Tag Archives: Ireland

Glounthaune Sunrise—Cobh Junction Glint in 3 photos.

Last week on a visit to Cork, I made these views of Irish Rail’s 2600 railcars working Cork-Cobh and Cork-Midleton services from Glounthaune village looking across the water toward Glounthaune/Cobh Junction station.

I was working with my FujiFilm XT1 and Canon EOS-3 cameras. The Canon was loaded with Provia 100F, and we’ll have to wait for the slides to be processed.

Regular Tracking the Light readers know that I often favor low-light ‘glint’.

This is tricky light to expose satisfactorily. It is a matter of getting the balance between highlights and shadows right, which is a subjective decision on the part of the photographer.

Which is your favourite?

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Railway Preservation Society Ireland—Fall Tour: Ten Lumix Views.

I described the failure of my trusty Lumix LX7 in yesterday’s post:
Final Frame? Lumix LX7 Coils Up

https://wp.me/p2BVuC-5Rm

Despite its failure on the day of the tour, I’d made good use of the camera right up to the end. This versatile picture making device had been a staple of my camera bag for more than four years.

Below are a selection of photos from Saturday 13 October 2018 of RPSI’s The Southwestern rail tour that operated from Dublin Connolly to Cork, then via Limerick, Ennis and Athenry and back to Dublin.

On these rail tours I tend to focus on the people as much as the equipment.

Blocked outside of Mallow.
Operational discussion at Mallow.

 

Kent Station, Cork.

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Faces, Places and Engines—RPSI’s The Southwestern Tour—10 Views.

Although it was dark, wet and cold, I made a lot of photos of yesterday’s Railway Preservation Society of Ireland ‘The Southwestern’ tour.

These views were exposed using my FujiFilm XT1.

For me these tours are as much about the people as where we go or the equipment we travel on.

More photos soon!

Crew van.

Crew van.
Noel Enright at Mallow.
Limerick.
Limerick.

Ennis.
The gang at Gort.

 

Noel gives the green flag at Athenry.

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Magnificent Vestige at Borris, County Carlow.

The Borris Viaduct is an impressive vestige of the closed Irish railway line from Bagenalstown to Palace East.

Ken Fox, Donncha Cronin and I explored this old bridge, which has been converted into a hiking trail with easy public access.

Photos exposed using a FujiFilm XT1 digital camera.

Notice the effect of selective focus and soft light.
This similar view has greater depth of field.
This old milepost is measured from Dublin and is located immediately south/east of the big bridge.

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Exploring Historic Railways in Carlow and Wexford—Ten Photos.

It’s not all about trains. It never was.

Over the weekend, Ken Fox, Donncha Cronin and I made an exploration of abandoned Irish railways in counties Carlow and Wexford.

We began at Bagenalstown and worked our toward Wexford.

I find long abandoned railways inherently compelling, but sometimes difficult to convey in pictures.

This is a selection of images from my FujiFilm XT1 on the Bagenalstown to Palace East route, a line shut to traffic in the 1960s. In some places structures, bridges and rights-of-way remain, in others the line has been reclaimed and there’s virtually nothing left to see.

These photos are to convey the aura of the closed line, I’ve made no effort to place them in geographical order.

Goresbridge, Co. Carlow.
Near Bagenalstown.
Palace East, Co. Wexford.
Palace East, Co. Wexford.
Goresbridge, Co. Carlow.
Goresbridge, Co. Carlow.
Southeast of Bagenalstown.
Looking toward Bagenalstown.
Near Bagenalstown.

In tomorrow’s post, I’ll cover the visual highlight of the line.

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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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Enterprising Patterns at Connolly

Real black & white under a Victorian-era train shed.

Here’s some views I made of the Enterprise in August 2018 using my Canon EOS-3 with a 40mm lens with Fuji Acros 100 film.

I like the reflections in the windows.

Sometimes its fun to play with the level. Is this an improvement or an annoyance?

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Irish Rail 224: 20 Years In Ireland: Irish Rail class 201 Retrospective

I’ve been exploring and photographing Irish railways since 1998. To mark my twenty years photography, I’ve been displaying images of each of Irish Rail’s 201-class General Motors diesels in numerical order.

