Publisher: Colourpoint Books
Irish Railway Rambler
The Railway Photographs of Michael McMahon
By Michael McMahon
This is a personal photographic memoir drawn from three decades of observation, starting in 1975, during what are now regarded as the “museum years” of post-steam Irish Railways.
This period of great change saw the traditional infrastructure of mechanical signalling, travelling post offices, steam heating, goods services, and 19th Century station buildings etc. progressively give way to the utilitarian, electronic era. Train formations and their operation also changed beyond recognition as the locomotive and carriage combination was replaced by modern, anonymous multiple unit operation.
The author was uniquely positioned to witness the closing years before regeneration changed so much. His early photographic locations were limited to stations and the line-side but he later made extensive use of Rail Runabout, Rover and Rambler tickets. Later he enjoyed the rare privilege of all Ireland footplate passes, leading to an estimated 80,000 miles of footplate travel between 1982 and 1995, an achievement that is probably, and will remain unique in the annals of Irish Railway enthusiasm.
During these wanderings Michael met and made friends with innumerable railwaymen at stations, on trains and in signal cabins, exchanging news and views, and listening to stories from times past. These selected 230 images from his immense collection are a fitting tribute to the railwaymen and the railway of a bygone age, and to the fellow rail enthusiasts who so willingly helped along the way.