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ChuckL

Irish Rail (Iarnród Éireann) Questions

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We might have a couple of extra days before beginning an Irish tour in 2019. If so, I would like to experience the rail system in Ireland, and we would probably be traveling from Dublin-Belfast and then Belfast-Dublin-Ennis(nearest station to Shannon) to meet our Irish Music tour group.

 

Has anyone utilized their services before and what were your travels like? Is it worth upgrading to 1st class on the trains that offer it? I believe it’s about a €20 supplement per train for 1st class.

 

post-14126-15201869907105.jpg

 

 

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The Dublin - Belfast corridor is a bit different to the rest of Ireland, with a rather obscure dedicated fleet of carriages manufactured by De Deitrich, hauled by GM locomotives and now with intermediate generator vans converted from old 'Irish mark 3' carriages. The interiors were refurbished in the last few years, and are very comfortable in both classes.

 

Note that during periods of engineering work or disruption, Enterprise services can be operated by standard-class-only diesel multiple units.

 

Apart from Dublin - Cork, which is loco-hauled, all intercity and commuter services are DMU. Wikipedia is a good start for learning about the different fleets (Iarnród Éireann here, NI Railways here). There is a small electric network north and south of Dublin provided by the DART.

 

First class is worth it in at least one direction between Dublin and Belfast. It includes a wider seat and refreshments, but there is still a paid full menu. Standard class passengers can walk up to the bistro car. Look out for cheap one-way promotional fares on the Enterprise... if your journey originates in the Republic, go to the Iarnród Éireann website; if it originates in Northern Ireland, go to the Translink NI Railways website.

Edited by jamesontheroad

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PS. Here's a recent video trip report of Enterprise First Plus from Dublin Connolly to Belfast Central, from the producer of countless similar (primarily airline) trip reports:

 

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=DLkK255p9VM

 

My mother's family is from Northern Ireland, and I have lived and studied there. I would strongly recommend basing yourself in Belfast for a few days, and trying out NI Railways routes. Belfast - Londonderry / Derry is slower than the equivalent coach, but is quite scenic and gives you a good cross-section of the province's landscapes.

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PS. Here's a recent video trip report of Enterprise First Plus from Dublin Connolly to Belfast Central, from the producer of countless similar (primarily airline) trip reports:

 

 

My mother's family is from Northern Ireland, and I have lived and studied there. I would strongly recommend basing yourself in Belfast for a few days, and trying out NI Railways routes. Belfast - Londonderry / Derry is slower than the equivalent coach, but is quite scenic and gives you a good cross-section of the province's landscapes.

A belated thanks for all of the information and link to the video. I’ll check Wikipedia per your suggestion. We’re still in the very early stages of planning the trip.

 

 

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