Today’s locomotive is 224, seen above  a while back in a view that’s up-close and personal. The introduction photo was made on 17 March 2017 in a curve between Mourne Abbey and Rathduff, Co. Cork. A green loco for St. Patricks Day.

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Mainline Steam: RPSI No.4 at Mosney—16 September 2018.

Gauzy autumn light is perfect for photographing black steam locomotives on the move.

Yesterday, Railway Preservation Society of Ireland operated steam excursions between Dublin, Drogheda and Dundalk. Plans to work with engine 85 were foiled by difficulties with the turntable at Connolly Station.

Instead RPSI engine No.4 did the work.

Paul Maguire and I drove to a remote overhead bridge near Mosney.

I exposed this view using my FujiFilm XT1 with 27mm pancake lens. To make the most of the scene, I imported the RAW file into Lightroom and adjusted it for contrast and saturation, using a digitally applied graduated neutral density filter to bring in sky detail.

RPSI engine No.4 has a roll-on working north toward Drogheda.

Learn more about the Railway Preservation Society of Ireland:

https://www.steamtrainsireland.com

As I was preparing this post, Dublin’s Radio NOVA was talking about the excursion on FM.

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Steam Portraits-Faces of the Footplate.

A locomotive is hardly an ideal portrait studio.

Or is it?

Shafts of filtered light and a dark background make for a fascinating setting, while the opportunity to make silhouettes against the daylight provide a contrast.

The men of the footplate proudly wear the coal dust, cinders and ash that identify them.

I made these portraits of the crew on board Great Northern Railway of Ireland 85 on its excursions last week.

Driver Ken Fox adjusts the regulator on locomotive 85.
Lumix LX7 portrait.
Lumix LX7 portrait.
FujiFilm X-T1 with 12mm Touit lens.
Lumix LX7 portrait.

Special thanks to everyone at the Railway Preservation Society of Ireland (RPSI) and at Irish Rail for making my locomotive journeys possible.

For details about the RPSI and scheduled steam and diesel trips see:

https://www.steamtrainsireland.com

Check out: Room with a View: The Challenges on Photographing from/on a Steam Locomotive Footplate—12 Photos.

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Room with a View: The Challenges on Photographing from/on a Steam Locomotive Footplate—12 Photos.

Earlier this week it was organized for me to travel on the footplate of Great Northern Railway of Ireland 85.

The thrill of experiencing a steam locomotive cab on the main line is a rare privilege.

My job was to make photographs and stay out of the way.

Locomotive driver Ken Fox works on the left side of the engine as it rolls through Tipperary countryside.

Locomotive 85 is a three cylinder compound  4-4-0, a 1932 product of Beyer Peacock.

The compound arrangement is what intrigued me, but like the low droning throb sounding  from the 20 cylinder diesel powering an EMD SD45, this element of the steam equipment is beyond my ability to picture.

Instead, I had to settle for making images of the crew at work and the locomotive in motion.

Fireman’s view near Mountrath on the Cork Line.
12mm Zeiss Touit view of the fireman shoveling coal.
Fireman’s view of a Mark 4 train up road near Thurles. Special viewing equipment on my Fuji XT1 made images like this possible.
Fireman’s view. Working the injector.
View of the firebox.

The footplate offers a rough ride, while swirling coal dust and locomotive exhaust complicate photography and the handling of sensitive equipment. The lighting is at best difficult. Staying out of the way often means that I wasn’t always  able to get the angle I really wanted and needed to make due with where I was able to stand.

Driver side view.
Feeding the fire. Lumix LX7 photo.

The locomotive is bathed in smoke and dust.

Special thanks to everyone at the Railway Preservation Society of Ireland (RPSI) and at Irish Rail for making my locomotive journeys possible.

For details about the RPSI and scheduled steam and diesel trips see:

https://www.steamtrainsireland.com

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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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Lumix on the Enterprise—Extra Post

I’m on my way from Dublin toward Belfast on the cross-border Enterprise.

