers a good place to catch this train at work.

This cutting dates from the 1840s and features three tracks.

In this instance, Irish Rail 082 was accelerating down the middle road with the posh-looking train. (‘Down’ refers to traveling away from Dublin, and doesn’t reflect the gradient, which in this situation is actually rising).

Working with both my FujiFilm XT1 with 90mm telephoto and Lumix LX7, I made two sets of digital photos.

Irish 082 with Belmond’s Grand Hibernian cruise train. FujiFilm XT1 with 90mm lens.
Lumix LX7 view.

The locomotive sound was impressive as on this particular Sunday a couple weeks back the roads in the area were shut for a foot race and there was very little ambient noise compared with a typical day in Dublin. Perhaps, I should have made a recording!

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Navy Blue—Irish Rail 216 for Belmond’s Grand Hibernian.

In my earlier 216 post I pictured Irish Rail 216 in its ordinary paint liveries, before it was specially adorned for service on the Belmond Grand Hibernian cruise train in 2016.

This post features 216 in fancy dress.

Off season, 216 will work other services. It is seen arriving at Kent Station in Cork with a Mark4 set from Dublin.
216 looks best on a bright sunny day.
The slightest change in colour balance will dramatically alter the tint of Belmond’s navy, making this train unusually challenging to picture accurately. It is seen passing Islandbridge on a sunny Sunday morning.
216 up close. Unfortunately the navy colour tends to show dirt and grime more readily than other liveries.

I wonder, with all the attention now paid to 216, has this become the most pictured of the 201 class diesels?

The Grand Hibernian is among the trains featured in my book: Brian Solomon’s Railway Guide to Europe, now available from the Kalmbach Hobby Store.

https://kalmbachhobbystore.com/product/book/01304

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Grand Hibernian Under Kodachrome Skies—Four Original Photos at Islandbridge, Dublin.

A couple of weeks back, I made these views of Belmond’s Grand Hibernian luxury cruise train at Islandbridge Junction in Dublin.

What’s a Kodachrome sky? The old Kodak Kodachrome had the ability to capture a sunny day with vivid contrast; so when you had over-the-shoulder light with fluffy clouds dotting a blue sky we called it a ‘Kodachrome Sky’.

It think it’s safe to say that no one has ever photographed the Grand Hibernian on Kodachrome slide film! And if they have, they will never see their results in vivid colour. (Kodachrome is no longer commercially processed).

I wonder how Belmond’s navy-blue train would have appeared on Kodachrome? The film’s spectral sensitivity tended to render blues with less saturated colour than appeared to the human eye. Yet this was also one of the reasons why a ‘Kodachrome sky’ appeared so vivid on the classic slide film.
Exposed using a FujiFilm XT1 digital camera. Locomotive 088 moves into place to shunt the Grand Hibernian and haul it across to Dublin’s Connolly Station.
Led by Irish Rail 088, Belmond’s Grand Hibernian is seen on its way toward Connolly Station.
Irish Rail 216 in Belmond navy view paint trails the Grand Hibernian on its way over to Dublin Connolly Station.

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Think Fast at Hazlehatch! Action on the Quad Track.

Irish Rail’s quad-track line southwest of Dublin is a popular place for photos.

Last week, Colm O’Callaghan and I made a trip down to Hazlehatch to make photos of trains on the move in the afternoon.

Belmond’s Grand Hibernian was passing down road when Colm said to me, ‘Quick, it’s the inspection car’. I had only a few seconds. I turned around and with little time to compose I fired off a few frames.

Both the train and the inspection car were in motion.

FujiFilm XT1 photograph at Hazlehatch. The fifth line in the center serves a stub-end track to a bay platform at Hazlehatch station.

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Belmond in the Gullet; Navy Blue Train as viewed with Lumix and Fuji Digital.

Three photos:

Belmond is a high-end tour train operator that since 2016 has served Ireland with its Grand Hibernian sleeping car train.

This has been a popular topic for railway photographers as it represented a return of the Mark 3 carriage to Irish rails and makes for a decidedly different passenger train in contrast with Irish Rail’s regularly scheduled services.

Yet, as previously mentioned on Tracking the Light, the train itself is challenging to capture in images owing to its largely unbroken dark navy-blue paint.

In dull light this looks nearly black.

I’ve found that the most effective photographs of the Belmond Grand Hibernian are made in bright sunlight.

