Tag Archives: Ireland

Dublin’s Elusive Super Milk Tram.

Well it’s the only time I’ve seen it .(so far)

I was on Abbey Street, when I heard the familiar Dong-Dong warning of a LUAS tram . . .

this wasn’t a red line tram, but rather a car working the new Green Line Cross City route on Marlborough Street.

So there it was in all its creamy-whiteness; the red-white-blue Avonmore Super Milk Tram!

LUAS Tram 5010 painted for Avonmore Super Milk passes the Abbey Theatre.
Avonmore Milk Tram in the Dublin City centre.

Lucky for me I had my Lumix LX7 at the ready.

Tracking the Light Posts Daily



Class 201 Retrospective: Old reliable, 203.

As part of my 20 years in Ireland/201 numerical retrospective, I’ll offer just a couple views of Irish Rail 203.

My memories of this engine are largely the blast a horn and the rush of air as it passed with Mark 3 carriages in tow on the Dublin-Cork line.

My first summer photographing trains in Ireland was characterised by gray days and dirty 201s. I don’t recall why, but Irish Rail had let its fleet become manky at that stage. Irish Rail 203 blasts through Hazel Hatch mid summer 1998. Exposed on Fujichrome Sensia 100 with a Nikon F3 and 135mm lens.
On 23 Jan 2005, Irish Rail 203 approaches Cherryville Junction with a down train from Dublin. Exposed on Fujichrome Velvia with a Contax G2 with 28mm Biogon lens.

One instance stands out about the others though: I was showing some American friends around the island; we’d borded the Cu na Mara Mark3 international set at Heuston behind locomotive 215 destined for Galway. We got as far as Hazel Hatch, when 215 coiled up and we were sent into the loop to await a rescue loco from Inchicore.

Guess which engine was sent to bring us to Galway? (This is not a trick question).

Tracking the Light Posts Daily!

Class 201 Retrospective: The Elusive 202

Also See: Irish Rail 202! Hooray!

Here’s the backstory: In the dozen or so years between 1998 and when Irish Rail withdrew and stored a portion of its relatively modern EMD-built 201-class locomotives (numbers 201-205, 210-214), I spent a lot of time wandering the system making photos.

Some locomotives were common; I must have a hundred photos of class leader 201 on the roll (featured in the first 201 Retrospective installment). And every time I turned around, I seem to find 215 leading a train.

Of the 35 201s, I found that engine 202 was by far the most elusive.

Several years ago, I scoured my files and located just 3 colour slides of 202.

A subsequent review of black & white negatives turned up another image (displayed in my October 2017 post, linked above).

I knew there must be more. Irish Rail 202 was among the 201s to receive the improved orange and black livery with bright yellow ends. I simply had to have made photos of it in that livery!

So, as I was trolling through hundreds of boxes of slides over the last few months, I kept an eye open and lo and behold! I found several more images of the elusive locomotive.

My questions are: why was 202 so elusive? Was it simply luck of the draw that I rarely saw it on the move? Was 202 hiding somewhere? Was it especially unreliable and spent most of the time at Inchicore awaiting repair?

You might wonder why I didn’t find these photos sooner. The answer has several considerations; at the time of exposure the photos didn’t make my final cut. While there’s nothing horribly wrong with these photos, there’s minor technical flaws that resulted in me discounting them.

Also, the significance of these images wasn’t evident to me at the time of exposure and so remained in the little green boxes and hadn’t been transferred to my preferred files. Lastly, I don’t organize my slides by locomotive number, so finding a specific engine photo can be challenging.

On 5 May 2006, I made this view of Irish Rail 202 at Portarlington. If you look carefully, you’ll notice that the photo isn’t level. That was the initial reason I rejected it. Easy enough to fix digitally now, but a no-go for the slide show!

The point of this exercise is that sometimes the content of a photo becomes more interesting as time passes. The photo of a fairly ordinary locomotive at work has greater interest after that engine is withdrawn from traffic.

So what’s wrong with this photo. A 201 with Mark3s at Cherryville, at the time it couldn’t get any more common than that! As a result this slide stayed in the box for almost 12 years. Now, I’m really glad I made the picture!

Tracking the Light Posts Daily!


Sunset at Craigmore Viaduct.

A few weeks ago I posted a shadow silhouette made from the Belfast-Dublin Enterprise crossing the old Great Northern Railway (of Ireland) Craigmore Viaduct.

