Dr. Garret FitzgeraldI’m still about a month behind when it comes to processing my shots, but I am now fully up to date with special trains, at least until the special next Saturday 🙂

Anyway, on the 5th of May 2012 the Railway Preservation Society of Ireland (RPSI) ran a special train to commemorate Dr. Garret Fitzgerald, who passed away last year. Dr. Fitzgerald was a very well respected former Irish Taoiseach (Prime Minister), as well as a former president of the National University of Ireland, and, a former Vice President of the RPSI. It’s because of this link to the RPSI that the organisation paid him this tribute.

The special ran from Dublin to Longford and back, along the Irish Rail Dublin to Sligo main line, and hence, though my home town of Maynooth. The train consisted of ex-DSER (Dublin and South Eastern Railway) 2-6-0 steam locomotive No.461 and the RPSI Cravens Coaches.

I was able to capture the train three times, twice in the morning, and once in the evening. The reason I was able to catch her twice in the morning is that she stopped in Maynooth for water, so I could catch her as she approached, cycle on ahead of her while she had a drink, and then catch her again when she continued her journey.

No.461 has not had a smooth return to mainline working after her most recent overhaul. She’s been notorious for racking up long delays, or, worse still, not making it at all, and having to be replaced at short notice. Sadly, she didn’t snap out of it for this tour. In the morning she was 30 minutes late arriving into Maynooth, and by the time she passed Maynooth again that evening she’d extended her tardiness to a whopping two hours!

You can see all my shots from the day on Flickr where I’ve collected them into a set.

Flickr Set

As well as shooting Stills with my trusty Nikon D40, I also shot some video on my Nikon D5100. I’ve edited the video and some of the stills together into a movie of the day’s events which I’ve uploaded to my YouTube Channel. I’ve embedded the video below for convenience: