Tag Archives: Irish Rail

Shows Irish Rail

Tracing the old Burma Road

This last saw trains in the mid-1970s, yet much of the track and right-of-way remains intact.

The disused Irish railway that runs from Claremorris, Co. Mayo via Kiltimagh and Charlestown to Colloney, Co. Sligo is known as the ‘Burma Road.’

A railbike operation is based at the old station in Kiltimagh.

After St. Patrick’s Day, Kris and followed a portion of the Burma Road on our drive toward Sligo. In places the old line had been recently cleared.

I made these images using my Nikon Z7-II.

The area around the station in Kiltimagh has been preserved and a rail-bikes operation is advertised.
Kiltimagh Station.
The old station at Coolaney looking toward Colloney, Co. Sligo.
The old station at Coolaney looking toward Colloney, Co. Sligo.
Coolaney looking toward Charlestown.
Near Colloney, Co. Sligo.

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The Elusive Timber Train

Irish rail freight is comparatively scarce today compared to my visits years ago.

While visiting county Mayo, I’d hoped to catch one of the several freights that still routinely grace the rails there.

On the advice of an old friend at Irish Rail, Kris and I paid our second visit to Manulla Junction on a rainy Monday March morning. After passage of the morning Dublin-Westport passenger train, we caught the once-per-week Ballina-Waterford timber train led by class 071 locomotive number 074.

I exposed these photos of the train as it squealed through the junction. It was like old times again! The sound of the turbocharged 12-645 roaring away brought me back many years.

Nikon Z7-II with 70-200mm Nikkor Z-series zoom.

Vestiges of a Railway Long Gone

Clifden is located on the western periphery of County Galway. Between 1895 and 1935, it was served by a lightly traveled branch of the old Midland Great Western route.

In mid-March, we stayed at the Clifden Station House Hotel. The hotel included the Signal Bar & Restaurant, located across the carpark in the old Clifden Railway Station. This was decorated with antique signaling equipment, photographs and vintage railway advertising posters.

Interestingly, on my first visit to Clifden in 1998, I interviewed the railway gate keepers who lived in a railway cottage near the station. This elderly couple had closed the gate after the passage of the last train in 1935.

I made these photos using my Lumix LX-series cameras.

The Signal Bar & Restaurant is an adaptive reuse of the old Midland Great Western Railway station in Clifden, Co. Galway.
It has been 89 years since the last train served this station. Today, it is a popular railway themed bar and restaurant. We enjoyed live music performed here.
An old distant signal fits the pub’s railway signal theme. This semaphore can only display yellow or green.
How many visitors will recognize this antique Harpers Block Instrument? I remember when these relics of the telegraphy era were still in use in Waterford and elsewhere on Irish railways.

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2006 & 2024-Changes at Manulla Junction

Irish Rail’s station at Manulla Junction exists to serve as a remote transfer point for passengers to/from the Ballina Branch.

Passengers are afforded a cross-platform connection between Dublin-Westport trains and the Ballina Branch local. There is no sanctioned public access from nearby roads.

In 2006, Dublin-Westport services were typically provided by Class-201 hauled Mark III sets,; while the branch saw antique GM diesels hauling steam heated Cravens carriages.

In 2008, Irish Rail completed the re-signaling of its Mayo lines, which eliminated the Manulla Junction cabin and resulted in a re-alignment of trackage and the connection with the Ballina Branch.

Today, Hyundai-Rotem built ICRs work through trains to Westport, while pairs of 2800-series railcars provide the connection with Ballina.

At left: Irish Rail’s Dublin-Westport train consisting of Mark 3 carriages; at right, an 071 leads a steam heated Cravens set for Ballina. Exposed on Fujichrome on 2 May 2006. At this time the junction with the Ballina Branch was via a switch locate east of the platform.

Westport, Co. Mayo-Then and Now.

Westport, Co. Mayo is at the western periphery of the Irish Rail network. I made my first visit to Westport station in February 1998. Over the years, I’ve called in to make photographs on many occasions.

On our visit to Westport earlier this month, we made a brief visit to the old station where I found an Irish Rail ICR waiting to head up to Dublin.