These views were exposed at ‘the Gullet’ west of Dublin’s Heuston Station. One was made with my Lumix LX7 with the Vivid colour profile; the other two with my FujiFilm X-T1 using the Velvia colour profile.

Belmond’s Grand Hibernian exposed using a FujIFilm X-T1 digital camera with fixed 90mm lens.
A view of the same train exposed moments later with my Panasonic Lumix LX7.
On Saturdays the Belmond train is shunted in the Gullet in order to move it from Heuston Station to Dublin Connolly. This requires another locomotive to couple to the back of the train and haul it via the Phoenix Park Tunnel. Notice the changeable lighting conditions and how that affects the appearance of the navy-blue paint. Exposed using a FujIFilm X-T1 digital camera with fixed 90mm lens.

Files were scaled in Lightroom for internet presentation, but were not altered in post processing in regards to exposure, colour balance, colour temperature or contrast.

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Belmond’s Grand Hibernian at Cabra.

A couple weeks ago, I met fellow photographer Jay Monaghan in Cabra to document the passing of Belmond’s luxury tour train that was making it’s scheduled move to Dublin’s Connolly Station.

Using my FujiFilm X-T1 digital camera, I opted for this portrait-oriented (vertical) telephoto view to accentuate the Dublin Mountains. In contrast to my view, Jay executed a very nice wide-angle photograph that better shows the cutting and the length of Belmond’s train.

Working with the camera-RAW file in post processing, I adjusted contrast and lightened shadow areas slightly to lessen the effects of midday-sun.

The Grand Hibernian uses 10 custom refurbished former Irish Rail Mark3 carriages, making it the longest regularly scheduled passenger train in Ireland.

In this instance an Irish Rail class 071 diesel is working the train, but for most moves Irish Rail 216 specially painted in Belmond navy-blue is assigned to it.

In season, Belmond’s high-end excursion train makes tours of Irish railways.

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Convergence at Killarney—28 September 2016.

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.

Belmont's Grand Hibernian arrives at Killarney, passing the old signal cabin.
Belmont’s Grand Hibernian arrives at Killarney, passing the old signal cabin.
Rail Tours Ireland's Emerald Isle Express and Belmond's Grand Hibernian occupy adjacent tracks at Killarney on 28 September 2016.
Rail Tours Ireland’s Emerald Isle Express and Belmond’s Grand Hibernian occupy adjacent tracks at Killarney on 28 September 2016.
Killarney, County Kerry on 28 September 2016.
Killarney, County Kerry on 28 September 2016.
Three trains; three operators.
Three trains; three operators.

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.

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Belmond’s Grand Hibernian at Cabra.

 

Sunday morning was overcast. Not the best weather for photographing Belmond’s dark blue Grand Hibernian. (Luxury cruise train).

However, since when the sun is out, the cutting at Cabra in Dublin is badly shadowed the best time to try this location is on an overcast morning.

Exploring this option, I found the most dramatic angle was the trailing view. Using a telephoto perspective, I was able to draw in the Dublin Mountains in the distance.

Waterford bound, the Grand Hibernian passes Cabra in Dublin.
Waterford bound, the Grand Hibernian passes Cabra in Dublin.

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Looking south, I saw that the rain was coming my way.

These images were exposed using my FujiFilm X-T1 digital camera.

I processed all three images using Lightroom.

I made nominal global adjustments to contrast and saturation and sharpened for the computer screen. Also, I used a digitally applied graduated neutral density filter to better retain detail in the sky.

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Rolling Meet at Mosney.

There’s a certain thrill to having two trains approach simultaneously.

Saturday, Denis McCabe, David Hegarty and myself had selected a bridge near Mosney (mp25) on the old Great Northern Railway Dublin-Belfast line as a good place to catch Belmond’s Grand Hibernian cruise train.

The Belmond train departed Dublin Connolly behind an Irish Rail local passenger train and its progress was slowed when it encountered restrictive signals.

Another Irish Rail local was scheduled in the Dublin direction.

As it happened the two trains passed below us.

