Tag Archives: RPSI

Faces of Steam: Portraits of RPSI’s train crew.


Working with a Nikon F3 with f1.4 50mm lens loaded with Fomapan 100 Classic, I exposed these portraits of some of the men working Railway Preservation Society’s 18 March 2019 trips from Dublin Connolly Station to Maynooth.

 I processed the film in a non-standard way to obtain a period look while giving photos optimal tonality in a contrasty situations.

First: I pre-soaked film it in a very dilute bath of Kodak HC110 (measured 3 parts per 1000 with water, plus wetting agent) for about 7 minutes at 72 F;

Second: primary developer consisted of Ilford ID-11 1 to 1 with water at 69 F for 6 minutes;

Third: following stop bath, two fixer baths, and a thorough 10 minute rinse, I toned the negatives in a 1-9 selenium solution (outdoors to avoid breathing toxic fumes) for 8 minutes. This was followed by several rinse cycles and a final rinse in distilled water.

Negatives were scanned in colour to retain the selenium tint.

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Irish Rail Class 071 on Parade.

Brian Solomon’s Tracking the Light railway-photography blog posts EVERY Day!


Saturday’s (13 April 2019) The West Awakerail tour put Irish Rail’s class 071 diesels in the limelight.

Although once regularly used in prominent passenger services, in recent years Irish Rail’s 071 class General Motors diesels have largely been assigned to freight and per-way (maintenance) trains, which makes their prominent use in excursion work of great interest to observers

I photographed 071 locomotives that participated in Saturday’s tour. Engine 074 delivered Railway Preservation Society of Ireland’s Cravens carriages from Irish Rail’s Inchicore Works to Connolly Station in Dublin.

Locomotives 082 and 075 had been specially prepared for the tour and set up of multiple unit working, a highly unusual arrangement for these agile six-motor diesels in Ireland.

At Claremorris, the 071 class-leader (number 071 and dressed in retro orange and black paint) took over for the runs to Ballina and Westport.

For 071 enthusiasts, 082 was a special treat because of its extra-loud base roar in the higher throttle positions. While 075 is a curiosity because it is painted in a slightly warmer shade of gray than most of the other members of its class.

I made these photos of the well-maintained 1970s-era General Motors locomotive on parade during The West Awake tour.

Special thanks to everyone at Irish Rail and the Railway Preservation Society of Ireland for making the tour a very enjoyable experience and productive photographic opportunity!

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Portraits and Train Views from RPSI’s 13 April 2019 Tour.


During the course of yesterday’s Railway Preservation Society of Ireland The West Awakerail tour to County Mayo I exposed dozens of portraits of the crew, passengers and observers, along with views of the train from many angles.

This selection was exposed using my FujiFilm XT1 digital camera.

Thanks to Irish Rail and the Railway Preservation Society of Ireland for a well-planned rail excursion!

For more about the RPSI click the link below:

https://www.steamtrainsireland.com

Irish Rail 074 delivers the RPSI train to Connolly Station.
Connolly Station.

Photographers at Athlone.


Castlerea.


Ballyhaunis.

Claremorris.

Claremorris.

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The West Awake Rail Tour—13 April 2019—Some Lumix views.


Yesterday, the Railway Preservation Society of Ireland operated its The West Awake rail-tour in conjunction with Irish Rail.

A special feature of the tour was the unusual multiple-unit operation using a pair of General Motors-built 071 diesels that hauled RPSI’s Cravens to County Mayo.

At  Claremorris the pair of 071s were replaced with locomotive number 071 (class leader) in retro orange for further excursions to Ballina and Westport.

For more about the RPSI click the link below:

https://www.steamtrainsireland.com

During the trip I made numerous digital photos using my Lumix LX7.

Below are a dozen of my finest Lumix LX7 views. I’ll post more photos soon! The best are yet to come!

Special thanks to everyone at RPSI and Irish Rail for an excellent excursion to the west of Ireland!

Irish Rail 074 delivers the excursion train to Connolly Station for boarding. The early start resulted in an opportunity for making photos in rosy morning light. Lumix LX7 photo.

Connolly Station.


Multiple working with 071 diesel is unusual.


Friends at Connolly Station.

The West Awake approaches Islandbridge Junction; a different view of my usual spot!
Photo stop at Athlone.


Athlone.


Double header at Roscommon!


Enjoying the trip!


Discussing the finer points of railways.


Westport through the glass.

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Westport.

Elusive ‘Raccoon’ leads the RPSI Cravens Transfer at the Gullet.

I made this photo on the morning of 18 March 2019 using my FujiFilm XT1.

I’ll admit that if you’re not closely familiar with Irish Rail’s Dublin operations my title to today’s Tracking the Light post might seem cryptic.

Two of the Irish Rail 201 class General Motors diesels, 231 and 233, are painted in a minimalist silver, black and yellow livery. These are colloquially known in the enthusiast community as ‘raccoons’ (or ‘badgers’).

Engine number 233 has been shy lately and rarely seen out on the mainline.

RPSI stands for the Railway Preservation Society of Ireland.

RPSI owns an historic set of Cravens-built passenger carriages.

These are stored/maintained at Irish Rail’s Inchicore works (repair shops), and when they are required for an excursion, Irish Rail makes a transfer run across Dublin to deliver them to Connolly station for boarding.

The graded three-track line from Islandbridge Junction to Inchicore runs through a cutting along Con Colbert Road known as ‘the Gullet’.

While I’ve covered most of this previously, I figure it doesn’t hurt to review the esoteric every so often to avoid confusion.

Tracking the Light is on Auto Pilot while Brian is Traveling.

Irish Steam: RPSI at work with Great Northern Railway 85—18 March 2019.

Connolly Station.

Connolly Station.

Here are some more digital photographs from Monday’s (18 March 2019) Railway Preservation Society of Ireland steam trips behind Great Northern Railway 85.

Runs were scheduled to depart Dublin Connolly Station at 1100 and 1505 and operated between Irish Rail’s regularly scheduled trains.

RPSI’s trips were very well patronized.

Special thanks to everyone at RPSI and Irish Rail for a great railway experience!

Check out RPSI’s site for details about mainline steam and diesel trips in Ireland: https://www.steamtrainsireland.com/programme-of-public-trains

Maynooth.
Hi-tech adjustments at Maynooth.

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Steam and Semaphores: Another Vintage View at Killucan.

—Not seeing semaphores? Click the link to Tracking the Light to get the full view and story—

I made this vertical (portrait) view of a driver’s training special on Irish Rail’s Sligo Line at Killucan back in April 2003

Railway Preservation Society of Ireland tank engine No 4 had run around its train at Killucan and then received the signal to reverse back on the main road (line). The driver had opened the regulator (throttle) and the engine had begun to move when I released the shutter, framing the engine in a cloud of its own effluence.

The semaphores were removed in conjunction with Irish Rail’s conversion of the Sligo line to operation using Mini CTC signaling during 2005, a change that closed Killucan cabin, among other classic signal cabins on the route.

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Monochrome at Mallow—13 October 2018.

More monochrome film photos: Railway Preservation Society of Ireland’s autumn tour at Mallow, County Cork last Saturday.

These were exposed on Kodak Tri-X using my Canon EOS-3 with 40mm pancake lens and processed in Ilford ID11 developer.

Black & white film is well suited to making atmospheric images on dull days.

Mallow, Co. Cork.

Irish Rail’s Noel Enright at Mallow, Co. Cork.

Irish Rail’s Noel Enright gives the green flag at Mallow, Co. Cork.

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One Week Ago: RPSI Special Rolls through Cork’s Kent Station.

This day last week (13 October 2018), I traveled on and photographed Railway Preservation Society of Ireland’s autumn diesel tour called The Southwestern.

Damp dark weather may make it difficult to expose over the shoulder lit three quarter views, and it may ruin Lumixes (See: Final Frame? Lumix LX7 Coils Up), but it’s ideal for making black & white photos on film.

Working with my battle-worn Canon EOS-3 with a 40mm pancake lens, I exposed this view of the train at Cork’s Kent Station using Kodak Tri-X.

On Monday, I processed the film using Ilford ID11 mixed 1-1 with water. Following a presoak with exceptionally dilute HC110 to initiate development, I gave the film 7 minutes and 30 seconds in the ID11 at 68F (20C) with intermittent agitation.

I scanned the negatives using an Epson V500 flatbed scanner and made nominal contrast adjustments using Lightroom.

Kodak Tri-X view of Cork’s Kent Station on 13 October 2018.

More monochrome images to follow!

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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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More Rain; 8 More Views of the RPSI Train.

It was cloudy in Dublin; it was lashing rain in Ennis.

At no time did we see the sun.

Yet, it was a rewarding trip, and I’m happy with my photos.

I made these views of Railway Preservation Society of Ireland’s ‘The Southwestern’ diesel tour using my FujiFilm XT1.

Portarlington.

Limerick.

Ennis, Co Clare.

Athenry, Co. Galway.

Athenry, Co. Galway.

Athenry, Co. Galway.

Connolly Station in Dublin.

More to follow!

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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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Colourful Sunday at Connolly.

Sunday, 16 September 2018 found unusual variety at Irish Rail’s Dublin Connolly Station.

Adding colour  to Irish Rail’s parade of local and long distance trains was Belmond’s Grand Hibernian that arrived from Dundalk, and departed a half an hour later bound for Waterford. As this high-end cruise train was departing, a HOBS (ballast train) was heading from the northern line into the North Wall with Irish Rail 077.

But the most unusual train was Rail Preservation Society of Ireland’s heritage Cravens, which arrived from Inchicore behind one of Northern Ireland Railways Enterprise class 201 diesels.  While the train was expected, the locomotive was a surprise.

Belmond’s Grand Hibernian arrives at Connolly station led by the specially painted Irish Rail 216.

Dublin-Belfast Enterprise is on platform 2, a 29000-series CAF railcar is on platform 3, and the Belmond train on 4.

The 10am Enterprise departs as Irish Rail 083 has coupled up to the Belmond for the trip to Waterford.

A DART suburban train accelerates away from Connolly.

I wasn’t expecting this combination! One of NIR’s Enterprise painted 201s with the RPSI heritage train.

You can’t be two places at one time! But here we have a photographers conundrum, Belmond’s Sunday departure for Waterford occurred as a the more elusive HOBS (ballast train) takes the switch at East Wall Junction for Dublin’s North Wall. (notice the 071 diesel at far right).

I departed for points north before steam locomotive number 4 arrived to take the scheduled RPSI excursion from platform 5. All the while, engine 85 in Great Northern blue, which was intended for the day’s RPSI excursion was stuck on Connolly’s turntable!

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Steam at Drogheda—Sunday, 16 September 2018; Five Digital Photos.

Working with two digital cameras, I made these images at Irish Rail’s Drogheda Station. This is a classic Great Northern Railway (Ireland) railway station with a curved platform, antique brick buildings and elegant old-school platform canopies.

But it also features more modern elements too, such as palisade fencing and a diesel railcar depot and wash.

Is it honest to exclude the modern elements and just focus on the antique? Or is it better to allow for mix of new and old? After all the photos were made digitally in 2018, not on film in the days of yore.

RPSI’s Cravens carriages are paused on the platform at Drogheda. How do you feel about the orange safety vests and modern signage?

Telephoto view looking toward Dublin from the footbridge.

There’s a vintage signal display at Drogheda station on the platform.

Detail of engine number 4. So how about the Nike footwear at the top of the image?

Drogheda signal cabin lacks the classic charm of its Victorian ancestors, but it is part of the modern scene, so there it is!

Tracking the Light Posts EVERYDAY to discusses Photographic Technique and Process.

Mix and Unmatched at the Gullet—Variety on Irish Rail.

Who said that Irish Rail is boring?

Patience and being-there can make the difference.

On the Evening of 16 September 2018, the Railway Preservation Society Ireland’s Cravens transfer (train  i.d. H260) ran from Connolly to Irish Rail’s Inchicore Works. Rather than run with an 071 class locomotive, as is often the case, it was assigned locomotive 216 specially painted for Belmond’s Grand Hibernian.

Exposed with a FujiFilm XT1 with 90mm lens.

Gullet glint! Trailing view of RPSI’s Cravens transfer. Exposed with a FujiFilm XT1 with 90mm lens.

The following morning, the up Grand Hibernianfrom Waterford passed the same location with Irish Rail class 071 number 083 in the lead.

While Belmond’s train often runs to and from Waterford with an 071 class locomotive, this still presents a bit variety on a railway that tends to favour uniform train sets.

All  of these photos were exposed at ‘The Gullet” (the three track throat to Islandbridge Junction) from Memorial Road in Dublin.

Lumix LX7 photo.

Trailing view looking toward Islandbridge. Exposed with a Lumix LX7.