Working with my Lumix LX7, I made these photos and I’m posting them via the Enterprise Wi Fi using my Apple MacBook.

The light weight Lumix LX7 with its easy to use controls and flexible zoom lens makes it an ideal travelogue device. Yet, it’s more than just a snapshot camera.

It makes simultaneous RAW and Jpg files while allowing adjustment of exposure via shutter speed and aperture controls. Plus it has a variety of pre-sets and automatic modes.

View at Drogheda.
Old Great Northern Railway station at Dundalk. This morning just a few minutes ago.
Near Newry, Northern Ireland.
Moo?

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Irish Rail 222—The Bishop.

Many Irish Rail locomotives have nicknames. Engine 222 is ‘The Bishop’ or ‘Bishop Tutu’, which is an allusion to its number.

Over the last 20 years, I’ve caught this locomotive at many places across the Irish network.

Irish Rail 222 working push-pull set at Cherryville Junction on 20 September 2002. Exposed on Fujichrome with a Nikon.
10 June 2006; An electrical power cut at Westport, County Mayo had required the use of portable generators at the station. In addition to the discordant cacophony at the normally peaceful location, this had resulted in some unusual moves to get trains positioned properly, such as this view of 222 with Mark 3s beyond the station to the West.

See: DAILY POST: Timber and General Motors, June 10, 2006 

Irish Rail 222 works a Dublin to Cork Mark4 set nearing Kent Station, Cork.
Now officially 02-10222. The Bishop basks in the evening sun at Heuston Station in Dublin.
Working the IWT liner from Dublin to Ballina, at my all to often photographed location at Islandbridge in Dublin. Exposed digitally using my FujiFilm XT1.

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Irish Rail Workhorse Diesel; The Unremarked 221 in four photos.

Here’s four views of Irish Rail 221; two film, two digital; two orange, two green & silver; two with passenger, two with freight; one in snow, three without; but all showing this machine on the move.

221 leads the down Dublin-Cork liner at Ballybrophy on 25 March 2005. Exposed on Fujichrome Velvia 100F using a Nikon F3 with 180mm lens.

This is part of my on-going series depicting Ireland’s class 201 diesel electrics to mark my 20 years photographing in Ireland. Photographic details in the captions.

Irish Rail 221 leading Mark 3 carriages at Kildare on a damp summer day in 2005. Exposed on Fujichrome Velvia 100F using a Nikon F3 with 180mm lens.
Freshly painted 221 (with expanded number) leads the down IWT liner (Dublin to Ballina container train) at Islandbridge Junction in Dublin. Exposed digitally using a FuijFilm XT1 with 90mm Fujinon telephoto lens. Notice the effect of scale with the monument visually positioned over the locomotive. The date of exposure was 21 September 2017.
Irish Rail 221 in the snow at Islandbridge in Dublin on 28 February 2018. Exposed digitally with a FujiFilm XT1 and 27mm pancake lens.

Question: do head-on telephoto views portray the shape of the 201-class effectively?

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Irish Rail 220; Here and There, North and South, Freight and Passenger, Then and Now.

Five views of Irish Rail 220.

Of the Irish Rail class 201 diesels, number 220 is well represented in my collection! Let’s just say I had lots of photos to pick from, both on film and with digital.

Any favorites among these?

April 2000, I found Irish Rail 220 at Belfast Central. Exposed on Fujichrome Sensia II using a Nikon.
In August 2005, 220 leads Mark 2 carriages toward Connolly Station as viewed from Old Cabra Road in Dublin. The shadowy cut made for a contrasty slide.
In 2014, I caught 220 working the down IWT Liner west of Kildare from the main road over pass. Exposed using my Canon EOS 7D with telephoto lens.
In 2015, I caught 220 working the up-IWT Liner (International Warehousing and Transport container train heading toward Dublin port) passing the station at Hazelhatch on the quad track near suburban Dublin.
It was a fine October day at Cork’s Kent Station when I exposed this view of 220 with a Mark IV set.

In each of the images, I’ve made nominal adjustment to exposure, contrast and colour balance.

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Irish Rail 217—Three Photos: Summer, Fall & Winter.

Next up in my 20 year retrospective featuring the Irish Rail 201 class is Irish Rail locomotive 217!

Is this anyone’s favorite engine?

I have many images of 217 over the years, and I’ve selected these three for presentation here.

Details in the photos below.

Irish Rail 217 pauses in the loop at Ballybrophy in June 2006. Exposed on Fujichrome using a Contax G2 rangefinder with 28mm Zeiss Biogon lens.
September 2016, 217 passes Clondalkin on the quad track in suburban Dublin with the down Mark4 for Kent Station Cork. FujiFilm X-T1 digital camera.
Rare snow blankets Dublin on 28 February 2018. FujiFilm X-T1 photo. I made this photo through the fence at Memorial Road, you can see part of the fence blurred at right. Normally I’d crop this defect, but I left it in so you can see the challenge of photographing at this location. Careful positioning will allow for an unobstructed view, but I wasn’t as careful as I should have been.

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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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Irish Rail 216 in Ordinary Dress.

Today, Irish Rail 216 wears a one of a kind navy-blue livery and is seasonally assigned to Belmond’s luxury Grand Hiberniancruise train.

 This has become one of the most popular trains to photograph in Ireland and I’ve caught it here and there over the last few years.

For my 201 retrospective, I thought I’d present a few photos of 216 before it was blue.

Irish Rail 216 was among the first 201 class diesels I put on film. Here it is at Westport, County Mayo back in February 1998. Exposed on Provia100 with my Nikon F3T and 135mm lens.
In April 1998, I made this view of 216 at Heuston Station, back when the station shed was blue, but 216 wasn’t! 24mm view with Fujichrome Sensia.
Also in April 1998, 216 with a Mark3 set at Kent Station, Cork. A 135mm view on Fujichrome Sensia (100 ISO).
This seems unusual now: Irish Rail 216 in orange paint on the container pocket wagons (CPWs) then assigned to Dublin-Cork midday liner. Photographed at Islandbridge Junction in Dublin using a Contax G2 with 28mm Biogon Lens. Give me a good price, and I’ll sell you the lens. (I’m totally serious!) briansolomon.author@gmail.com
And there’s 216 in fresh green, yellow and silver paint, rolling through Cherryville Junction with a down Mark3 set on 20April2006. How things have changed!

Stay tuned for more soon!

Check out my new 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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Oh No, Not the Dreaded 215! Again . . . 

Irish Rail 215. Is this my least favorite of the 201 class locomotives?

It’s probably my most photographed.

My first recognition of the 215-effect was on a trip to Galway many years ago. Friends were visiting from America and we were traveling on the Mark3 International set.

Soon after departing Dublin Heuston, it was evident that the train was in trouble. We weren’t making track speed. When we got to Hazelhatch, our train took the loop. Old 215 had failed. We waited there for about 40 minutes until 203 was summoned for a rescue.

Some months later, I returned from Boston to Dublin, and on the front page of the papers was 215 at Heuston Station—on its side! It had derailed.

15April2006 Irish Rail 215 works the Galway train passing Attymon. Fujichrome slide.
Possibly one of my first photos of 215, working the Mark3 push-pull at Westland Row in Dublin, April 1998. Fujichrome exposed with a Nikon F3T and 135mm lens.
Old 215 in orange paint at Pearse Station in 1998.

And which loco worked the very first publically scheduled Mark IV set from Dublin to Cork?

215 with a patch! Islandbridge Junction in September 2006. Not its first trip on the Mark4 set, nor its last!

Out for the down train, take a guess which loco I’m most likely to catch!

Here’s a Mark4 trial in April 2006. Revenue working began a couple of weeks later. Top of Ballybrophy bank on the Dublin-Cork mainline.

Uh! There it is again. Damn thing is a like a shadow.

Near Newbridge on 14 April 2009. Back when film was all I had.
Irish Rail 215 in clean paint with the up-road IWT liner passing Fonthill.

Good ol’ 215.

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Irish Rail 214: Two Sunrise Views, Dublin and Mallow.

This pair of photos depict Irish Rail class 201, engine number 214 at work on passenger and freight.

The top photo was exposed in July 2005. I wanted to make a photo of the 0700 (7am) Dublin-Cork passenger train departing Dublin Heuston, before the service was changed to one of the new Mark4 sets.

My theory was that this service was rarely photographed leaving Dublin owing to the early hour and backlit sun. I had months left to do this, but by July the days were getting shorter, and by the following summer the Mark 4s would be in traffic. (It pays to think ahead).

So I went to my favorite spot on the St. John’s Road, and used my Contax G2 with 28mm lens and exposed a few frames of Fujichrome Sensia (100).

Irish Rail 214 departs Dublin with the 0700 train for Cork. Today the Mark3 carriages are a memory and 214 is stored at Inchicore.

The bottom photo was exposed at Mallow on 18 July, 2003 at 0622 (6:22am). I’d gone out for another train, but instead caught this late running cement that was carrying some containers at the front. The train paused for three minutes at Mallow to change crews.

Here, I worked with Fujchrome Sensia (100 ISO) using my Nikon F3 with a 180mm Nikkor telephoto lens.

These are part of my continuing series on the Irish Rail 201 class locomotives aimed to mark my 20 years of railway photography in Ireland (1998-2018).

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Six Vintage 201 photos: Spring with Irish Rail 213!

Years past, I made many colourful photos of Irish Rail 213 River Moy on bright Spring days.

One of my first encounters was in May 1998 at Carlow. I’d arrived by bus (Shhh!!) and made photos of the down train (Dublin to Waterford) at Carlow station using my Nikon F3T loaded with Fujichrome Sensia 100.

View through the fence from the road using a 135mm lens.
213 side-on as it approaches the down starting signal at Carlow in May 1998.

Seven years later, in the Spring of 2005, I was keen to catch 213 on the move, since this was the first Irish Rail class 201 to wear the revised orange livery with bright yellow front end.

I saw this as a big improvement over the original 201 livery.

On 8 April 2005, I photographed 213 in fresh paint with my Contax G2 and 28mm lens on Velvia slide film.
Close up of 213 at Cork’s Kent Station using my Nikon N90S with telephoto lens and Sensia 100 film.
A month later on 8 May 2005, I made this view of 213 light engine at Heuston Station in Dublin. Anyone need a cheap shoe?

And because it fits the theme, I’ve also included a view from April 2006, of 213 descending Ballybrophy-bank racing toward Dublin.

It was on the evening of 17 April 2006 when I caught 213 with Mark3 carriages on the up-Cork passing milepost 62 1/2.

213 hasn’t turned a wheel in many a Spring now. It waits its turn in the sun in a deadline at Inchicore.

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Irish Rail 210—Three Scenes NEVER to be repeated.

Brian’s 20 years in Ireland/class 201 numerical retrospective, part 10.

During the last 20 years an awful lot has changed at Irish Rail.

Here are three scenes never to be repeated and all featuring Irish Rail class 201 number 210—one of ten class 201 locomotives now stored at Irish Rail’s Inchicore works.

All were exposed on Fujichrome slide film using Nikon cameras. Details in the captions.

A view from 1998, not long after I made my first visit to Ireland, locomotive 210 with a set of Cravens under the train shed at Heuston Station in Dublin. Both locomotive and train shed are covered in grime. This was before the shed was renovated and the station brightened up. Notice the old-style lamps on the front of the loco. I was working with the glint effect, catching the light of the setting sun on the Cravens and interior surfaces of the station.
This was 11 May 2000. 18 Years ago. Locomotive 210 was working  an up-Ammonia at Limerick Junction. The Ammonia traffic ended in 2002.
On 13 May 2005, 210 works a down Dublin-Cork train at Rathpeacon. Stored fertilizer wagons occupy the sidings at the left. Since this photo was made the sidings at Rathpeacon have been removed and the old wagons scrapped.

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Class 201 Retrospective: Irish Rail 206, the first of the Enterprise 201s.

As part of my 20 years in Ireland/201 numerical retrospective, this is my opportunity to present  a few views of Irish Rail 206.

