Booking tickets for travel in Ireland/Northern Ireland from UK ticket offices

Aictos

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I saw a poster at a South Eastern railway station this week which says that it's possible to book tickets for travel in the UK but also to book tickets for travel in Ireland now pardon me for asking but can I go to any ticket office anywhere in the UK and book tickets from Dublin to Cork for example or it just booking tickets from Margate to Dublin for example?

Also is it possible to go to a ticket office in Ireland or Northern Ireland and book tickets for travelling in the UK eg Wick to Penzance?

Apologies if this was already known but I never knew you could do this, I thought if you were travelling in Ireland for example that you had to wait and buy them either online (no idea if they do this) or go to the ticket office and get them there, how long has this been possible?
 
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Steddenm

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I saw a poster at a South Eastern railway station this week which says that it's possible to book tickets for travel in the UK but also to book tickets for travel in Ireland now pardon me for asking but can I go to any ticket office anywhere in the UK and book tickets from Dublin to Cork for example or it just booking tickets from Margate to Dublin for example?

Also is it possible to go to a ticket office in Ireland or Northern Ireland and book tickets for travelling in the UK eg Wick to Penzance?

Apologies if this was already known but I never knew you could do this, I thought if you were travelling in Ireland for example that you had to wait and buy them either online (no idea if they do this) or go to the ticket office and get them there, how long has this been possible?

You can buy tickets for travel TO Ireland from any National Rail station that has a ticket office, as these are sold as RailSail tickets and include the ferry from Holyhead/Fishguard/Cairnryan/Liverpool.

In Ireland (Rep), only Connolly station, as far as I know, can sell tickets TO the UK, and these are issued on coupons rather than on printed tickets. These include the ferry from Dublin or Rosslaire.

In Northern Ireland Translink have a travel centre within the Europa Bus Centre in Belfast who can sell you tickets TO the UK including the ferry from Belfast Port or the Irish ports. They can also sell the full range of National Rail tickets and reservations for travel wholly in the UK. These are sold on standard credit-card orange stock.

For tickets wholly in Ireland (Rep) you can buy tickets at irishrail.ie and collect them at a station of your choice. Translink NI sell tickets on the phone or online (for the Enterprise only, I think).
 

Haywain

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You can buy tickets for travel TO Ireland from any National Rail station that has a ticket office, as these are sold as RailSail tickets and include the ferry from Holyhead/Fishguard/Cairnryan/Liverpool.
I think this will be restricted to ticket offices that also make reservations.
 

Aictos

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Interesting, so next time I wish to travel to Ireland I just need to go to any ticket office and book them?
 

Steddenm

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Interesting, so next time I wish to travel to Ireland I just need to go to any ticket office and book them?
If the ticket office offers reservations (and most do) you can do. You'll be issued with one ticket (eg: FROM London Terminals, TO Dublin Port (CIV), ROUTE Stena Holyhead) and a control ticket which you show at the ferry check in desk.
 

bangor-toad

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Interesting, so next time I wish to travel to Ireland I just need to go to any ticket office and book them?

At the moment it's just available via Holyhead. The Belfast-Cairnryan route won't offer any SailRail tickets until June though (Covid restrictions).
As far as I know, it is no longer possible to get SailRail tickets on the Liverpool-Belfast or the Fishguard-Rosslare services.

I've used SailRail many times and it was possible meant to be possible to buy them from any ticket office. In practise though it wasn't that easy as they are unusal tickets to find and it can take the ticket office staff a while to find them. I've only had one absolute refusal.
I once was on a lightly loaded Southern service and asked the Guard if he could sell me an Eridge to Belfast ticket for the next day. He was clearly a) bored and b) friendly so he spent a while chatting and poking at his machine. A few moments later I had the tickets! I was impressed.

StenaLine fiddled around with the SailRail tickets a year or so ago and made them far more restrictive. It's used to be very cheap and very flexible. The price is still good but it's much harder to get long distance times that match the sole ferry (Belfast - Cairnryan) each way that is permitted.

Still, if you can get the timings and route right about £60 one way from Belfast to pretty much anywhere on the mainland isn't bad at all!
Cheers,
Mr Toad
 

Hadders

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I've done all the RailSail ferry routes and a station ticket office that does reservations is able to sell them.

You might need to shop around as hardly any of these tickets are sold, many clerks will never have sold one and won't know or will have forgotten how to issue them. The problem seems to be issuing the ferry reservation. Thankfully there used to be an excellent ticket clerk at my local station who used to deal with all my complicated or unusual ticketing issues. Unfortunately he retired a couple of years ago but thankfully I've not needed to but anything overly complicated recently.
 