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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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Great Northern Railway 85 at Killarney.

The Railway Preservation Society of Ireland operated a steam charter last week using former Great Northern Railway engine  85 Merlin.

Rich afternoon sun and a colourful train made for easy photos at Killarney on 3 September 2018.

These views were among the digital photos I exposed with my FujiFilm XT1.

I was playing with scale and focus while working with the light to make the most of shadows.

Which is your favorite?

Learn more about the RPSI: https://www.steamtrainsireland.com

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Old School: Steam and Coal Dust.

What better place to work with black & white film than on the locomotive footplate?

Last week, I made these steam portraits and views of Railway Preservation Society of Ireland’s engine 85 at work using my battle worn Nikon N90S with f2.0 35mm lens loaded with Kodak Tri-X.

Processing the film was the tricky part.  I did this by hand the old fashioned way.

To make the most of highlight and shadow detail, I used multiple-stage split-development, followed by selenium toning to give highlights the silvery edge.

After processing, I scanned the negatives using an Epson V500 flatbed scanner.

So in the end presentation my silver photos are digital after all.

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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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Irish Rail 079 leads RPSI Cravens.

On Monday, 3 September 2018, Irish Rail 079 worked Railway Preservation Society of Ireland’s preserved Cravens carriages, running as an empty train from Dublin’s Inchicore Works to Connolly station.

This was a scheduled move to position the heritage train for RPSI’s private charter to Killarney, County Kerry with steam locomotive 85 (featured in earlier Tracking the Light Posts).

Working with my FujiFilm XT1 and 90mm lens, I photographed from the north end of Connolly platform 1 & 2.

The train was slightly backlit. To compensate, I made nominal adjustment to the Fuji RAW file to lighten shadows in post processing, then exported as a scaled JPG for internet presentation.

Irish Rail’s Ken Fox is at the throttle of General Motors-built class 071 number 079 approaching Dublin Connolly station.

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

https://www.steamtrainsireland.com

Brian Solomon’s Tracking the Light Posts Every Day!

 

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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Great Northern Compound Under Steam at Portarlington—Five Photos!

Yesterday (3 September 2018), sunny skies greeted Great Northern Railway Ireland 85, a 4-4-0 three-cylinder compound locomotive operated by Railway Preservation Society of Ireland, when it paused at Portarlington, County Laois to take water.

This classic Irish express passenger locomotive was working a chartered train from Dublin Connolly to Killarney.

I exposed these images using my FujiFilm XT1 fitted with 12mm Zeiss Touit lens.

The photos here were scaled without modification from camera JPG files using the Velvia color profile.

An active contrast of modern and antique at Portarlington.

85’s safety valves lift making for an awesome sight.

Driver Ken Fox and his crew made a great run from Dublin.

I also made a few colour slides on real FujiFilm: Provia 100F.

Learn more about the RPSI: https://www.steamtrainsireland.com

Stay tuned for more steam photos! Including: Room with a View.

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Sun and Cloud, The RPSI Cravens at Claude Road: A Lesson In Patience.

On Satuday 24 March 2018, I shared Dublin’s Claude Road foot-bridge with Paul Maguire and Ciarán Cooney, as we waited for the RPSI Cravens to run from Inchicore to Connolly for a scheduled inspection of the equipment.

It had been completely sunny, but as the time for the train approached, clouds began to dapple the morning sky.

I exposed this view using a Nikon N90S with 180mm Nikkor telephoto lens on Fujichrome Provia100F slide film.

The light was in flux when I released the shutter. Was the train in sun?

I had to wait more than three weeks to find out, since I’ve just received my slides back from the lab.

Irish Rail 084 leads the RPSI  Cravens eastward at Claude Road. File adjusted with Lightroom.

I made some nominal adjustments to contrast and colour balance after scanning.

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I feature Irish Rail and the Railway Preservation Society of Ireland in my new Railway Guide to Europe, which is now available from Kalmbach Books.

Click here to order Brian Solomon’s Railway Guide to Europe.

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.

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

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Steam on Retropan.

On one level, it seems appropriate to make images of steam locomotives and their environment with Retropan. ‘Retro on Retro’ right?

Yet, I know many old-school black & white photographers would object to the essential qualities of Retropan black & white film, which by design is comparatively soft and grainy.