LX7 photo from the train.

Last week I had the opportunity to make a photo of the same bridge from the ground, thus making use of the shadow from a completely different angle.

Exposure was the tricky part, since the sun was low on the horizon, but partially blocked by the passing train. I made these photos with my Lumix LX7 without use of filters or post-processing adjustment.

Lumix LX7 ISO80, f8 at 1/1000th second, 60mm setting on the zoom.
Lumix LX7 ISO80, f8 at 1/1000th second, 60mm setting on the zoom.

Thanks to Honer Travers and William Malone with whom I was traveling.

Tracking the Light Posts Every Day!


RPSI Driver Training Special at Laytown.

A rare sunny Sunday in Ireland. It was clear from dawn to dusk.

Making it extra special was Railway Preservation Society of Ireland’s driver training special using tank engine No. 4 and the preserved Cravens carriages.

This worked the Northern line between Connolly Station in Dublin and Drogheda.

I was traveling with William Malone and Honer Travers.

We decided to visit the viaduct at Laytown, which offers a good place to catch a steam locomotive at work.

I made this view using my Lumix LX7, but also exposed a sequence of Fujichrome colour slides with my Nikon N90S and 35mm lens. We’ll have to wait to see those.

My Lumix LX7 is a nifty tool for making action photos of train. Although a small camera, it has the ability to produce both RAW and JPG files and features a remarkably sharp lens.

I find that engine number 4 photographs best from a broadside angle. It looks awkward viewed head-on.

Tracking the Light Posts Daily!

Sun on the Bog; Nice Light on Bord na Mona—February 2018.

This is a follow-up to Friday’s post:

February 2018 Foray into the Irish Bog in search of Narrow Gauge freight. [https://wp.me/p2BVuC-5jR]

The Irish Midlands are famously cloudy.

However, when the evening sun shines it makes for some wonderful photographic opportunities.

In February, Denis McCabe and I waited out the clouds, and caught two pairs of laden Bord na Mona trains in bright sun.

These images were exposed near Rathangan, Co. Kildare.

FujiFilm XT1 with 90mm lens.
FujiFilm XT1 with 90mm lens.
FujiFilm XT1 with 90mm lens.
FujiFilm XT1 with 90mm lens.
FujiFilm XT1 with 90mm lens.
FujiFilm XT1 with 90mm lens.
FujiFilm XT1 with 90mm lens.

Tracking the Light posts daily.

Tracking the Light Extra: Views from today’s 1320 Enterprise to Belfast.

I’d booked on the 1120 to Belfast, but the first Dublin-Belfast Enterprise to depart Dublin Connolly since Thursday was today’s 1320 (that’s 1:20 pm)

Ground transport was still non-functional when I left Islandbridge, so I made my way through the slush to Connolly on foot, mostly following the rusted over LUAS tracks.

There was a big crowd for the train at Connolly. We were slow on the DART route to Malahide, then nominally delayed at Drogheda when a disruptive passenger fought with Irish Rail staff.

All and all it was an interesting trip! I’m posting from an NI Railways CAF on its way to Great Victoria Street.

I made these views using Lumix LX7.

On my walk to Connolly I passed this scene on Abbey Street.
Connolly was frosty.
I was happy to see the Enterprise ready on Platform 2.
It was nice to be welcomed, but a little information would have been nice. Reminds me of a story my late friend Bob Buck used to tell about a woman passenger inquiring of the Boston & Albany Station agent at Framingham. ‘I asked you for information but all you give me is bullshit!’
Passengers were anxious to get on the train.
Finally a friendly member of staff came along and opened the doors.

Hmm, snow on the platforms!
I’m checking the level of snow on the DART and lines from the North Wall.
NI Railways CAF Railcars at Portadown a few minutes ago. LX7 photo.

Tracking the Light Posts Everyday.

Tracking the Light EXTRA! A Dozen photos: Irish Transport at a Standstill.

Heavy Snow Shuts Irish Rail, LUAS and Bus Services.

Today, 2 March 2018, public transport was suspended across the Republic of Ireland. Irish Rail stopped operating trains yesterday afternoon.

Earlier today I made a cursory inspection of Dublin’s Heuston Station.

Drifts covered the line at Islandbridge Junction; trains were idle at the Heuston yards; the LUAS tram tracks were completely covered, and buses were idle at the Conyngham Road bus garage.

