Tag Archives: Irish Rail

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Irish Rail 202! Hooray!

What? you say.

It’s the elusive 202, found lurking in my archives!

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

I have many hundreds of photos of the 201s in action, hauling passenger and freight trains all over the Irish Rail network.

Some locomotives were common; I must have a hundred photos of class leader 201 on the roll. And every time I turned around, I seem to find 215 leading a train. Actually, I still do! Old 215 is among the 201-class still on the move, albeit in the modern green and silver paint instead of classic orange, yellow and black.

Of the 35 201s, I found that engine 202 was by far the most elusive. A few years ago when scouring my vast collection of more than 15,000 colour slides picturing Irish Rail, I located just three images of 202.

One was from the window of a Mark 3 carriage at Roscommon, one was an image at Limerick Junction of Bo-Bo 176 towing 202 with flat wheels up-road, and the best of the lot was a rainy day image of 202 with a Tralee-Mallow-Cork service near Rathmore, County Cork.

How 202 so thoroughly eluded me during this period baffles me.

Anyway, the other day I was scanning some previously unprinted 120-size black & white negatives, when I found this view of 202 working down-road at Kildare with Irish Rail’s Mark 2 Airbrake carriages. (Which were withdrawn from active service shortly after this photo was exposed).

Irish Rail 201-class locomotive 202 leads Mark 2 Airbrake fitted carriages and a ‘Dutch-van’ downroad at Kildare on 16 August 2002. Exposed on 120 Tri-K using a Rollie Model T with Zeiss Tessar lens. Engine 202 was distinguished from the others in its class because of the different style of type-face on the road number on the front of the locomotive. Do you have photos of 202 on the move? It still exists, stored at Inchicore with other surplus 201 class locomotives.

There are some other rare images on this roll, but this for me is the rarest!

I’ll need to locate the colour slides from that day and see what I find.

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Irish Rail at Glounthaune—Two Views.

Earlier this month I made a visit to Cork to present a program on railway photography to the Irish Railway Record Society.

Honer Travers and I spent an afternoon in Glounthaune where I made these photos on Kodak Tri-X using my Nikon N90S with f2.0 35mm lens.

My film processing was very traditional: Kodak D76 (mixed 1 to 1) for 7 minutes 15 seconds at 68F. I agitate very gently to minimize the effect of grain.

Routine operations, such as Irish Rail’s Cork suburban trains, offer great opportunity for creative railway photography. In both of these images, I’ve worked with foreground, middle-ground and background by using shallow depth of field to create a sense of depth.

An Irish Rail 2600-series railcar works toward Glounthaune from Kent Station, Cork.
A Cork-bound railcar accelerates away from its station stop at Glounthaune.

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Irish Rail Heuston Monochrome—September 2017.

Using my old battle-worn Nikon F3T (yeah, that one) fitted with a 1960s-era Nikkor f.14 50mm lens, I exposed a sequence of images in the evening light at Irish Rail’s Heuston Station in Dublin.

I was especially pleased with this view of one of Irish Rail’s Mark 4 sets beneath the train shed. Low light made for contrasty silhouette with lots of texture and exceptional dynamic range.

This was exposed on Kodak Tri-X (black & white negative film) using a fairly wide aperture.

During early October 2017, I processed the film using two-stage development, initially soaking the film in an extremely dilute mix of Kodak HC110 designed to begin development while allowing great shadow detail and greater overall tonality. For my primary development, I used Ilford ID11, diluted 1-1 with water for 8 minutes at 68 degree F. This was followed by a 30 second stop bath and two fixer baths, 1st rinse, hypo-clear batch, 2nd rinse, then 8 minutes in a weak bath of selenium toner (1 to 9 with water), 10 minute final rinse and drying.

I scanned the negatives using an Epson V500 flatbed scanner, with some very nominal final adjustment using Lightroom.

Although my digital cameras feature black & white modes, and I can easily de-saturate a digital file to make a monochrome image, I don’t feel that digital imaging would yield a completely comparable image to this one  made the old fashioned way.