Yes, there are sharper films; and of course there’s colour, not to mention digital, but the reason I chose Foma Retropan for these photos was because of the gritty quality it offers.

Someone might ask why does the RPSI run a steam locomotive, when there are more efficient diesel railcars available?

Connolly Station, exposed on Retropan 18 March 2018.

Connolly Station, exposed on Retropan 18 March 2018.

Ooo! Look an efficient diesel railcar. And it’s on Retropan too! Drumcondra, Dublin.

Approaching Glasnevin Junction, Dublin.

Maynooth.

Locomotive number 4 at Maynooth. Notice the modern signal in the distance and the bright lamps on the locomotive.

 

Psssst! I also made some colour slides, and a whole bunch of colour digital image on the same day.

Tracking the Light Posts Every Day!

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

Atmosphere under the old Roof.

A couple more Tri-X views from Connolly Station of last Sunday’s RPSI steam trip to Maynooth.

See my earlier post: Snow! Steam! Action!

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

Exposed on Kodak Tri-X using a Nikon F3 with 35mm lens.

Exposed on Kodak Tri-X using a Nikon F3 with 35mm lens.

For details on RPSI steam and diesel excursions see: Railway Preservation Society of Ireland.

Tracking the Light Posts 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!

Tracking the Light Posts Daily

RPSI Driver Training Special at Laytown.

A rare sunny Sunday in Ireland. It was clear from dawn to dusk.

Making it extra special was Railway Preservation Society of Ireland’s driver training special using tank engine No. 4 and the preserved Cravens carriages.

This worked the Northern line between Connolly Station in Dublin and Drogheda.

I was traveling with William Malone and Honer Travers.

We decided to visit the viaduct at Laytown, which offers a good place to catch a steam locomotive at work.

I made this view using my Lumix LX7, but also exposed a sequence of Fujichrome colour slides with my Nikon N90S and 35mm lens. We’ll have to wait to see those.

My Lumix LX7 is a nifty tool for making action photos of train. Although a small camera, it has the ability to produce both RAW and JPG files and features a remarkably sharp lens.

I find that engine number 4 photographs best from a broadside angle. It looks awkward viewed head-on.

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RPSI Train with Irish Rail 081 at Enfield.

It was nearly 20 years ago that I traveled on this Irish Railway Preservation Society special from Connolly Station Dublin to Mullingar.

The train paused for a crossing with an up-passenger at Enfield, and I made this view from the main road bridge.

It was my first trip to Enfield, and I returned many more times over the years. The signal cabin and mechanical signaling were the big attraction for me.

Exposed on Ilford HP5 using a Nikon F2 with 24mm lens. Processed in ID11 and scanned using an Epson V750 flatbed scanner.

 

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RPSI’s Munster Double—Retro-Orange 071s on Parade.

Saturday 14 October was a great day out; Railway Preservation Society of Ireland operated its Munster Double Railtour from Connolly Station in Dublin to Cork and Tralee.

The attraction of this trip was the highly unusual multiple-unit operation of two class 071 diesels together. Both of Irish Rail’s 071s in heritage paint were selected for the trip, which was an added bonus for photographers.

Honer Travers and I joined the trip at Connolly Station and during the course of the day I made dozens of digital images. Below is just a small section.

Connolly Station, Dublin. Lumix LX7 photo.

Connolly Station, Dublin. Lumix LX7 photo.

Island bridge Junction, Dublin, looking toward the famous ‘box’ along the St. John’s Road where many of my sunny day photos are made. Lumix LX7 photo.

Kent Station, Cork. FujiFIlm XT1 with 28-135mm lens.

FujiFilm XT1 photo.

Mallow, County Cork. Lumix LX7 photo.

Mallow, County Cork. Lumix LX7 photo.

Mallow, County Cork. Lumix LX7 photo.

Irish Rail 073 detailed view at Killarney.

Killarney. County Kerry. Lumix LX7 photo.

Tralee. FujiFilm XT1 with 28-135mm lens.

Tralee. FujiFilm XT1 with 28-135mm lens.

Tralee. FujiFilm XT1 with 28-135mm lens.

Tralee. Lumix LX7 photo.

Tralee. FujiFilm XT1 with 28-135mm lens.

Paused at a red signal in Killarney, Lumix LX7 photo.

Connolly Station in the evening. Lumix LX7 photo.

Tomorrow I’ll focus on the passengers and people participating in operations.

 

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