I’ve included a couple vintage photos of Westport station along with views from 14 March 2024.

Irish Rail class 201 number 216 at Westport, Co. Mayo on 23 February 1998. Exposed on Fuji Provia100 (RDP II) using a Nikon F3T with 50mm lens.
Irish Rail empty timber arriving at Westport on 10 June 2006. In 2024, Irish Rail still loads a weekly timber train at Westport.
Lumix LX7 photo at Westport on 14 March 2024.
The antique post box at Westport is a functional relic from another era. 14 March 2024, exposed with a Lumix LX7.
Lumix LX7 photo at Westport on 14 March 2024.

Greenfields, an Old Castle and a Passenger Train.

I could have titled this post as “Railcar passes Milepost 47 1/4”.

Years ago, when Irish Rail was rebuilding its line between Athenry and Ennis, I’d scoped this location in County Galway south of Ardrahan, near Labane. At the time antique General Motors diesels (classes 141/181) were being used for per-way trains carrying rail, sleepers and ballast.

During our explorations in the west of Ireland earlier this month, Kris and I re-visted the bridge at MP 47 1/4 in order to photograph a revenue train passing the old castle. We were pleased to find that the hedgerows had been recently trimmed.

I made this sequence using my Nikon Z7-II with 24-70mm Z-series zoom. In post processing, I made some minor adjustments to enhance sky detail and provide more pleasing contrast.

Irish Rail to Mallow-Nine New Photos.

Earlier this month we traveled by train from Killarney to Mallow.

While I’ve made many rail journeys through Mallow over the years, more often than not this was just a place to change trains.

This trip we traveled specifically to Mallow. Kris wanted to visit Crystal Earth in the village, where she bought some decorative stones. We also enjoyed lunch and a coffee and caught up with friends at Irish Rail who gave us a driving tour of the town and of the railway station.

An unseasonable snowfall in the Dublin area had resulted in delays to InterCity trains to Cork and Kerry. As as result there was a parade of trains in the evening. While we waited for our return to Killarney to depart, I made a variety of photos of the passing trains.

Kris enjoyed the lush views of County Kerry as we traveled from Killarney toward Mallow aboard an Irish Rail ICR.
Mural at the Irish Rail station in Mallow, Co. Cork.
Irish Rail InterCity Railcar at Mallow.
Kent Station to Mallow suburban train arriving at Mallow. The 2600-series railcars are 30 years old this year.
Late-running Dublin-Cork train arriving at Mallow.
A second Dublin-Cork train approaching Mallow just a few minutes later.
Locomotive 234 is the highest numbered of the 201-class General Motors diesels.

Great Southern Killarney

Historically, the Great Southern Hotel in Killarney was owned and operated by the railway.

Although the Great Southern Killarney has not been affiliated with the railway for many years this classic hotel remains across the road from Irish Rail’s Killarney Station and retains its traditional name and charm.

Kris and I stayed at the Great Southern for several nights during our visit to Co. Kerry earlier this month. We availed of the proximity of the railway station to take a few short train journeys and enjoyed the hotel’s classic style.

I am hoping to feature the Great Southern at some point in an article, and made a number of photos aimed to convey the stately elegance of the hotel and its convenient location in Killarney town.

Irish Rail’s Killarney Station is just a short walk from the Great Southern Hotel.
Irish Rail provides service from Killarney to Cork, Dublin and Tralee (and intermediate points).

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A Short Trip on a ‘Really Old Train’

Earlier this month, while visiting Killarney, Co. Kerry, we stayed at the Great Southern Hotel, a grand old railway hotel across from Irish Rail’s station.

Years ago, I traveled from Killarney aboard Irish Rail’s Cravens carriages. These rolling antiques were heated with steam that wafted alongside the train as it sat in the station.

On our recent visit, Kris and I decided to take a short spin out the line to Tralee and bought day return tickets, which we used to travel on the evening train. As the train approached Killarney, a young man on the platform, who was speaking with a friend on his mobile phone, exclaimed ‘Like, there’s this really old train. One of the square ones.’