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Incidental Photographs from the Munster Double.

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

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

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

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Irish Rail 080 Works the Scheduled Dublin-Tralee Passenger at Limerick Junction.

Today, 14 October 2017, is the date of the long anticipated Munster Double tour (operated by the Railway Preservation Society of Ireland in conjunction with Irish Rail), so I thought I’d run these images from 2006 when I photographed Irish Rail 080 working a Dublin-Tralee passenger train passing Limerick Junction.

On Friday, 13 January 2006, David Hegarty and I had been photographing Irish Rail’s sugar beet trains. Toward the end of the daylight we found ourselves at Limerick Junction in time to catch the Friday only ‘down Kerry’ that was still regularly worked with steam-heated Cravens carriages.

At the time, the new Mark4 trains were still being tested and hadn’t yet entered regular traffic.

Exposed on Fujichrome slide film using a Nikon F3 with 180mm Nikkor lens.
Exposed on Fujichrome slide film using a Nikon F3 with 180mm Nikkor lens.

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Irish Rail’s Connolly Station

Sometimes the sideshow makes for good photos.

The main event at Dublin Connolly Station last Monday (25 September) was the launch of the 2017 Emerald Isle Express. I featured those photos in yesterday’s post. See: Emerald Isle Express at Connolly Station, Dublin.

While on the platforms at Connolly I also made photo of Irish Rail’s ordinary trains.

I have a feeling that these images may age well. Often the common becomes fascinating over time.

Exposed using a FujiFilm XT1 fitted with a 27mm f2.8 lens.
Exposed using a FujiFilm XT1 fitted with a 27mm f2.8 lens.
Exposed using a FujiFilm XT1 fitted with a 90mm f2.0 lens.
Exposed using a FujiFilm XT1 fitted with a 90mm f2.0 lens.
Exposed using a FujiFilm XT1 fitted with a 90mm f2.0 lens.
Exposed using a FujiFilm XT1 fitted with a 90mm f2.0 lens.
Exposed using a FujiFilm XT1 fitted with a 27mm f2.8 lens.
An a glimpse of the main even. Exposed using a FujiFilm XT1 fitted with a 90mm f2.0 lens.

In addition to these digital photos, I also made a few choice colour slides on Fujichrome Provia 100F with my old Nikon N90s and 35mm f2.0 lens. Those are still unprocessed.

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11 Photos of the Emerald Isle Express at Connolly Station, Dublin.

Monday, 25 September 2017 saw the launch of this year’s week-long Emerald Isle Express sponsored by Railtours Ireland.

 The train consisted of Railway Preservation Society of Ireland’s preserved Cravens carriages hauled by Irish Rail class 071 locomotive number 073 recently repainted in a heritage orange livery.

It was a fine bright morning and I made these photos from Platform 5 at Connolly Station using my Lumix LX7 and FujiFilm digital cameras.

Irish Rail 073 arrives on platform 5 with the train for the Emerald Isle Express.
Railtours Ireland greeted its passengers in style. Photo exposed using a FujiFilm XT1 digital camera fitted with a 90mm f2.0 lens.
Photo exposed using a FujiFilm XT1 digital camera fitted with a 27mm f2.8 lens.
Photo exposed using a FujiFilm XT1 digital camera fitted with a 90mm f2.0 lens.
Detailed view of Irish Rail 073 in retro paint. Photo exposed using a FujiFilm XT1 digital camera fitted with a 90mm f2.0 lens.
Lumix LX7 photo, colour and contrast adjusted in post-processing.
Photo exposed using a FujiFilm XT1 digital camera fitted with a 90mm f2.0 lens.

Lumix LX7 photo.
Lumix LX7 photo.
Photo exposed using a FujiFilm XT1 digital camera fitted with a 90mm f2.0 lens.