Snow covers Irish Rail tracks at Islandbridge Junction in Dublin. 2 March 2018.
Irish Rail’s Liffey Bridge at Islandbridge, Dublin on 2 March 2018.
Irish Rail trains idled at the Heuston Station yards. 2 March 2018.
Irish Rail trains idled at the Heuston Station yards. 2 March 2018.
Irish Rail trains idled at the Heuston Station yards. 2 March 2018.
Snow covers the normally busy LUAS tram tracks at Heuston Station. Irish Rail’s terminal is shut.
LUAS display at Heuston.
LUAS tracks lay beneath a blanket of snow on Steevens Lane.
All is quiet at Heuston Station. 2 March 2018.
Dublin Bus stop at Parkgate Street. 2 March 2018.
Dublin Bus stop at Parkgate Street. 2 March 2018.
Idle buses at Conynham Road Garage. 2 March 2018.

I’ve heard that there’s greater amounts of snow inland. In many places roads are impassible. Air travel has been grounded.

Reports from Northern Ireland indicate that NI Railways continues to provide service, possibly with some delays.

My photos were exposed digitally using Lumix LX7 and FujiFilm XT1 cameras.

Tracking the Light Posts Daily.



February 2018 Foray into the Irish Bog in search of Narrow Gauge freight.

Since 2012, Denis McCabe and I have made detailed exploration of Bord na Mona’s three-foot gauge railways networks.

See: Irish Bog Railways—Part 1 [https://wp.me/p2BVuC-8J]https://wp.me/p2BVuC-oR

Irish Bog Railways—Part 3, March 2, 2013 [https://wp.me/p2BVuC-oR]

Irish Narrow Gauge: Bord na Mona Approaching Sunset [https://wp.me/p2BVuC-28X]

These photos are from our most recent foray. We caught this pair of empty trains working their way east from Clonbulloge to a loading area near Rathangan.

Bord na Mona typically operates trains in pairs to ease the loading process.

Moon-like landscape on the bog east of Clonbulloge.

Fair weather clouds were gradually giving way to sunshine.

Images were exposed using a FujiFilm XT1 with 90mm f2.0 lens.

Tracking the Light Posts Daily.

Eight Digital Snow Scenes from Dublin.

Here’s another selection of snow scenes from Dublin exposed during the freeze of 27-28 February.

Today (1 March 2018) the snow continues to fall and a blizzard is expected for later in the day.

Irish Rail is reported to be shutting down from 2 pm.

LUAS approaching Heuston Station in a snow squall. Lumix LX7 photo.
Heuston Station at dusk. Lumix LX7 photo.
Lumix LX7 photo.
Heuston Station. Lumix LX7 photo.
1125 Cork-Dublin arriving at Heuston about 18 minutes late. FujiFilm XT1 photo.
Snow in the Gullet: 1500 Dublin to Cork at Memorial Road in Dublin. FujiFilm XT1 photo.
FujiFilm XT1 photo.
Snow in the gullet. Lumix LX7 photo. 


Tracking the Light Posts Daily.

It was Twenty Years Ago Today that I made my First Trip on Irish Rail.

On 27 February 1998, I traveled on Irish Rail from Limerick to Dublin, changing at Limerick Junction and Kildare.

Today also marks the anniversary of my first visit to Dublin.

I made these photos at Limerick Junction on 27 February 1998 while changing trains. Since that day, I’ve made hundreds of railway trips around Ireland and exposed countless thousands of photos.

Posted from Dublin on 27 February 2018.

Irish Rail 128 with a Mark3 push-pull set  had just arrived at Limerick. I traveled on this train; it was my first Irish Rail experience. I was astounded that a ‘switcher’ had hauled the train! (Irish Rail’s 121 class diesels were built by General Motors and based in part on the SW-series switchers, but were geared for mainline speeds.) Exposed on Fujichrome using a Nikon F3 with 135mm lens.
Now this was promising! Rail freight on the move at Limerick Junction. At the time I didn’t know if I was looking toward Dublin or away from it. Turns out that the train on right was the ‘Up Ammonia’ from Cork. (Dublin was at my back) Live and learn! My connecting  train was to arrive from Cork after the Up Ammonia had passed. Exposed on Fujichrome using a Nikon F3 with 135mm lens. 

Tracking the Light Posts Daily.

Seven Enterprising Views.

Or rather, a few views of and from (and otherwise relating to) the Dublin-Belfast 0735 Enterprise service.

All exposed using my Lumix LX7 on 8 February 2018.

Departure board Connolly Station.
Push-pull driving trailer on the Enterprise.
View crossing the River Boyne at Drogheda.
Near the border.
Electronic visual artifact on the interior sign.

Enterprise at Portadown.

Tracking the Light Posts Daily.

Tracking the Light Special: Irish Rail 071 in Heritage Paint—Now.

At 1007 (10:07 am) this morning (8 February 2018), Irish Rail’s 071 (class leader of the popular 071 class of General Motors-built diesel locomotives) passed Islandbridge Junction with the down IWT Liner.

Exposed using my FujiFilm XT1with 90mm Fujinon lens. It’s a bit misty in Dublin. Image scaled from in-camera Jpeg without post processing contrast or exposure adjustment.

This locomotive was repainted in 2016 into the attractive 1970s-era livery.

Although, I’ve made a number of photographs of this locomotive in heritage paint before, it’s always nice to see it on the move. I’m told it had been laid up for the last few months and it’s only back on the road this week.

Tracking the Light is Daily.


Islandbridge Junction: Dark and Darker.

Not all photos are made on bright sunny days.

Here are two views of Irish Rail class 207 in the Enterprise livery working the back of the Cork-Dublin Mark4 push-pull approaching Heuston Station in Dublin.

One was made on a dull afternoon. The other on a frosty evening a day later.

In both instances I exposed photos using my FujiFilm XT1 with a Fujinon Aspherical ‘Super EBC XF’ 27mm ‘pancake’ lens.

Exposed at f3.2 1/500th second at ISO 500.
Exposed at f2.8 1/30th second at ISO 6400 panned.

I have a number of photos of this locomotive, but in my 20 years photographing the 201 class at work in Ireland, it remains among the most elusive of the fleet.

Tracking the Light Posts Daily!

Dublin LUAS Cross City First Service Views—26 January 2018.

Over the last few years I’ve posted a variety of photos showing Dublin’s LUAS Cross City tram line under construction and trial/training runs.

In December 2017, this new LUAS service commenced from St. Stephens Green (at the north end of the original Green Line service) to Broombridge on Dublin’s Northside. But, at that time, I was elsewhere.

So last Friday (26 January 2018), Mark Healy and I went for a spin out to Broombridge and back. I made digital photos with my Lumix LX7 and colour slides with my Nikon N90S.

These are a few of my digital views.

Northward tram at O’Connell and Parnell Streets.
Broombridge terminus.
Broombridge terminus. Note the new footbridge construction over Irish Rail’s Sligo line. Broombridge is intended as an intermodal interface between Irish Rail and LUAS.
View from the tram at Broombridge.
Map of the new service on board tram 5020.
In bound tram at Grangegorman.
Out of service 4000-series tram at Grangegorman.
Dawson Street on Dublin’s Southside.
Dawson Street on Dublin’s Southside.

Tracking the Light Posts Every Day!

Rainbow with Dublin’s LUAS-3 Photos.

On 2 October 2017, I was walking the LUAS Red Line in Dublin. The sun was out but a dark cloud was fast approaching from the north.

I could I see the rain coming.

While watching the sky, I met fellow photographer Ciarán Cooney. He too was watching the lighting conditions unfold, but was heading for the tram.

He said to me, “I have bad luck with rainbows. I suppose I’ll see this on Tracking the Light!”

A minute later he boarded the LUAS tram that appears in these images.

Lumix LX7 photo, Dublin, Ireland.
A LUAS Red Line tram on Benburb Street in Dublin. Lumix LX7 photo.
Less tram, more rainbow.

Tracking the Light posts daily.


Incidental Photographs from the Munster Double.

Rail tours offer the opportunity to make incidental photos of the railway.

I made these digital photos of Irish Rail while traveling on last weekend’s Railway Preservation Society of Ireland’s Munster Double.

Sunrise with the DART as v viewed from RPSI’s Munster Double Railtour departing Connolly Station on the morning of 14 October 2017. Lumix LX7 photo.
Irish Rail Mark4 departs Kent Station in Cork on October 17, 2017. FujiFilm XT1 photo.
Kent Station, Cork. Lumix LX7 photo.
Irish Rail ICR departs Tralee on 14 October 2017. FujiFilm XT1 with 28-135mm lens.

Tracking the Light Posts new material daily.

LUAS Trial on Culture Night—22 September 2017.

It was the annual Dublin Culture Night Event when dozens of establishments open their doors and/or host special events free for the public.

I was making my rounds, and I happened upon a LUAS 4000-series tram making trials of the new Cross City trackage.

I believe in taking advantage of photographic opportunity when presented, and I made these views using my Lumix LX7.

LUAS trial on Parnell Street, Dublin. Regular service is still months away.
Trams on Marlborough and Abbey Streets. The distant tram is on a Cross City trackage trial. Lumix LX7 photo.

Tracking the Light Posts Daily!

Coming and Going: The Belfast-Dublin Enterprise on the old Great Northern Line near Mosney

There’s a lightly used road bridge over Irish Rail’s old Great Northern line south of the former station at Mosney that offers a clean view in both directions.

The Irish Sea is in the distance to the east.

A week ago David Hegarty and I spent a few hours here making photos of passing trains.

The Enterprise is a cross-border service connecting Belfast and Dublin. Trains are arranged in a push-pull configuration with the locomotive at the Belfast-end. Exposed at 1/1000th of a second to minimize motion blur.
Trailing view: Exposed at 1/1000th of a second to minimize motion blur.

I made these views using my FujiFilm XT1 fitted with a fixed focal length 27mm pancake lens, which offers an angle of view rough equivalent to a 41mm lens on a traditional 35mm film camera. In other words it is a slightly wide-angle perspective.

Tracking the Light Posts Every Day!

Up Close with Irish Rail 215 in Fresh Paint-Five New Photos.

Irish Rail’s class 201 General Motors-built diesel-electric number 215 (now technically 92 60 02 10215-6) was recently repainted in fresh green and silver paint.

Over the last few days I had several opportunities to photograph this locomotive up-close, allowing for some detailed images.

Here’s a selection of Lumix LX7 views.

Irish Rail 215 works the back of a Mark 4 set on approach to Heuston Station Dublin.
Irish Rail 215 at Dublin’s Heuston Station. Lumix LX7 digital photo.
Irish Rail 215 at Dublin’s Heuston Station. Lumix LX7 digital photo.
Irish Rail 215 at Kent Station, Cork. Lumix LX7 digital photo.
Irish Rail 215 at Kent Station, Cork. Lumix LX7 digital photo. Contrast and saturation adjusted in post processing.

Tracking the Light Posts Daily!

NI Railways on the Roll—Panned Views Crossing the Lagan.

A few weeks back on a trip to Belfast, I exposed these views of NI Railway’s CAF-built diesel railcars crossing the River Lagan.

To convey a sense of motion I panned the trains using a relatively slow shutter speed with a medium telephoto lens. By using an even panning motion I was able to keep the train sharp with the background is blurred.

Exposed at f 22 for 1/60th of a second. 135mm focal length.
Exposed at f20 for 1/60th of a second.

Tracking the Light Posts Every Day.

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.

Tracking the Light Posts Daily

Irish Rail InterCity Railcars pass Islandbridge Junction.

It was a bright morning. I was out for the down IWT Liner (International Warehousing and Transport container train that runs almost daily from Dublin’s Northwall to Ballina, County Mayo).

While I was waiting this Irish Rail ICR (InterCity Railcar) came up road on it approach to Dublin’s Heuston Station.

Sometimes its nice to catch an ordinary train in great morning light.

Lumix LX-7 photo.

Tracking the Light Posts Daily.

Irish Rail DART crosses at level crossing in Bray.

A northward DART suburban train clears the crossing at Bray, County Wicklow. Lumix LX7 photo.

I exposed this view of a DART train at the level crossing near the station in Bray, County Wicklow, Ireland. Notice the Irish Sea in the background.

Tracking the Light is on AutoPilot while Brian is traveling.


Steam at Bray Head on Easter Monday.

Sometimes the railway photo isn’t about the train.

I made this pair of photos at Bray Head, County Wicklow, Ireland on Easter Monday 2017.

Railway Preservation Society engine No 4 was working trips from Dublin to Graystones, so I made the trek out along the head to capture these timeless views.

Although I made a few digital images, I prefer these black & white photos.

These were exposed on Ilford HP5 using a Leica IIIA and processed in Perceptol (1:1 for 14 minutes at 69 degrees F). No toning. Although, I think a dip in selenium would improve the contrast a bit.

Tracking the light posts every day.

A Forgotten Barrow Bridge—two views.

Irish Rail crosses the Barrow at Monasterevin, again near Bagenalstown, and finally with a large bridge between Waterford and Campile near Great Island.

Largely forgotten is the long closed bridge northeast of New Ross on the line that once went to the Junction at Macmine via Palace East in County Wexford. More than half a century has passed since the last scheduled train over this bridge.

I made these pastoral views from a road high above the Barrow looking in a westerly direction.

Tracking the Light is on autopilot while Brian is traveling.



Romantic Ruin—overgrown cutting near New Ross, County Wexford.

This old railway right of way once carried the line that connected New Ross and Palace East, County Wexford (Ireland), a section closed in 1963.

Exposed on Tri-X using a Leica IIIa with screw mount 35mm Nikkor lens.

Tracking the Light is on auto pilot while Brian is traveling. See http://briansolomon.com/trackingthelight

Are Two Trains Better Than One?

Last year Irish Rail cleared its cuttings on the northern approach to the Phoenix Park Tunnel in Dublin in preparation for introduction of a regular passenger service over the line to Grand Canal Docks.

This work had the secondary effect of improving a number of photo locations, such as this view from the Dublin’s Old Cabra Road.

Last week on advice from Colm O’Callaghan, I opted to work from this vantage point to photograph an Irish Rail empty ‘Spoil train’ [that carries debris left over from line works etc] that had been scheduled to run to the North Wall in Dublin.

Shortly before the focus of my effort came into view an empty Irish Rail passenger train arrived and was blocked at the signal outside the tunnel.

My question to you: are the photographs made more interesting by the presence of the passenger train?

Exposed using a FujiFilm X-T1 with 18-135mm lens set at 135mm.
A wider view from the same vantage point.

Tracking the Light Intends to Post Every Day, 365 days a year.

Narrow Gauge Monochrome—A Different Approach.

Five alternative views of Ireland’s Bord na Mona railway.

Here I’m trying something different: Working with an old Leica IIIa fitted with an ancient screw-mount Nikkor 35mm lens, I exposed some Fomapan 100 black & white film.

Instead of my normal process, I opted to soup the film in Ilford Perceptol. I mixed the stock solution from powder. Recommended development time was 8 minutes, but I cut this to 6 minutes, then after complete processing (stop, fix, hypo-clear and wash) I toned the negatives with a 1-9 Selenium solution to boost highlights (and then rewashed).

It was my first time working with Perceptol; overall I was pleased with the results, which yielded fine grain, broad tonality and a somewhat softer over-all image than what I’d been getting using ID-11.

This camera-lens-film-developer combination seems to have worked well with the rustic Bord na Mona narrow gauge industrial railway. I’ve opted to display a handful of the dozen or so monochrome images I exposed that day.

Tracking the Light takes a different approach today.

Irish Rail Heritage Locomotive Works the Sperry Train.

Service Notice: Brian will be traveling for the next few days. New Tracking the Light posts will go up daily, but email notices may be delayed. To see the most recent posts, please check: http://briansolomon.com/trackingthelight/

On Monday, 13 March 2017, I photographed Irish Rail 071 in heritage paint working the Sperry rail-defect detection train. (The Sperry equipment is in a yellow container at the middle of the train).

I’d planned these photographs at ‘the Gullet’ (west of Islandbridge Junction between Dublin Heuston and Inchicore) on the previous Friday, but the train was canceled. Patience and persistence paid off in the end. (There’s your tips for the day).

Irish Rail 071 works west  on the morning of 13 March 2017. Exposed digitally with a FujiFilm X-T1 fitted with 18-135mm lens. File adjusted for contrast using Lightroom.
Exposed using a Panasonic Lumix LX7.
Trailing view exposed with a FujiFilm X-T1.

Tracking the Light Posts Daily.





Sunny Day on the Bog.

Bord na Mona (Irish peat board) operates an extensive network of narrow gauge industrial railways in the Irish midlands.

It has been nearly two years since I last explored this fascinating diminutive railway in action.

It helps to have the sun to photograph Bord na Mona, as the bog can be outright dreary on a dull wet day.