With visions of the Cravens in my head, initially I had difficulty understanding what this fellow was describing. As the 2600-series railcars rolled into Killarney, it occured to me that these were now antiques that had been on the move for thirty years!

In 1982, I would have viewed sets of Budd-RDCs built in the early 1950s as ‘old trains,’ and those cars were just as old to me, as Irish Rail’s 2600s were to the young man at Killarney.

So Kris and I Traveled out and back on the old 2600s. Not quite the experience of traveling on Cravens, but we still enjoyed our trip!

Old 2600s at Killarney.

Photos exposed using my Nikon Z7-II with 24-70mm Z-series Zoom.

Timoleague and Courtmacsherry

Among Ireland’s legendary wild & wonderful railways was the Timoleague and Courtmacsherry portion of the West Cork Railway.

This is believed to be Ireland’s last road side railway and served an exceptionally scenic and charming part of the country.

Alas, it’s charms aside, the Timoleague and Courtmacsherry ceased operations about 1960.

Kris and I explored vestiges of this line on our travels in County Cork earlier this month.

I made these images with my Nikon Z7-II near Timoleague.

The semaphore is a prop, installed long after the old railway was lifted. Yet, it offers a hint of the right-of-way’s railway heritage.

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Night photography in Cork City.

Working with my Nikon NZ-II mounted on a compact Gitzo tripod, I made a variety of photos around Cork City.

The tripod allowed me use a lower ISO, which required a slower shutter speed but captures a greater amount of data with minimal loss.

Working with Lightroom, I adjusted shadows and highlights to reduce contrast and make for better balanced images despite the prevailing darkness punctuated by harsh artificial light.

Bridge over the River Lee.
Kent Station, Cork.

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Then and Now: Changes at Islandbridge Junction!

Over the years I’ve made countless photos at Islandbridge Junction in Dublin.

Last month, Kris and I revisited my old spot at ‘the box’ over looking the Junction, just west of Heuston Station.

I found this place much changed from my earlier views. Not only have modern buildings sprouted up but so has the lineside vegetation.

Compare these photos from 17 May 2005 and 18 February 2024. In both views, I show Irish Rail 201-class General Motors diesels leading Dublin-Cork passenger trains.

Cobh Junction—Glounthaune, Cork.

Over the years I’ve made numerous visits to Irish Rail’s Glounthaune station in County Cork. But only rarely, I have I made night photos here.

This was one of several photos exposed on the down platform using my Nikon Z7-II mounted on my old mini-Gitzo tripod during our brief visit to Glounthaune a couple of weeks ago.

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Little Island, Revisited

On our nocturnal tour of Irish Rail’s Cobh Branch with our friend Will, Kris and I paused at the station at Little Island, where we photographed the 2100 (9pm) Cork to Cobh train making its scheduled station stop.

Since my last vist to this suburban railway station, Irish Rail has erected a huge modern footbridge over the tracks. This was not yet open to the public, so we made our photographs from the old iron footbridge.

I had my Nikon Z7-II mounted on a mini-Gitzo tripod to allow for a slower shutter speed with relatively low ISO.

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High ISO at Woodhill, Cork.

During our week-long visit to County Cork, we took many photos and became re-acquainted with the area’s railways.

I made these views at Woodhill on the Cobh Branch of Irish Rail’s 830pm train from Cobh to Kent Station. To minimize the motion of the passing train, I set the ISO on my Nikon Z7-II to 25600.

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Dublin Heuston to Kent Station, Cork

After a week in London, Kris and I returned to Dublin. Upon arrival at Dublin Airport we took the 782 bus directly to Heuston Station and bought tickets for the first available through train to Cork.

Although, Irish Rail wasn’t having the best day, and our train was a Hyundai-Rotem built Intercity Railcar (Known as an ICR) instead of one of the locomotive hauled CAF-built Mark 4 train sets, we had a good train ride.

As soon as the train was anounced we proceeded directly to the boarding platform and secured places for our luggage and ourselves on-board the train. Irish rail’s InterCity trains are very well patronized, and our train, which had just five cars, was essentially full departing Dublin.

The train departed within 30 seconds of the advertised and ran express to Portloaise under sunny skies. We arrived in Cork ahead of schedule!

