It was on a damp evening 15 years ago (13 December 2003), that I exposed this 35mm Fujichrome Sensia II slide using my Contax G2 rangefinder with 45mm Zeiss lens at Irish Rail’s station in Thomastown, Co. Kilkenny.
At the time, Irish Rail was operating its sugarbeet trains via Thomastown and Cherryville Junction owing to bridge collapse at Cahir, County Tipperary.
I’ve always liked the rich atmosphere of this slide which conveys an era now gone. Irish Rail closed the cabin at Thomastown a few months later and removed the Thomastown loop when it commissioned the Waterford Mini CTC.
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On May 23, 2003, I exposed this photo of a signalman setting the points at Ballinsloe Cabin just a few hours before the historic structure was relieved its operational functions as part of the commission of a Mini-CTC system on Irish Rail’s Galway Line.
It was the end of an era at Ballinasloe, but one that was a long time in coming. On my first visit to the cabin five year earlier I was warned of its impending closure. Delays in installing the Mini-CTC ultimately prolonged the cabin’s closure. By the time I made this image, the signalman I’d visited in 1998 had retired!