The sun seemed to have emerged from the lingering blanket of dampness that lately has prevailed across Ireland, so Denis McCabe and I made a foray to Shannonbridge, County Offaly location of the busiest Bord na Mona railway operation.

A laden Bord na Mona train clatters across the bog on the way to Shannonbridge, Co. Offaly. Exposed digitally using my FujiFilm X-T1.
This side view offers an interesting perspective on the locomotive and laden peat wagons. Exposed digitally using my FujiFilm X-T1.

Bord na Mona trains come clattering along, often running in pairs or groups, but patience is often needed to find trains on the move.

Check out Tracking the Light’s archives for previous posts on the Bord na Mona.

Further Adventures with Irish Narrow Gauge.


Bord na Mona’s Ash Train

Tracking the Light Posts Daily.

Irish Rail Limerick Colbert Station Revisited

It was here at Colbert Station Limerick that I boarded my first Irish Rail train, a two piece push-pull led by a 121 Class General Motors diesel. That was just about 19 years ago (February 1998).

The other day, I decided to travel by train to Limerick. Unfortunately on the way out I discovered that my ‘connection’ at Limerick Junction was a bus. Poor show Irish Rail. (Can I blame them for the rain too?)

On the return, my train operated (hooray!). Waiting to board, I made a few photos of the old station, which uses of the traditional terminal head-house and iron train shed arrangement.

Out front it has been cleaned up a bit, but for the most part the station looks much the way it did on my first visit all those years ago. No 121 though.

New paving stones, benches and decorative trees have improved the approach to Irish Rail’s Limerick Station. Note the big sign advertising trains.
Colbert station uses a traditional arrangement with concourse and train shed.

All photos were exposed using my Lumix LX7 in February 2017.

The outward Limerick-Limerick Junction train consisted of a 3-piece Intercity Railcar. This was very well patronized.
Trains operate from Limerick to several destinations, including Dublin and Galway.

Looking toward Colbert Station from a nearby road bridge.


Tracking the Light is Daily.

Tomorrow: how I photographed a train by accident.

Winter Light on an old Midland & Great Western Railway Station

I exposed these photos of Irish Rail’s former Midland & Great Western Railway station at Ballinsloe in January 2000. At the time, Fujichrome Sensia II (100 ISO) was my standard colour slide film.

Crisp winter sun made for excellent lighting to feature this stone building.

Tracking the Light Posts Daily

Lumix Views: Railway Preservation Society of Ireland’s The Western Explorer—Part 3.

Not one, not two but three cameras served as my visual capturing arsenal last Saturday.

I had so many files to download that it’s taken me a few days to finally get this selection ready for review.

Is more better?

As with my FujiFilm X-T1 photos, with my Lumix I was interested in capturing some of personalities on Railway Preservation Society of Ireland’s The Western Explorer.

Getting the right angle at Connolly Station before the trip. Saturday 22 October 2016.
Getting the right angle at Connolly Station before the trip. Saturday 22 October 2016.
Saturday 22 October 2016.
Saturday 22 October 2016.
Documenting the down run.
Documenting the down run.
Washboard sky at Monasterevin. Saturday 22 October 2016.
Washboard sky at Monasterevin. Saturday 22 October 2016.
Saturday 22 October 2016.
Saturday 22 October 2016.
Gort. Saturday 22 October 2016.
Gort. Saturday 22 October 2016.
Gort. Saturday 22 October 2016.
Gort. Saturday 22 October 2016.
Ennis, County Clare. Saturday 22 October 2016.
Ennis, County Clare. Saturday 22 October 2016.
Ennis, County Clare. Saturday 22 October 2016.
Ennis, County Clare. Saturday 22 October 2016.
Irish Rail station building at Ennis. Saturday 22 October 2016.
Irish Rail station building at Ennis. Saturday 22 October 2016.
Limerick. Saturday 22 October 2016.
Limerick. Saturday 22 October 2016.
Limerick. Saturday 22 October 2016.
Limerick. Saturday 22 October 2016.
Limerick. Saturday 22 October 2016.
Limerick. Saturday 22 October 2016.
Limerick. Saturday 22 October 2016.
Limerick. Saturday 22 October 2016.
Limerick. Saturday 22 October 2016.
Limerick. Saturday 22 October 2016.
Limerick. Saturday 22 October 2016.
Limerick. Saturday 22 October 2016.


Back at Connolly!
Back at Connolly!


Tracking the Light posts daily!