I made all of these photos using my Lumix LX7. The images were recorded as RAW (RW2) files and then adjusted in post processing using Lightroom.

Great Northern Railway station at Malahide.

Kris and I traveled on the DART from Dublin Connolly Station to the northern extent of the DART service at Malahide where we spent the afternoon wandering around.

We returned via a 22K series Intercity Railcar (ICR).

I made a series of photos of the station, its trains and environment. The station facilities include a classic former Great Northern Railway (of Ireland) station building. This is constructed of yellow brick and retains its traditional Victorian era canopy.

LX3 photo.
Nikon Z7-11 with 24-70mm lens.
Nikon Z7-11 with 24-70mm lens.
Nikon Z7-11 with 24-70mm lens.
LX3 photo.

Photos exposed using Lumix LX3 and Nikon Z7-II digital cameras. All images were exposed as RAW files and processed using Adobe Lightroom.

DART at Connolly Station

Dublin Area Rapid Transit is an electrified suburban service focused on Dublin’s Connolly Station. This shares routes with diesel powered trains and provides a regular interval passenger service.

The oldest of its cars are the German built 8100, 8300 series units that date to beginning of the service in the early 1980s. I first photographed the DART in 1998.

I made these photos on Satruday using a Lumix LX3. Kris and I were on our way to Malahide, which is the northern extremity of the DART service.

Following its recent re-introduction to my camera arsenal, I’m continuing to experiment with a Lumix LX3, after nearly a decade since my original LX3 failed following more than 65,000 exposures. The LX3 was my first digital camera.

Sun and Semaphores—Ballinasloe, Jan 2000.

Twenty four years ago this month, I exposed this pair of Fujichrome Sensia II color slides of Irish Rail’s down Galway accellerating away from the station a Ballinasloe led by a class 201 diesel.

At the time the Galway Line was still largely protected with traditional mechanical signals locally controlled by signal cabins.

In 2003, Irish replaced the old signal system with a modern ‘Mini CTC’ system controlled remotely from Dublin.

Nikkor f2.8 non-AI 24mm lens.
Nikkor f2.8 non-AI 24mm lens.

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On the Beet: Wellingtonbridge 18 Years Ago

On 2 December 2005, clouds had given way to a burst of late afternoon sun at Wellingtonbridge, County Wexford as sugarbeet was being loaded into the wagons that would take them by rail to Mallow, County Cork.

What this photo cannot convey is the earthy scent of the freshly harvested beet and the ‘clop clop clop’ sounds of the beet being loaded.

Below are two versions of the Fujichrome slide scan. The top is the raw unmodified scan. The bottom is my adjusted JPG of the same scan. I aimed to make a more pleasing photo by lowering contrast, lightening shadow areas, and warming the color temperature

Since this photo was made; the beet traffic ended (long story), the beet wagons were scrapped, and later the railway through Wellingtonbridge was closed to regular traffic. However, old Irish Rail 134, one of 15 Class 121-GM diesels, was preserved and has since been restored and repainted into its as-built gray and yellow livery.

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20 Years ago: Sugarbeet at Cherryville

Twenty years ago, during November and December I would focus my photography on Irish Rail’s Sugar Beet campaign.

This was an intensive and fascinating operation that focused on the movement of sugar beet from the loading point at Wellingtonbridge, Co. Wexford to the sugar processing factory in Mallow, Co. Cork. The trains were typically hauled by a variety of Irish Rail’s 1960s and 1970s-era General Motors diesels and used a fleet of antique vacuum-braked four wheel beet wagons.

Over the years, my friends and I got to know many of the players in this magnificent stage show, which often added a personal element to watching and photographing the trains in action.

Ireland in November: chilly with low midday sun, the ground perpetually damp and an agircultural scent in the air.

The 2003 beet campaign had an unusual twist. Earlier in the year, an accident at Cahir, Co. Tipperary on the Waterford-Limerick Junction line had damaged a key bridge, as a result the sugar beet trains were diverted northward to Cherryville Junction (on the Dublin-Cork line) and to Kildare where the locomotive would run around, and then toward Cork via Limerick Junction.