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Irish Rail 221 in Fresh Paint—21 September 2017

Warning Facebook viewers: Facebook crops! (Click on the post that link with Brian Solomon’s Tracking the Light for the full view).

Irish Rail 201 class diesel-electric number 221 has been recently painted.

On Thursday 21 September 2017, I exposed this view of the locomotive working the down IWT Liner at Islandbridge Junction near Heuston Station, Dublin.

There was a mix of sun and clouds that produced soft dappled lighting.

Photo exposed using a FujiFilm XT1 digital camera fitted with an f2.0 90mm lens.

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Great Southern & Western Station at Portlaoise.

I could have titled this ‘Dusk in the Rain’.

As it happens I was at Irish Rail’s Portlaoise Station on my way up to Dublin and I needed a few potential illustrations of the 1840s buildings for my book on European railway travel. I thought, ‘what better time than now to make some up to the minute photos?’

Working with my Lumix LX7 I made these views that I feel capture the atmosphere of the station.

Looking down road toward Cork.
An Irish Rail Portlaoise commuter train arrives during light rain.

Any favorites?

 

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Irish Rail Class 071 Works the IWT Liner.

Last week Irish Rail class 071 worked the IWT Liner.

Dressed in the 1970s-era heritage livery, this locomotive has been a popular topic with local photographers.

The bright orange locomotive glistens even on a dull day.

Digital photograph exposed using a FujiFilm XT1 with 27mm lens.

I exposed this view on Friday (1September 2017) from Conyngham Road in Dublin (at the entrance to the Phoenix Park Tunnel) using my FujiFilm XT1 with 27mm pancake lens.

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Telephoto versus Wide angle: Picturing Irish Rail’s Tara Mines Run at Drogheda.

A few days ago, my daily Tracking the Light post featured a long distance telephoto view of Irish Rail’s Tara Mines zinc ore train crossing the Malahide causeway.

See: Long View: Tara Mines Zinc Ore Train at Malahide. 

In that photo the train is relatively small in a big scene.

Three days later, David Hegarty and I were again out along the old Great Northern line, this time at Drogheda, to photograph the Tara Mines on the move.

In contrast to the distant view in the earlier posting, the photographs displayed here  focus tightly on the locomotive and train using more classic three-quarter angle.

In the top photograph, I used my FujiFilm XT1 with a 90mm fixed telephoto for a tight compressed view (what some photographers might term a ‘telewedgie’).

While in bottom photograph I used my Lumix LX7 with zoom lens set with a wide-angle perspective that approximates the angle of view offered by a 35mm focal length lens on a traditional 35mm film camera.

Exposed using a FujiFilm XT1 with 90mm fixed telephoto lens. Notice the crossovers located on  curved track.
Lumix LX7 wide view.

I prefer the telephoto view for overall appeal; this handles the soft lighting conditions more satisfactorily, focuses more closely on the locomotive and train, minimizes bland elements of the scene such as the ballast and white sky, and offers a high impact image of the train in motion. Also it helps emphasize the trackage arrangement with crossovers between the up and down lines.

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Think Fast at Hazlehatch! Action on the Quad Track.

Irish Rail’s quad-track line southwest of Dublin is a popular place for photos.

Last week, Colm O’Callaghan and I made a trip down to Hazlehatch to make photos of trains on the move in the afternoon.

Belmond’s Grand Hibernian was passing down road when Colm said to me, ‘Quick, it’s the inspection car’. I had only a few seconds. I turned around and with little time to compose I fired off a few frames.

Both the train and the inspection car were in motion.

FujiFilm XT1 photograph at Hazlehatch. The fifth line in the center serves a stub-end track to a bay platform at Hazlehatch station.

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Tracking the Light features Irish Rail 29000s at Drogheda in five photos.

Only see one photo? That’s because you are not viewing this post on Tracking the Light (Hint: click the link).

Irish Rail maintains its 29000-series diesel railcars (built by CAF) at its Drogheda Depot.

