Tag Archives: Ireland

Misty Morning at Ballycullane

On the morning of 23 November 2004 a thin mist covered the ground near Ballycullane, County Wexford. A laden Irish Rail sugarbeet freight had just passed and I could still hear the drumming of the Class 071 diesel at it worked Taylorstown Bank.

I made this trailing view of Irish Rail’s per way gang using a Nikon F3 with Nikkor f2.8 180mm lens. The camera was loaded with Fujichrome Sensia II (100 ISO slide film). Note the lamps at the back of the freight.

Tracking the Light Posts Daily!

Dublin & Kingstown Revisited

In mid-October, I traveled the length of the old Dublin and Kingstown route to meet with my friends in Dun Laoghaire.

The Dublin and Kingstown Railway was opened in 1834 between Westland Row (today Pearse Station) and the harbour in Kingstown (now called Dun Laoghaire).

It was the first railway in Ireland and often claimed as the world’s first suburban railway.

Today, this route is operated as a portion of Irish Rail’s Dublin Area Rapid Transit electric service and hosts InterCity services to/from Rosslare Europort.

I had excellent autumn sun for my spin to Dun Laoghaire and stopped off at a couple of stations to make photos using my Nikon Z6 digital camera.

Approaching Seapoint.
Seapoint station stop.
DART interior.
Dun Laoghaire .
Dun Laoghaire .

Tracking the Light Posts Daily!

Blue Sky Glass LUAS Duck Under the Loop Line.

In mid-October, I was on my way over to Connolly Station, when I noticed the Ad-wrapped Sky LUAS tram gliding west on the Red Line near the Loop Line Bridge.

Working with my Lumix LX7, I made this view as the tram passed below the bridge.

The unusually decorated tram looked good in the rich morning sun.

Tracking the Light Posts Daily!

Sugarbeet on the Roll—November 8, 2005.

It was Irish Rail’s final sugarbeet season, although no one knew it at the time.

We set up at Charleville Junction on the Dublin-Cork line on the Cork-side of Limerick Junction to catch V250, a laden train led by locomotive 081.

I made this view on Fujichrome. It sat in a closet in Dublin for nearly 15 years and I only recently retrieved it from storage.

Last night I scanned the slide using a Nikon LS-5000 slide scanner and then adjusted the hi-res TIF file using Adobe Lightroom to correct color temperature and color balance while making minor contrast and exposure corrections.

Below is the file before adjustment and after. In both images presented here, I scaled the files as JPGs.

Scan prior to color and exposure adjustment.
Scan after the first round of corrections.

Tracking the Light Posts Daily!

LUAS crossing O’Connell Bridge

During our October visit to Dublin, I made this trailing panned photo of LUAS Citadis tram 5040 crossing the famed O’Connell Bridge.

I was working with my Lumix LX7 set at ISO 80, shutter speed 1/100th of a second, and f6.3. The key was maintaining a steady pan motion as the tail-end of the tram passed me.

O’Connell bridge is noteworthy for being wider than it is long.

Tracking the Light Post EVERY DAY!

Athenry at Dusk

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).

This two-piece 2800-series railcar had just arrived from Galway.
The Galway-Limerick railcar has the ‘feather’ to take the switch for the Western Rail Corridor toward Ennis and Limerick.
The evening Galway-Dublin train approaches Athenry.

Tracking the Light Posts Daily!

Maam Cross Details and People

Kris and I agree that the highlight of our Irish visit was the adventure to Maam Cross.

This heritage railway in progress captures the spirit of rural Irish Railways.

What makes this railway special is its attention to detail, comradery of the participants, and its setting in remote windswept landscape that embodies the West of Ireland.

These are just a few photos from our wonderful visit two weeks ago.

See: http://briansolomon.com/trackingthelight/2022/10/28/adventure-to-maam-cross/

https://www.connemararailway.ie https://www.facebook.com/connemararailwayman/

Tracking the Light Posts Daily!

Wind & Rain at Galway Station.

Kris and I arrived at Irish Rail’s Ceannt Station in Galway shortly before the rain.

And boy did it rain!

After a walk around the town (taking time to purchase an umbrella) we returned to the station to shelter from sudden and rather violent shower.

I made these three photos with my Lumix LX7.

Tracking the Light Posts Daily!

Titanic Belfast

Last week Kris and I visited Titanic Belfast. This museum tells the story of Belfast, its role in ship building, and the most famous ship built there—the ill-fated Titanic.

The musuem is housed in an unusual-shaped purpose-built building.

I made a variety of photos of the building and its stories.

Tracking the Light Posts Daily!

NI Railways to Titanic Quarter

A week ago, Kris and I traveled from Belfast Great Victoria Street to the Titanic Quarter Station in order to visit the Belfast Titanic museum, located on the waterfront near the the famous Harland & Wolff cranes.

I made these digital photos using my Nikon Z6 with 24-70mm lens. I also made a few Ektachrome colour slides with a Nikon F3.

During our month-long visit to Ireland, I’ve been exposing both digital and film photos as part of the record of our honeymoon, and as a continuation of the photography of Ireland and its railways that I began back in 1998. 

Great Victoria Street Station, Belfast.

Tracking the Light Posts Daily!

Dublin-Belfast Enterprise

Last week Kris and I made three journeys on the joint Irish Rail-NIR Enterprise service that connects Dublin and Belfast.

The first was from Dublin Connolly to Drogheda. The second from Drogheda to Belfast Lanyon Place, and the third was our return from Belfast to Dublin.

These six photos were made during our northbound journeys.

This year the Enterprise marked its 75th year of service.

First Class seating on the Enterprise. Lumix LX7 photo.
There I am! Lumix LX7 photo by Kris Sabbatino.
Tea on the Enterprise. Lumix LX7 photo.
201-class locomotive 207 River Boyne approaches its Drogheda stop leading the Belfast-bound Enterprise. Nikon Z6 with 24-70mm lens. Nikon NEF file was cropped and adjusted using Lightroom, then converted to JPG for presentation. And, yes, it was about to rain at Drogheda.
Nikon Z6 with 24-70mm lens.
Generator van on the Enterprise at Belfast Lanyon Place (formerly Belfast Central). Nikon Z6 with 24-70mm lens.

I made my first trip on the Enterprise back in February 1998.

Tracking the Light Posts Daily!

Boyne Viaduct at Dusk

On my list for photographs for this trip to Ireland was the famous Boyne Viaduct at Drogheda.

Last Saturday evening, Kris and I walked to the river from the Scholars Townhouse Hotel, and were delighted when a set of Irish Rail class 29000 railcars rolled southward over the bridge.

It was in the ‘blue hour’ just after sunset. To stop the action, I set the ISO on my Nikon Z6 to 8,000. This allowed for a shutter speed of 1/160th of a second at f4.

Tracking the Light Posts Daily!

Taking a Spin to old Queenstown (Cobh).

Last week, Kris and I traveled from Cork Kent Station on Irish Rail’s 2600-series railcars to Cobh—the town formerly called ‘Queenstown’—a place well-known for its role in Transatlantic transportation.

Among other things, Queenstown was the last port of call for the ill-fated Titanic, which sunk 110 years ago.

The old railway station building now houses the Cobh Heritage Centre.

I made my views with my Nikon Z6 mirrorless camera. Kris made the photo of me at Cobh station with her Fujifilm XT4.

Nikon Z6 with Z-series 24-70mm lens.
Nikon Z6 with Z-series 24-70mm lens.
Nikon Z6 with Z-series 24-70mm lens.
Exposed using a FujiFilm XT4 digital camera.
Doodles in training at Cobh. Nikon Z6 with 24-70mm.
Cobh Heritage Centre. Nikon Z6 with AI f2.5 105mm lens.
Cobh Heritage Centre.
Cobh Harbour. Nikon Z6 with AI f2.5 105mm lens. Exposed for highlights.
Nikon Z6 with AI f2.5 105mm lens.
Nikon Z6 with AI f2.5 105mm lens.
Nikon Z6 with AI f2.5 105mm lens.

Tracking the Light Posts Every Day!

The Passing Trains at Glounthaune

Kris and I stopped over at Glounthaune on the way from Kent Station, Cork to Cobh.

This is a familiar station to me, and over the years I’ve exposed many photos here.

I made this selection during our 15 minutes between trains using my Nikon Z6 with 24-70mm lens. The tide was out and we spotted a pelican among the other seabirds near the station platforms.

At Cobh, we found a photo on the wall that shows how Glounthaune looked in the 1960s when it was called Cobh Junction.

Tracking the Light Posts Every Day!

Chetwynd Viaduct at Night

The other evening, we paid a visit to the abandoned Chetwynd Viaduct that spans the Cork-Bandon road in County Cork, Ireland.

This was a spur of the moment visit. I was not carrying my tripod. However, through the magic of modern digital photography, I was able to make a few images of this unusal bridge.

These were made using my Nikon Z6 handheld with f4.0 24-70mm lens with ISO set to 51,200. The results are a bit grainy (pixelated), but amazing considering the scant amount of available light.

For another view of the Chetwynd Viaduct, see my post from 2015:

http://briansolomon.com/trackingthelight/2015/06/14/railroad-publishing-fiction-three-stories-from-the-trenches/

Tracking the Light Posts Daily!

Kent Station, Cork—10 photos

Our visit to Cork, included a tour of Kent Station, conducted over the course of serveral days.

Over the years, I’ve often featured this Victorian-era gem on Tracking the Light. It is unusual for its sharply curved train shed.

I was impressed by the frequency of passenger trains serving the station. There is a steady procession of trains to and through the station with regular departures for Dublin, Cobh, Mallow, Middleton, and Tralee.

I made these photos using my Nikon Z6 with 24-70mm lens.

Our visit to Cork, included a tour of Kent Station, conducted over the course of serveral days.
Our visit to Cork, included a tour of Kent Station, conducted over the course of serveral days.

Tracking the Light Posts Daily!

Mallow at Dusk

Kris and I took a spin out to Mallow, Co. Cork. Upon arrival we had a chat with some friends and I made a few photos in the twillight glow of evening.

Back in 2005, I spent several evenings at Mallow documenting Irish Rail’s movement of sugar beet.

For these photos, I worked with my Nikon Z6 with 24-70mm Z-series zoom lens, white balance set to ‘auto’.

Tracking the Light Posts Daily!

Dublin to Cork

On Monday, 3 October 2022, Kris and I traveled on Irish Rail’s 1200 Dublin Heuston to Cork (Kent) train.

It was a typically dull day with showers and occasional sun across the Midlands.

We had First Class tickets and traveled in Coach A of a five-piece ICR (InterCity Railcar).

At Cork we were given a warm and very special welcome by Irish Rail.

Heuston Station.
Self portrait with the Nikon in Coach A on the way to Cork.
Cork’s Kent Station upon arrival on platform 4.
The arrivals/departures board at Cork had a special welcome for us!
Cropped version of the above photo.

I made these photos of the trip using my Nikon Z6.

Tracking the Light Posts Everyday!

Spin to Howth

Sunday evening Kris and I took a spin to Howth and back on Irish Rail’s DART from Connolly Station.

I made my first trip to Howth on the DART back in March 1998. On that visit I made photos with a Nikon F3T loaded with Fujichrome Velvia.

For Sunday’s visit, I worked with my Nikon Z6 with 24-70mm zoom, while Kris made photos with her Fuji XT4.

Tracking the Light Posts Daily!

Irish Rail’s Connolly Station

Yesterday, I made this photo of an Irish Rail ICR (InterCity railcar) paused at Platform 4 at Dublin Connolly Station.

It was a comparatively quiet Sunday afternoon and dull outside, but the soft lighting made for a perfect time to portray the modern diesel railcar in the Victorian-era railway station.

Nikon Z6 with 24-70mm Z-series Nikkor zoom.

Tracking the Light Posts Daily!

Ad Trams in the Dublin City Centre.

Over my many visits to Dublin since the start of LUAS tram services in 2004, I’ve made many photos of the various specially decorated LUAS advertising trams that grace the system.

Over the last few days wandering the streets of Dublin, I’ve continued my LUAS photography and focused on a few of the Ad trams that add to the color of the City Centre.

I made these views of Sky television wrapped trams using my Lumix LX7.

Southward Green Line tram crossing the Rosie Hackett bridge over the Liffey
Closer view at the Rosie Hackett bridge.
Eastward Red Line Tram on Abbey Street near O’Connell Street.
Eastward Red Line Tram crossing O’Connell Street.
Westward Red Line Tram on Abbey Street at the Jervis stop.

Tracking the Light Posts Daily!

Perspectives on Dawson Street

Yesterday (September 23, 2022) ,as Kris and I walked down Dawson Street in Dublin, I made photos of the passing LUAS trams.

I was aiming for some new perspectives on the LUAS.

At the St Stephens Green, we boarded a Big Red Bus that had an open top section at the back, and retraced our steps.

An open top bus in Dublin, Hmmmm . . . .

All photos exposed digitally with a Nikon Z6 with 24-70mm Z-series Zoom.

Tracking the Light posts everyday!

High Contrast Trams

Yesterday evening (September 22, 2022), I made a few photos of Dublin’s LUAS trams using my Nikon Z6.

It had been raining much of the day but about 6pm the sun came out, making for some interesting but high contrast scenes.

Back in the old days I’d have worked with black & white film to make the most of this type of lighting, and controlled the contrast chemically. Now, I’m applying contrast controls digitally to my Nikon’s NEF (RAW) files using Adobe Lightroom.

Do these photos work?

If they don’t, I’ll take more later.

LUAS tram on Parnell Street in Dublin. JPG from the unaltered NEF file (No changes to color, contrast, exposure etc).
LUAS tram on Parnell Street in Dublin. This is my adjusted version of the same NEF file. I’ve paid special attention to the sky using Adobe Lightroom’s built in ‘select sky’ mask.
Abbey Street in Dublin. JPG from the unaltered NEF file (No changes to color, contrast, exposure etc).
Abbey Street in Dublin. JPG from the adjusted NEF file.

Tracking the Light Posts Daily!

August 28, 2012

Ten years ago (August 28, 2012), I made this photo from my standard location overlooking Islandbridge Junction in Dublin of the morning’s down IWT Liner, led by Irish Rail Class 071 number 073.

Working with a zoom lens, I made vertical and horizontal images of the freight as it worked around the bend this was facilitated by my ability to change focal lengths quickly.

My question is: does the ability to change focal lengths rapidly allow for better photos or does it make the photographer lazy?

Tracking the Light Posts Daily!

Irish Rail at Edgeworthstown-26 March 2005

Among the dozens of rolls of slides that I retrieved from storage at a friend’s house in Ireland was this one exposed of Irish Rail at Edgeworthstown, County Longford back on the 26th of March 2005.

On that day the down midday Connolly-Sligo passenger train terminated at Edgeworthstown and the passengers were transferred to a bus for the remainder of their journey west.

Locomotive 083 was hauling the train.

These were three of the photos I exposed on Fujichrome using a Contax G2 rangefinder.

Tracking the Light Posts Daily!

Heuston Vignettes

During my visit to Dublin last month, I stayed the Ashling Hotel across the Liffey from Irish Rail’s Heuston Station. This gave me ample opportunity to revisit this old haunt during my wanders around the city.

Working with my Lumix LX7, I made this selection of views around the station during my final 24-hours before flying to Boston.

I’d made my first photos at Heuston upon arriving by train from Galway in February 1998, more than 24 years ago!

Tracking the Light Posts Daily!

Ten Years Ago May 11th

On May 11, 2012, I made this digital photo with my Lumix LX3 of a LUAS Tram (dressed in Emirates advertising) passing Arnotts department store on Abbey Street in Dublin.

Less than two weeks ago we visited Arnotts on a shopping trip.

Now back in New Hampshire Arnotts just seems like a dream.

Exposed using a Lumix LX3 on May 11, 2012.

Tracking the Light Posts Daily!

Three Trains at Islandbridge Junction.

Toward the end of April, for the second morning in a row, I was in position at ‘the box’ on St Johns Road in Dublin to witness the passing of Irish Rail’s down IWT liner.

It was a cosmic alignment. The sun came out just as three trains converged upon Islandbridge Junction. The first was an ICR that emerged from the Phoenix Park Tunnel and stopped across from Platform 10. The second was an ICR heading toward the tunnel.

Then the down IWT liner emerged from the tunnel weaved around both ICRs on its way through the junction.

Sometimes, it helps to be in place at the best spot and just wait out the action.

Exposed in April 2022 using a Lumix LX7 digital camera.

Tracking the Light Posts Daily!

Waiting for the DART on Platform 5

Last Monday (25 April 2022) , we arrived at Dublin’s Connolly Station by LUAS tram and made our way to Platform 5 to catch the DART to Blackrock.

The sun was high in the sky as I focused on a northward DART while waiting for our train south.

All photos were exposed digitally using my Panasonic Lumix LX7.

Diesel Railcars Under the Roof at Connolly Station—25 April , 2022.

I first visited Irish Rail’s Connolly Station in February 1998.

That seems like a lifetime ago and the station facilities have been greatly altered since my early visits.

On Monday, 25 April , 2022, we transfered from the LUAS to Irish Rail’s DART at Dublin’s Connolly Station and on the way between the tram and the train, I exposed this Lumix LX7 photo 29000 and 22K series railcars under the old roof.

Although these are common varieties of trains in Ireland, there’s a certain thril of seeing them again in an historic setting, which reminds me that the common today will someday seem captivating. Everything changes and it helps to have been away for spell to better appreciate the effects of change.

An open eye can produce creative vision and a record for history.

Tracking the Light Posts Daily!

Irish Rail 084 at BlackHorse Avenue—Dublin.

As it rains ice outside my window in Conway, New Hampshire, I was thinking back to greener warmer times last summer in Ireland!

It was toward the end of August 2019, when I made this view of Irish Rail 084 working an up-IWT Liner from Ballina, Co. Mayo to Dublin’s North Wall approaching Blackhorse Avenue in Dublin.

Exposed digitally using a FujiFilm XT1 with a 90mm lens.

Tracking the Light Posts Every Day!