On November 27, 2003, my friends and I were set up at Cherryville Junction. Irish Rail class 071 No. 081 had been holding at the signal as trains passed on the main route. Then when traffic cleared, the 081 with 750 tonnes of sugar beet got the signal to crossover and head ‘up-road toward’ Kildare. The locomotive was roaring away as it snaked through the Cherryville crossover.

I exposed this view on Provia 100F (RPD-III) using a Nikon F3 with 180mm Nikkor telephoto.

Much has changed in the intervening years, but I still carry the 180mm lens and Irish Rail 081 is still on the roster. The sugar beet trains are but a memory.

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Irish Rail Rail Train at Clondalkin

I’m waiting for someone to call me out on title redundancy.

Actually, according to my notes, this Irish Rail permanent way consist is called the ‘rail trucks.’

It was nine years ago that I joined my friend Colm O’Callaghan on an adventure to the west Dublin suburbs to catch this elusive train on the move.

We set up at near Clondalkin looking east toward the Park West and Cherry Orchard station on the recently opened quad track section of the Dublin-Cork main line.

I made this view using my Canon EOS 7D with an f2.0 EF 100mm USM prime telephoto lens. Exposure was f5.6 1/500 at 200 ISO. I adjusted the file using Adobe Lightroom. Below are three variations, each described in the caption.

Canon CR2 Raw file without adjustment, converted to JPG for internet presentation.
Same CR2 RAW file as above, but with nominal color corrections made in Lightroom.
Cropped and color corrected version of the Canon CR2 RAW file, scaled as JPG for internet presentation.

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Irish Rail diesel trains August 28, 2013

Here’s a few views from my old Canon EOS7D from ten years ago.

I’ve Imported the old Canon CR2 (RAW) files into Lightroom (version 5.5) to make a host of minor adjustments that were not available to me at the time of exposure.

Although this older Canon digital camera didn’t capture as much data as my modern Nikons, it still did a wonderful job of preserving the scenes.

It’s been a long time since the 071s wore the black and silver livery.

Irish Rail 074 leads an empty ballast train down road near Hazelhatch. This is the ‘HOBS’ (High Output Ballast System).
A 200mm view near Clondalkin in West Dublin of a down ICR on the quad track section.
Up IWT liner approaching the Memorial Road Bridge with 071 class locomotive 083.
The Up-Cork rolls through ‘the Gullet’ on the last leg of its run to Dublin’s Heuston Station. I made this view from Memorial Drive. 28 August 2013.

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Steam to Kilkenny—Ten Years Ago!

On August 25, 2013, I traveled behind 2-6-0 461 on the Railway Preservation Society of Ireland’s The Marble City that ran from Dublin’s Connolly Station to Kilkenny and back via Athy.

At various stops along the way, I made digital photos using my old Canon EOS7D with a 28-135mm lens.

Although I’ve previously published some of these photos on Tracking the Light, for this post I’ve re-edited my selection and made a variety of up-to-day post processing adjustments using Adobe Lightroom, which I didn’t use back in 2013.

Hard to believe this was ten years ago!

Safety valves are lifting at Hazelhatch as The Marble City was overtaken by the down Cork led by Irish Rail 215.
At Kilkenny, I made this roster shot of old 461.
A view from the road bridge at Athy, Irish Rail’s up Dublin-Waterford train was making its station stop while RPSI’s steam crew filled 461’s tank with water.
Classic portrait of the footplate crew at Athy. Look’s like someone needs a cup of tea.

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Irish Rail in Dublin—3 May 2014

It was a typical Irish overcast day on 3 May 2014. Using my Canon 7D, I made this selction photos of Irish Rail.

Last night, I imported my nine year old Canon CR2 RAW files into Lightroom and re-profiled them as an exercise.

Three of the four photos below were adjusted for color, contrast, and exposure. One of the images was the in-camera JPG.

One of the great advantages of working with digital RAW files in post processing is the ability to lighten the shadow areas. This small adjustment can significanly improve the appearance of photos made in dull overcast lighting.