Belmont's Grand Hibernian rolls northward at milepost 25. The lighting was tricky. Diffused backlit sun made for a complicated exposure calculation. I used a Lee .6 graduated neutral density filter to hold detail in the sky. In post processing I lightened shadow detail slightly while controlling highlights to reduce glare on the top of the locomotive.
Belmont’s Grand Hibernian rolls northward at milepost 25. The lighting was tricky. Diffused backlit sun made for a complicated exposure calculation. I used a Lee .6 graduated neutral density filter to hold detail in the sky. In post processing I lightened shadow detail slightly while controlling highlights to reduce glare on the top of the locomotive.
I turned quickly to make this grab shot of the Grand Hibernian meeting an Irish Rail 29000-series diesel railcar on the opposite main track. In retrospect, I think I'd could have made a more dramatic image if I'd used a telephoto lens setting.
I turned quickly to make this grab shot of the Grand Hibernian meeting an Irish Rail 29000-series diesel railcar on the opposite main track. In retrospect, I think I’d could have made a more dramatic image if I’d used a telephoto lens setting.
I moved over a few feet to get a better angle of the approaching railcar. The gray roofs on Belmond's Mark3 carriages isn't especially photogenic.
I moved over a few feet to get a better angle of the approaching railcar. The gray roofs on Belmond’s Mark3 carriages isn’t especially photogenic.

I exposed this sequence using my FujiFilm X-T1.

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Irish Rail 080 works Grand Hibernian at Islandbridge Junction—5 September 2016.

 

Click on Tracking the Light to view the uncropped photos.

I watched as a band of high cloud inched across the morning sky.

Irish Rail class 071 diesel number 080 brought Belmond’s Grand Hibernian Mark 3 consist through the wash at Heuston Station. Interesting light with an unusual train.

To hold detail in the textured sky, I used a Lee 0.6 graduated neutral density filter with the darker portion of the filter positioned at the top of the frame.

FujiFilm XT1 with 18-135mm lens and Lee 0.6 graduated neutral density filter. Minor post-processing contrast and saturation adjustment was made using Lightroom.
FujiFilm XT1 with 18-135mm lens and Lee 0.6 graduated neutral density filter. Minor post-processing contrast and saturation adjustment was made using Lightroom.
FujiFilm XT1 with 18-135mm lens and Lee 0.6 graduated neutral density filter. Minor post-processing contrast and saturation adjustment was made using Lightroom.
FujiFilm XT1 with 18-135mm lens and Lee 0.6 graduated neutral density filter. Minor post-processing contrast and saturation adjustment was made using Lightroom.

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Tracking the Light Extra: Grand Hibernian on the Roll at Lucan South—Sunday 4 September 2016.

 

What was once common is now extraordinary.

Fifteen years ago, if you told me that I’d be out on a Sunday morning specifically to photograph a 201 class diesel with Mark 3 carriages on Irish Rail’s Dublin-Cork line, I wouldn’t have believed you!

This morning Colm O’Callaghan and I did just that.

The dark blue color is difficult to photograph satisfactorily though.

Irish Rail 201-class diesel 216 is specially painted for Belmond's Grand Hibernian. The glossy dark blue represents a photographic quandary. I made this photo with my FujiFilm XT1; ISO 640, f5.6 1/500th of a second using a 18-135mm lens.
Irish Rail 201-class diesel (built by General Motors in Canada) number  216 is specially painted for Belmond’s Grand Hibernian cruise train. The train’s glossy dark blue represents a photographic quandary. I made this photo with my FujiFilm XT1; ISO 640, f5.6 1/500th of a second using a 18-135mm lens.

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Tracking the Light Special: Ireland’s Grand Hibernian Inaugural Departure from Dublin Heuston Station.

This afternoon, after years of planning and months of preparation, high-end hotel train operator Belmond debuted its latest train; the Grand Hibernian.

This departed platform 2 at Heuston Station at 2:20pm (30 August 2016).

I made these photographs of the train and its Irish Rail crew.

For the railway enthusiast this means the return of locomotive hauled Mark3 carriages to regular traffic.

All images were exposed a little while ago  using my FujiFilm XT1 digital camera.

Train guards Noel and Mark at Heuston.
Train guards Noel and Mark at Heuston Station, Dublin.
Each carriage is named for an Irish County. Sadly Mayo and Dublin were omitted.
Each carriage is named for an Irish County. Sadly Mayo and Dublin were omitted.

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Oy! Whosat goob?

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Departing Heuston Station on the advertised.
Departing Heuston Station on the advertised.
Green flag to depart.
Green flag to depart.

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