When I first arrived in Ireland in 1998, 201-class locomotives numbers 206 to 209 (as they were then identified) were painted for the cross-border Belfast-Dublin Enterprisepassenger service.

On 4 March 2000 Irish Rail 206 works the Enterprise at Donabate. Exposed on Fujichrome Sensia II (ISO100) using a Nikon F3T.
On 11 May 2005, Irish Rail 2005 was ‘ex works’ following overhaul after its fire, making one of many trips on a Liner (point to point freight). It passes Islandbridge Junction, one of my often used locations. Exposed on Fujichrome using a Contax G2 rangefinder.
Same location, same train on 17 May 2005. Here I’m using a 135mm telephoto lens on my Nikon F3T to bring in the Wellington Testimonial (obelisk).
And almost the same angle on 16 December 2010, this time captured digitally using a Canon EOS 7D. So while these are three photos of the same locomotive on similar trains at essentially the same location, each features a different treatment as result of changes in lighting, season, type of camera, lens focal length, and the angle of composition.

It is my understanding that these four numbers were chosen for the Enterprise201s to pay historical tribute to steam locomotives of the same numbers that had worked the service in an earlier era.

In my time these were painted specifically for the re-equipped Enterprise using De Dietrich carriages (derived from the original French TGV single-level carriages)

Of the four, 206 River Liffey has been my favorite, but until relatively recently it is also one of the more elusive 201s in passenger service (in regards to my photography).

Around 2002, it suffered a fire and was out of traffic for about three years. When it returned, it spent months working freights.

Only recently, have I again found it regularly working as intended. It now wears the latest Enterprise livery, which is laterally asymmetrical and features a giant purple swoop across the side of the locomotive.

I made this digital photo of 206 at Belfast Central Station on 26 March 2018, working as intended. Lumix LX7 photo. The high angle allows for good detail of the roof, which is not often seen from ground level.

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Western Rail Corridor Train Arriving Limerick

On Saturday, 7 April 2018, I made these photos of an Irish Rail 2800-series railcar working a Western Rail Corridor service from Galway arriving at Limerick’s Colbert Station.

I used my Lumix LX7, then working with the RAW files in Lightroom, made nominal adjustments to colour temperature, contrast and highlight density.

Lumix LX7 photo at Limerick.
Lumix LX7 photo.

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RPSI’s The Branch Line Wanderer-Part 2

Here’s another section of images from last Saturday’s The Branch Line Wanderer, an RPSI excursion that visited various Irish secondary lines.

I exposed these photos using my FujiFilm X-T1.

The trip was operated by Railway Preservation Society of Ireland in conjunction with Irish Rail.

Limerick.
Cloughjordan on the Nenagh Branch.Cloughjordan on the Nenagh Branch.
Cloughjordan on the Nenagh Branch.
Cloughjordan on the Nenagh Branch.
Irish Rail down Mark 4 at Thurles.
Irish Rail up Mark 4 at Thurles.
Sunset from RPSI train near Templemore.

 

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18 New Photos: RPSI’s The Branchline Wanderer—Retro Diesel Train Flashback.

Yesterday, 7 April 2018, Railway Preservation Society of Ireland in conjunction with Irish Rail operated its The Branchline Wanderer.

This covered several lightly traveled lines, including the Waterford-Limerick Junction section, which was a favorite of mine in years gone by.

The trip was well patronized. Despite wildly varying weather, I found numerous opportunities for interesting photos of RPSI’s train, its crew and passengers, and the places we visited.

Special thanks to RPSI’s Operating Crews and Irish Rail staff for an excellent day out.

Bagnalstown.

 

Bagnalstown.

Waterford.
Waterford.
Waterford.
Waterford.
Coach D.
Waterford.

 

Carrick-on-Suir.
Carrick-on-Suir.
Carrick-on-Suir.
Clonmel.
Cahir.
Cahir.
Cahir.

This display  represents the first few hours of photos exposed with my FujiFilm XT1. This was one of four cameras I used on the day. More photos to follow.

 

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Prelude to RPSI’s Branchline Explorer—7 April 2018

If everything has gone according to plan, as you read this I’m traveling upon Railway Preservation Society of Ireland’s diesel-hauled Branchline Explorer rail tour.

