For the first time, Irish Rail’s Killarney simultaneously hosted passenger trains from three different operators.
In addition to its own scheduled service from Tralee to Mallow, Belmond’s Grand Hibernian, and Rail Tours Ireland’s Emerald Isle Express were in the station.
I was one of several photographers on site to capture the moment.
I exposed these images using my FujiFilm X-T1. To compensate for changeable lighting, I processed the camera RAW files in Lightroom, making a variety of small adjustments to exposure, contrast, and saturation to produce more effective photographs.
I arrived at Kent Station, Cork on the 0800 train from Dublin.
My timing was tight; I was aiming to catch Rail Tours Ireland’s Emerald Isle Express under the curved roof.
After arriving in Cork, I had less than five minutes to get into position.
Although visually fascinating, Kent’s Victorian-era shed is a tricky place to make photos. The characteristic curvature makes selecting the best angle tough, while the lighting under the roof is limiting.
Using my Lumix LX7 at ISO 200, I was restricted to 1/15th of second at f2.2.
Sometimes limitations force me to make more interesting photos.
The Emerald Isle Express is an annual tour train operated Rail Tours Ireland in cooperation with Irish Rail and the Railway Preservation Society Ireland.
I had advanced notice of this year’s schedule and planned to catch it running along the Irish Sea south of Dublin on its way down the old Dublin & South Eastern route toward Rosslare Europort.
I rode the DART electric suburban train to Dalkey then hoofed it out toward Sorrento Point, where my planned location turned out to be fouled by undergrowth and related shadows.
‘Uh oh.’ Time to move to plan B.
More walking brought me to this footbridge between Dalkey and Killiney.
Although supremely picturesque, the maze of direct current overhead wires and related masts make finding a suitable angle difficult.
I wanted to include more of the Irish Sea to the right of the train, but putting the train too far to the left didn’t really work as an effective composition. Ultimately I settled on a more conservative angle. Soft sun helps reduce the distraction of the wires.
A minor disappointment; I’d hoped that Irish Rail engine number 071 (in bright orange heritage paint) would lead the train. Instead, I settled for that old stalwart; Irish Rail engine 078.
A decade ago, David Hegarty and I made a project of photographing Irish Rail’s South Wexford line between Rosslare Strand and Waterford.
Sugar Beet traffic ended in January 2006, and regular passenger services were withdrawn five years ago in September 2010.
Yesterday, RailTours Ireland’s Emerald Isle Express (operated in cooperation with the Railway Preservation Society Ireland and Irish Rail) ran as a train of empty carriages across the line. This was probably the first train in months to use the scenic route.
Maximum speed was 15 mph.
Mark Healy and I were among the photographers on site to witness this very unusual move.
In addition to these digital photos, I exposed a handful of colour slides, you know, for posterity.
Today, the Emerald Isle Express began its second annual run working from Dublin Connolly Station to Rosslare Strand, and then empty carriages across the rarely used South Wexford line via Wellingtonbridge to Waterford.
The train was sponsored by Rail Tours Ireland in cooperation with the Railway Preservation Society Ireland and Irish Rail.
It was a beautiful day, and I made dozens of fine photographs. I’ll post more tomorrow! Stay tuned.