Back in Janaury 2003 I photographed the very first of these trains being lifted out of the boat at Dublin port. (Thanks to the late Norman McAdams who had encouraged me to  be dockside to make photos for the Irish Railway Record Society Journal).

I was reminded of that event while crossing the now disused trackage (half paved over) by the old Point Depot along the north Liffey Quays near where I made my photos.

These images were exposed last week at Drogheda using my digital cameras.

Exposed using my Lumix LX7. Notice Irish Rail’s Tara Mines train at the upper left.
Irish Rail 29000s by the dozen! FujiFilm XT1 photo.
Lumix LX7 photo looking toward Dublin.
Lumix LX7 photo.
FujiFilm XT1 photo.

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

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

The Irish Sea is in the distance to the east.

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

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

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

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Long View: Tara Mines Zinc Ore Train at Malahide.

On the morning of 25 August 2017, David Hegarty and I were in position at Malahide looking toward the old Great Northern Railway causeway to photograph a laden Tara Mines Zinc Ore Train led by Irish Rail class 071 locomotive number 077.

I liked this location because it allowed me to picture the whole train in a scenic setting. As you can see the Tara Mines train is very short as demonstrated in this  broad-side view (if you are viewing on FB you may need to click on Tracking the Light for the full photo).

Exposed digitally using a FujiFilm XT1 fitted with an f2.0 90mm fixed telephoto.

To make this work I used a medium telephoto and then in post processing cropped the extraneous portions of the sky and water at top and bottom of the image.

I also altered contrast, colour balance and colour saturation.

I’m not fully satisfied though, because the dark locomotive and dull wagons with relatively flat lighting tend to get lost in the overall scene.

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

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

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

Here’s a selection of Lumix LX7 views.

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

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Irish Rail 220 with IWT Liner at Islandbridge Junction on 17 August 2017.

Clear blue dome. Nice view. Short walk.

Islandbridge Junction near Heuston Station in Dublin.

I exposed this photo of Irish Rail’s IWT Liner (Dublin North Wall to Ballina, Co. Mayo) on the morning of 17 August 2017 using my FujiFilm X-T1 digital camera fitted with a 27mm pancake lens.

Exposed at f9 1/500th of a second at ISO 400 using a 27mm pancake lens (provides an angle of view equivalent to a 41mm lens on a full-frame 35mm film camera).

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Dusk in the Gullet; Illustration of Digital Sunset in 5 variations.

What? Not another of those InterCity Railcars?!

Yep.

I made these views from the St. John’s Road Roundabout bridge at Killmainham/Islandbridge in Dublin.

The light was fading, the train was shadowed and the situation routine: Irish Rail’s ICR pass this spot dozens of times daily. In fact, these trains rumble up and down all day long.

Unmodified Lumix camera RAW file (except for scaling). I’ve exposed for the sky.

What initially caught my interest was the sunset glow in the north-west sky.

I made these photos using my Lumix LX7, which exposes a RAW file.

After the fact, I made some heavy handed adjustments to exposure, contrast, colour balance and colour saturation to show what is possible with post processing.

Here’s my first adjusted file; working with the RAW I’ve made a variety of alterations.

In addition to enhancing the sky, I lightened the train and cutting while making a variety of localize adjustments, such as to the flowers at lower left.

I’m using the same essential approach that I used to apply to my black & white photography when making prints in the darkroom, except its now done digitally on the computer.

Unmodified camera RAW (scaled as a JPG for internet presentation).
My first modified RAW image (presented as scaled JPG).

The graffiti at lower right is bit of an annoyance. In my final version, I’ve darkened the area around the graffiti to minimize it.

My second modified RAW where I’ve tried to minimize the graffiti under the bridge.

My first modified RAW image (presented as scaled JPG).

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Irish Rail InterCity Railcars pass Islandbridge Junction.

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

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

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

Lumix LX-7 photo.

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Two Too Many Twos at Connolly?

Sometimes a number catches my attention.

