Tag Archives: #Sligo timber

Sligo Timber at Enfield

I made thousands of photos of Irish Rail operations on Fujichrome Sensia II (100 ISO). Typically, I had the film processed at Photocare on Abbey Street in Dublin.

In this photo, exposed on a summer Saturday, Irish Rail class 071 number 083 roars up-road at Enfield with a laden timber train. The signalman hands the staff to the driver. The staff authorized the train movement over the section (in this case Enfield to Maynooth).

This image was made was in the final years of traditional electric train staff and semaphore operation on Irish Rail’s Sligo Line.

I’ve been gradually archiving my Irish Rail slides by scanning them at very high resolution, typically between 3200 and 4800 dots per inch, saving the file in TIF format.

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Irish Rail’s Sligo Timber at Islandbridge.

Recently discussions of Irish Rail’s Sligo Timber have led me to ask, ‘When did this traffic end?’

Sometimes my memory offers a clear picture of the past, in other situations it is fuzzy and lacking desired detail. This is among the reasons I try to apply detailed labels and captions to my photographs near the time of exposure.

I recall the Sligo timber’s revival in Spring 2002, and my many opportunities to photograph timber trains on the Sligo Line and in around Dublin in the years that followed, but I’m unable to remember when the last train operated.

On guessing, I thought 2007 or 2008 was pretty close. So on reviewing my photo files, I was a bit surprised to find this photograph dated 21 May 2009.

Photo by Brian Solomon on 21 May 2009.

I exposed this view on Fujichrome from my regular spot at Islandbridge Junction, which shows Irish Rail 232 in the modern green livery leading a timber out of the Phoenix Park Tunnel. The construction-progress of the apartments at left helps me confirm the date of the photo.

So, when was the final movement of timber by rail from Sligo? I must have been away.

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