Tag Archives: GWR

HST’s Paddington—Contrasts

London offers wonderful contrasts linking the 19th century Victorian-era with more modern eras.

Paddington Station was the terminal for the Great Western Railway—Brunel’s broad gauge empire. Since that time the world has changed beyond recognition.

Today, albeit much enlarged, Paddington remains as an important urban hub.

When I visited in May 2010 the shed was filled with 1970s-vintage HST sets in modern paint, operated by First Great Western.

Paddington, May 2010. Exposed with a Lumix LX3.
Paddington, May 2010. Exposed with a Lumix LX3.

Such a difference in decades fascinates me.

What will this scene look like in another ten years? In another 100 years?

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Two views of Broadstone, Dublin

Broadstone Station, Dublin greets the new millennium. Rollei Model T with f3.5 75mm Zeiss Tessar lens.

Broadstone Station was the Dublin terminus of Ireland’s Midland & Great Western Railway. This enigmatic railway was built west from Dublin parallel to the suffering Royal Canal, and Broadstone Station was located adjacent to the existing Royal Canal basin in the north city center. M&GWR was among lines consolidated as Great Southern Railways in 1924, a move that sealed the fate of Broadstone; it was closed as a passenger terminal in 1936 (although tracks remained for freight services into the 1970s). The buildings survive as a Dublin Bus depot (garage). The old canal basin  was filled in many years ago and is now car park. The canal bridge that once spanned the road adjacent to the station is remembered in period photos on the walls of neighborhood pubs. Soon rails will return to Broadstone in the form of a LUAS light rail extension.

Broadstone Station is a vestige of Irish railways long gone. The station was executed in an Egyptian revival style and completed in 1850. I find the building fascinating, yet difficult to photograph because it is hemmed in by the five inhibitors of urban railway photography: pavement, walls, fences, wires and unkempt brush. On a weekday, cars and buses surround the old structure, which lend to ironic images of a grand decayed station encircled by transport modes that contributed to its redundancy. Making a simple image that captures the grandeur of the station isn’t easy. Here are two of my efforts: one was made with my old Rollei Model T on 120 size black & white film on January 3, 2000. I exposed the other digitally last Tuesday afternoon (February 19, 2013) using my Canon 7D and 40mm pancake lens.

Dublin's Broadstone Station, February 19, 2013. Exposed with Canon 7D fitted with 40mm pancake lens.
Dublin’s Broadstone Station, February 19, 2013. Exposed with Canon 7D fitted with 40mm pancake lens.
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