Since it’s been a while since I posted a railway shot in this Photo of the Week series, I thought I’d treat myself by posting my favourite steam shot of the year (so far). I chose this location precisely because it’s free from modern distractions. There are no modern houses, no electricity pylons, no modern signals, no modern electronics cabinets, in short, nothing to break the illusion of timelessness. OK – that’s not entirely true. Those of you with a very keen eye will notice the one unavoidable piece of modernity in this shot – the track itself – it’s continuous welded rail on concrete sleepers. You can rest assured that when No.186 was earning it’s keep for the Great Southern & Western Railway it wasn’t running on anything nearly as fancy, smooth, or comfortable! Still – very few people will find the modern track-work a distraction from the timeless beauty of a steam engine hard at work.

For those of you interested in such details, this is RPSI preserved steam loco number 186. She’s a class J15 0-6-0 former GS&WR loco, manufactured in Manchester in 1879, and retained in service until 1964. Here we see her on a cold, windy, and rather damp Easter Monday morning near Kilcock Co. Kildare, working the Easter Egg-spress from Dublin to Mullingar.

RPSI No.186 Steaming West
on FlickrFull-Size

  • Camera: Nikon D40
  • Lens: Nikon DX AFS 55-200mm
  • Exposure: 1/640 sec
  • Focal Length: 55mm
  • Focal Ratio: f/5.6
  • ISO: 800
  • Camera Mode: Full Manual
  • Processing: This shot was first tweaked using the Topaz Adjust plugin in Photoshop Elements 8, then converted to monochrome using the Monochrome Mixer in aperture, and then give a subtle sepia tone using the Colour Monochrome brick in Aperture.

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