I made this photo on 6 April 2018 of Irish Rail 071 (in 1970s heritage livery) leading the RPSI preserved Cravens carriages across the River Liffey at Islandbridge in the fading light of the evening.

Thanks to Jay Monaghan!

An Irish Rail ICR working Grand Canal Docks suburban service exits the Phoenix Park Tunnel on 6 April 2018. Irish Rail 071 with RPSI Cravens can be seen in the distance. Exposed digitally using a FujiFilm X-T1 camera fitted with a 90mm f2.0 telephoto lens.
An instant classic: Irish Rail 071 (class leader in retro paint) leads the RPSI Cravens across the River Liffey at Islandbridge in Dublin. Exposed digitally using a FujiFilm X-T1 camera fitted with a 90mm f2.0 telephoto lens.

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Ireland’s Most Colourful Train?

Easter Monday, photographer Jay Monaghan and I were in position at Memorial Road in Dublin to catch the RPSI carriage transfer on its way from Connolly Station to Inchicore.

These were the same carriages featured in yesterday’s post, ‘Steam Crosses Dublin’s Loop Line’.

Getting from Dubin’s city centre to Memorial Road, required a well-timed sprint to catch the 25B bus.

Although we were hoping for Irish Rail 073 in heritage paint, 201-class locomotive 232 in silver, green and  yellow added colour to RPSI’s heritage train.

Irish Rail 232 leads RPSI’s Cravens up the gullet on Easter Monday. Exposed using a FujiFilm X-T1 digital camera.
Tight telephoto trailing view of the RPSI train heading toward Inchicore Works.
Although the train is slightly more distant, I prefer this training view because the trees to the left of the line aren’t cropped.

So, was this Ireland’s most colourful train on Easter Monday 2018?

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Steam Crosses Dublin’s Loop Line.

This scene presented three visual challenges;

  • Dublin’s Loop Line is a difficult bridge to picture trains upon owing to a high degree of foreground and background clutter, complex lattice girder construction, and brightly coloured graffiti.
  • Tank locomotive number 4 is an awkward mass and largely painted black that makes for a hard subject to picture satisfactorily, even on a good bright day.
  • It wasn’t a bright day; the lighting conditions were flat (low contrast) and bland.

Further complicating matters, there wasn’t more than a few seconds warning before the train entered the scene, so I needed to be poised.

Friends on board assisted my timing by keeping me up to date as to the location of the train.

I made my views from the Rosie Hackett Bridge (opened in 2014) looking down river toward Dublin Port.

Rather than work with a zoom, I opted for my fixed focal length 90mm telephoto on my FujiFilm X-T1. This gave me a wider aperture, allowed for shallow depth of field to help distinguish the train from its background, and is a very sharp lens  corner to corner.

DART electric suburban trains made for opportunities to make practice photos to test exposure, depth of field, focus and composition.

As the train clattered across the bridge I made several exposures, trying to minimize the distractions of bridge infrastructure and background clutter.

My first view of RPSI No. 4 on the bridge. This subtly shows Dublin port in the distance and features traffic on the south quays.
This is probably the best of my efforts. I adjust the contrast locally to help emphasize the smoke from the engine. I suppose that’s cheating in some eyes, but all I did was enhance the smoke to help show direction and that the engine was working and not static.
How about this view of RPSI’s nice painted Cravens carriages? The rippled patters in the Liffey was an attraction of this angle.

Although these are nice attempts, I’m not 100 percent satisfied, but without better light and an elevated view, I’m not sure how I could have made substantially better photos.

Tracking the Light Posts Daily.

Class 201 Retrospective: Irish Rail 205 on the Move.

To mark my twenty years photographing Irish Railways, I’m posting images of each of Irish Rail’s 201-class General Motors diesels in numerical order.

A dozen years ago, I wouldn’t have found anything noteworthy in my photos of Irish Rail 205 at work. But that’s part of the point of this exercise.

You never know which photos will become interesting over time. The common becomes unusual; the normal become curious; the routine will seem exciting.