The other day I made two photos of Irish Rail 02 22222 arriving at Connolly Station, Dublin.

If I hadn’t had my Lumix LX7 with me and ready to go, I might have been too late to make this photo. And that would have been too bad.

Irish Rail 02 22222 at platform 5, Dublin’s Connolly Station. Lumix LX7 photo.

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Irish Rail DART crosses at level crossing in Bray.

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

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

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Framing Irish Rail.

Not a 1940s paperback title.

But an exercise in making better photos on overcast days.

Last month, two days in a row I hoofed it up to Blackhorse Avenue following the good advice of fellow photographer Colm O’Callaghan in order to make photos of Irish Rail’s class 071 diesel- hauled trains.

Blackhorse bridges Irish Rail’s branch the connects Islandbridge Junction with Dublin’s North Wall via the Phoenix Park tunnel. The north-facing portal is just out of sight around the corner in the cutting.

This is a nice place to make photos of Dublin-bound trains bright overcast days. Elevation allows me to minimize the sky, while an old stone-faced overbridge makes an effective frame that adds depth and historical interest to the photos.

Both were exposed using my FujiFilm X-T1 digital camera fitted with a fixed focal length (‘prime’) 90mm telephoto lens. One makes use of the landscape (horizontal) orientation, the other is a portrait (vertically) oriented photograph.

Irish Rail number 075 leads an empty spoil train toward Dublin’s North Wall on 27 April 2017. FujiFilm XT1 photo.
Irish Rail 081 with the Up-IWT liner from Ballina, County Mayo. FujiFilm XT1 photo.

Which photo do you feel is more interesting?

And yes, I also made black & white photos of these trains.

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Irish Rail at Cabra; Spoil revisited.

A few weeks back I posted some views from the Old Cabra Road bridge where an Irish Rail ICR arrived on scene and partially blocked my view of the ever elusive spoil train. (See: Are Two Trains Better than One?)

Just to clarify the significance of that event: Irish Rail ICRs (Intercity railcars) are the standard passenger train on most routes in Ireland.

Furthermore, a public App for your smart phone will alert you where these trains are running most of the time. Finding an ICR on the move is easily accomplished.

By contrast, the spoil train is difficult to find, even for veteran observers. It doesn’t run often, rarely has a rigid path, and tends run off path even when given one. It doesn’t appear on an App, which makes it even harder to find.

It’s like a ghost train and I’ve missed it more times than I’ve managed to picture it.

Colm O’Callaghan and I scored views of the spoil train from Old Cabra road a few days ago. This was one of my favorite from the sequence.

Exposed digitally using my FujiFilm X-T1 with 90mm f2.0 prime lens.

Persistence and patience are the lessons for the day.

Portraits, engine photos and station-scapes with my Lumix LX7 on 8 April 2017.

Railway Preservation Society of Ireland’s Trip to Galway and Kilkenny—Part 2.

More photos from my Lumix exposed Saturday 8 April 2017, on the RPSI’s The Marble Tribesman Diesel Tour that ran from Dublin Connolly Station to Galway via Portarlington and Athlone then to Kilkenny via Kildare.

Galway. (something behind me must be more interesting than old 081 beneath the shed!).
Irish Rail’s 081 catches the sun at Galway. Not much left of the sidings in the goods yard here.
Galway.
Photo at Woodlawn, County Galway.
Welcome to Woodlawn! (Thanks to Stephen King for pointing out the sign).
Kilkenny.

Kilkenny.
Detail of 081 at Kilkenny.
Kilkenny.
Station stop at Athy, County Kildare.
Reviewing photos from the stop at Kilkenny.
A surprise birthday song for barman Jon Nabb (left).
Jon opens a gift.

Also surprised for his birthday was RPSI’s Fergus (left).
We arrived back at Connolly Station at dusk after more than 12 hours on the road.
Engine 088 having been uncouple from the train waits to run around at Connolly Station, Dublin.
Group portrait of Irish Rail staff and hangers on at Connolly.

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