Canon EOS 7D with 40mm pancake lens. Adjusted CR RAW file.
Irish Rail ad on a Dublin Bus. Canon EOS 7D with 100mm f2.0 lens. Canon JPG.
Canon EOS 7D with 40mm pancake lens. Adjusted CR RAW file.
Canon EOS 7D with 100mm telephoto lens. Adjusted CR RAW file.

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Mark4—16 years ago with 24mm

Last night Kris and I watched a Sci-Fi film about time travel.

Afterwards, I thought about how each of my slide binders offers a form of time travel.

Lately on Tracking the Light, I’ve been offering windows in time. Each that looks back through my photographs; one week, five years, etc.

I look at this photo and I think how much has changed since I exposed this frame of Fujichrome.

I was standing at ‘the box’ at the St John’s Road in Dublin on the evening of 29 April 2007. I made the image with a Nikon F3 with 24mm Nikkor lens.

Much of these scene has changed in the intervening years. The old baracks behind the train was demolished and replace by an upscale housing complex. The view of the tracks looking west has been obscured by brush and bushes (don’t ask which is which). And, these days I rarely exposed Fujichrome in Dublin with a Nikon F3.

Irish Rail’s Mark4 sets still work the Dublin-Cork run though. So that’s something.

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Full frame scan of a 35mm slide exposed on Fujichrome using a Nikon F3 with 24mm Nikkor lens. 29 April 2007

Four Years Ago-The West Awake!

April 13, 2019: I traveled on Railway Preservation Society of Ireland’s The West Awake rail tour that operated on Irish Rail from Dublin to Claremorris, Ballina and Westport, Co Mayo and featured rare multiple-unit operation of 071 class diesels.

I made these views using a FujiFilm XT1 mirrorless digital camera.

The Fuji’s built-in color profiles provided excellent color and contrast for the soft directional lighting characteristic of the West of Ireland. I made minor adjustments to color and contrast in post processing that effectively tweaked the images for improved appearance here.

Claremorris, Co. Mayo. XT1 with Fujinon 18-135mm lens set at 22mm; ISO 400 f9.0 at 1/250th second
Claremorris, Co. Mayo. XT1 with Fujinon 18-135mm lens set at 79mm; ISO 400 f7.1 at 1/250th second
Westport, Co. Mayo. XT1 with Fujinon 18-135mm lens set at 93mm; ISO 400 f6.4 at 1/125th second.
Claremorris, Co. Mayo. XT1 with Fujinon 18-135mm lens set at 93mm; ISO 400 f5.6 at 1/180th second

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Approaching Farranfore 10 April 2016

It was the second day of a two-day Irish Railway Record Society diesel tour on Irish Rail.

After the first day, the train had laid over at Killarney where a bunch of us made the most of this famous tourist town.

On that morning, I arrived back at the station in time to catch the tour for its run to Tralee and back to Killarney (before continuing via Mallow, Limerick Junction and Waterford on its circuitous return trip to Dublin). Some of the tour passengers opted to rest a little longer a Killarney and so skipped the excursion to Tralee. Understandable (After all it was a soft day).

Approaching Farranfore on the return run to Killarney, the rain turned to snow. While waiting for the signal to clear, I made this sequence of photos from the vestibule of the train using my FujiFilm XT-1 digital camera.

10 April 2016
10 April 2016

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27 March 2013 and 27 March 2018

Going back over my digital files, I’ve selected two photos; one from Five Years ago in Northern Ireland; and one from 10 years ago at Islandbridge in Dublin.

This image on 27 March 2018 features an NIR Belfast-bound CAF 4001 series diesel railcar appraching Greenisland. This was exposed using my FujiFilm XT1 with 18-135mm zoom lens set to 123mm, ISO 400 .

I preserved Irish Rail’s down IWT Liner of 27 March 2013 using my Canon EOS7D fitted with a 28-135mm Canon lens set to 105mm. Camera set to ISO400.

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Dublin’s Pearse Station, Spring 1998.

Twenty-Five years ago, I was exploring Irish Rail, and seeing this amazing railway for the first time. 

Dublin’s Pearse Station impressed me. The capacious Victorian train shed with a mix of electric and diesel trains reminded me of Philadelphia’s great termini; Broad Street and Reading Terminal.