Irish Rail’s signalman at Castlerea hands the staff to the driver of engine 205 as it passes the cabin on its way up to Dublin on 9 April 2005.
Irish Rail 205 crests Ballybrophy bank on 3 June 2006 on its way to Cork from Dublin. Exposed on Fujichrome using a Contax G2 rangefinder with Zeiss 28mm Biogon lens.

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Class 201 Retrospective: Irish Rail 204 in four photos.

The unremarkable 204.

Not as rare to my lens as 202, but not as common as say 201, 205, or the seeming omnipresent 215. Today, views of 204 on the move are still pretty neat since it’s been more than eight years since it turned a wheel.

These are all Fujichrome photos, since I never photographed 204 at work using a digital camera. Maybe someday it will return to service. But even then I might take it on slide film for old time sake.

Can you spot the ‘bad’ photo? (read the captions)

Irish Rail 204 races down road at Ballybrophy on 7 April 2007.
Nearly 12 years ago, freshly paint Irish Rail 204 passes Cherryville Junction.
One for the bin? Here we have a fascinating photo of Irish Rail in transition; I exposed this view almost ten years ago to the day: March 2008. Locomotive 204 leads Mark 3s west at Islandbridge Junction as a new Mark 4 set rolls up-road; at left is a four-wheel ballast train led by a pair of Bo-Bos (class 141/181 General Motors diesels), with another Bo-Bo at right working as a station pilot. Look to the upper right in the yard and you’ll see a set of new Rotem ICRs. But this was bad photo: never mind all the railway action, I committed a compositional faux pas; I chopped the top of the Wellington Testimonial in the Phoenix Park! That’s it, pitch the photo! Nothing to see here!
On another day, Irish Rail 204 leads the Platin-Tullamore cement. I was disappointed that an 071 didn’t work the train, but I’m sure glad I made this photo anyway!

Tracking the Light Posts Every Day!

 

 

RPSI’s The Midlander in Colour.

As a follow-up to my black & white posts: On Sunday, 18 March 2018, I also worked with my two digital cameras to expose a few choice photographs of Railway Preservation Society of Ireland’s The Midlander on its run from Connolly Station Dublin to Maynooth.

Also see: https://wp.me/p2BVuC-5nz

Telephoto view at Connolly. This is a colour photograph, but has the contrast and texture of a black & white image. Are the red signals an improvement or a distraction?
Looking back at the train from tank engine number 4.
Irish Rail 073 in heritage paint brought the RPSI train over from Inchicore Works to Connolly Station.
Engine No. 4 hauled the excursion.

An NI Railways CAF train arrives at Connolly substituting for the normal Enterprise set.
Approaching Glasnevin Junction in Dublin.
Working the Midland route toward Maynooth.
Running around at Maynooth.
Number 4 with its admirers at Maynooth.

My new book ‘Brian Solomon’s Railway Guide to Europe features RPSI trains in its section on Ireland.

This is due out in May 2018 and may be pre-ordered from Kalmbach Books: https://kalmbachhobbystore.com

For details on  RPSI and passenger excursions see: https://www.steamtrainsireland.com

Tracking the Light is Daily!

Snow! Steam! Action!

It was cold and snowy at Dublin’s Connolly Station last Sunday.

While snow complicated Railway Preservation Society of Ireland’s planned trips to Maynooth, it made for ideal conditions to expose black & white photos.

Using my Nikon F3 with 35mm and 135mm lens, I made these images on platform 3.

My new book ‘Brian Solomon’s Railway Guide to Europe features RPSI trains in its section on Ireland.

It is due out in May 2018 and may pre-order the book from Kalmbach Books: https://kalmbachhobbystore.com

For details on  RPSI and passenger excursions see: https://www.steamtrainsireland.com

RPSI No 4.

All were exposed using Kodak Tri-X black & white film, which I processed in Ilford ID-11 (1-1 at 68 degrees F for 7 minutes 45 seconds, plus extended presoak with very dilute HC110 to pre-activate development.)

I scanned the negatives  using an Epson V500 flatbed scanner.

RPSI No 4.

More snowy steam images images to follow!

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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.

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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!