But also because it was the oldest big city station in continuous use. The station opened in 1834 and although greatly altered over the decades, this had always served as a Dublin hub.

Today, it is rare to find a diesel here, except on permanent-way trains, and more rarely on RPSI diesel tours. Yet, back in 1998, it was a common sight to find a 201-class General Motors diesel-electric working a push-pull Mark3 set in suburban service. The sound of the big GM was amplified under the shed.

Irish Rail 231 at Dublin Pearse Station in 1998. Fujichrome slide scanned with a Nikon LS5000 scanner.

I made this photo on Fujichrome Sensia (100 ISO) using a Nikon F3T with 24mm Nikkor wide-angle lens. Looking at this photo today, it amazes me how few people were on the platform.

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Ten Years Ago-Greening of Dublin

On the evening of 15 March 2013, I walked around Dublin making photos of civic structures that had been lit with green-tinted light to celebrate the upcoming St. Patrick’s Day holiday.

To hold my cameras steady, I worked with a mini Gitzo tripod with adjustible ball head.

Dublin’s Heuston Station, lit green for St. Patrick’s Day. Time exposure with a Lumix LX3. Lumix RAW file adjusted using Adobe Lightroom to obtain better color balance and improve shadow detail.
The Wellington Testimonial in Dublin’s Phoenix Park had a hint of green light reflecting of its eastern flank. Exposed digitally using a Canon 7D.

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Irish Rail at Rathdrum-1998

On the summer of 1998, Irish Rail class 071 number 082 approaches a station stop at Rathdrum, County Wicklow with the down midday train to Rosslare Europort

I exposed this photograph on Ilford HP5 using a Nikon F2 fitted with an old school manual focus Nikkor f2.8 24mm wide angle lens.

I digitized the original negative using an Epson V600 scanner driven by Epson Scan2 software. Minor contrast adjustment was required for presentation here.

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Two March Firsts from Years Gone By!

I wish I’d done more of this sort of thing.

This is a good exercise in seeing, and a great way to preserve the effects of change (or not, as the case may be).

Below are two views of Irish Rail’s tracks as seen from atop the Phoenix Park Tunnel off the Conyngham Road in Dublin. These images were exposed exactly one year apart.

In both situations, I was walking back to my old apartment at Islandbridge in Dublin and made a photo of the tracks with a Lumix.

The March 1st, 2014 view was made with an LX3 and exposed as a RAW File; the March 1st, 2015 photo was a JPG made with a Lumix LX7.

The vantage point was nearly identical, although the focal length and framing was slightly different.

LX3 photo-March 1, 2014
LX7 photo-March 1, 2015

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February 1998-Heustion Station, First Look-Two photos six months apart & 25 years ago.

I hadn’t planned on visiting Dublin. I arrived on an ‘Arrow’ from Kildare.

When I disembarked at Heuston Station in February 1998, I found it was a construction site.

I had never seen it any other way.

I never intended to stay.

As it happened, I spent many moons around the place. But in August 1998, I aimed to recreate the same angle I’d exposed six months earlier.

Both photos were made on Fujichrome using a Nikon F3T.

Heuston Station, February 1998.
Heuston Station, Dublin. August 1998.

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25 years Ago at Limerick Junction

I made my first trip to Ireland in February 1998.

After landing at Farranfore, I spent a week in Tralee, then another driving around the West in a hired Citroen Saxo, before enbarking on a rail journey at Limerick for Dublin.

This was argueably the most significant train trip of my adult life. I never intended to visit Dublin. But upon arrival there, I realized that I’d found a special place.

All of Dublin lay in my future. For more than 20 years, I rented apartments in Dublin. And the city was my conceptual office and research library where I wrote many of my books and as used base to travel around Europe.

Between 1998 and 2019, I made tens of thousands of photographs documenting Irish railways.

I made this view of the Limerick – Limerick Junction shuttle with 121-class number 128 while waiting for the Up Cork that would whisk me toward Dublin (although, I actually disembarked at Kildare to change to a local train consisting 2600 railcars). Exposed on Fujichrome with a Nikon F3T using a non-AI f2.8 135mm Nikkor telephoto.

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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.

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