Steddenm

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Most of the ferry companies sell SailRail tickets:

Stena - https://www.stenaline.co.uk/ferries-to-ireland/rail-sail
Irish Ferries - https://www.irishferries.com/uk-en/special-offers-from-britain-to-ireland/rail-sail/

Also Transport for Wales Rail have a website for the tickets too: https://tfwrail.wales/ticket-types/sailrail

For Ireland to the UK the ferry companies have websites much the same as the UK version.

The Irish Rail website directs you to the Irish Ferries website: https://www.irishrail.ie/en-ie/rail-fares-and-tickets/sailrail-uk-ferry

And I can't find a link for Translink Northern Ireland Railways, but there is an old forum post here about buying tickets in NI: https://www.railforums.co.uk/thread...-tickets-in-person-in-northern-ireland.72419/
 

paul1609

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You can buy tickets for travel TO Ireland from any National Rail station that has a ticket office, as these are sold as RailSail tickets and include the ferry from Holyhead/Fishguard/Cairnryan/Liverpool.

In Ireland (Rep), only Connolly station, as far as I know, can sell tickets TO the UK, and these are issued on coupons rather than on printed tickets. These include the ferry from Dublin or Rosslaire.

In Northern Ireland Translink have a travel centre within the Europa Bus Centre in Belfast who can sell you tickets TO the UK including the ferry from Belfast Port or the Irish ports. They can also sell the full range of National Rail tickets and reservations for travel wholly in the UK. These are sold on standard credit-card orange stock.

For tickets wholly in Ireland (Rep) you can buy tickets at irishrail.ie and collect them at a station of your choice. Translink NI sell tickets on the phone or online (for the Enterprise only, I think).
I successfully booked a Galway to Appledore railsail ticket in Galway Station 2 years ago. The youngish ticket guy had to read instructions from a book but seemed keen to sell the ticket.
 

Hadders

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I've always found ticket clerks in Ireland highly competent on couple of times I've had reason to use ticket offices in Ireland for more obscure ticketing purchases.
 

Aictos

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I will look at that in more detail, usually I just fly over as I've never gone by ferry but I just fancied something new to try.
 

bkhtele

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I have generally found the best way is to get the ferry reservations & then book the best train journeys around the ferry. NOTE:
1. Excluding advance tickets!
2. The planners can provide unrealistic or inconvenient routes
3. Reduce risk of missing the ferry.
 

deltic

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Using the TfW website it does not seem to offer tickets to Irish destinatations other than Dublin. Stena's site uses Trainline which also doesnt offer seem to offer tickets to anywhere other than Dublin. Was looking at the feasibility of a trip to Westport. BR Fares website lists the fares available. If I was to rock up to Euston station booking office would they be used to dealing with such tickets?
 

danm14

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In Northern Ireland Translink have a travel centre within the Europa Bus Centre in Belfast who can sell you tickets TO the UK including the ferry from Belfast Port or the Irish ports. They can also sell the full range of National Rail tickets and reservations for travel wholly in the UK. These are sold on standard credit-card orange stock.
Unfortunately the Translink Travel Centre has closed permanently.

Bookings for the Glasgow bus are now made through Scottish CityLink; the London bus (if/when it resumes) through National Express; and Sail & Rail through Stena Line (NI-GB) or a train ticket retailer (GB-NI).

Translink NI sell tickets on the phone or online (for the Enterprise only, I think).

The Translink mLink app allows purchase of tickets for domestic travel in NI - there's no discount or benefit to using this over cash though - unless you need to make the same rail journey multiple times in one day (as instead of a day return you get a day ticket for the same price). There's also a 3 in 7 day season ticket which is only available with the app.
 

Paul Kelly

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Using the TfW website it does not seem to offer tickets to Irish destinatations other than Dublin. Stena's site uses Trainline which also doesnt offer seem to offer tickets to anywhere other than Dublin. Was looking at the feasibility of a trip to Westport.
The Irish schedules do not seem to have been put into the system: https://www.brtimes.com/!board?stn=DHT

Unfortunately it seems that nobody with the power to keep on top of this sort of thing really cares about it. I am really curious about how GB Railways is supposed to improve this sort of thing in order to give a better passenger experience!
 

paul1609

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The Irish schedules do not seem to have been put into the system: https://www.brtimes.com/!board?stn=DHT

Unfortunately it seems that nobody with the power to keep on top of this sort of thing really cares about it. I am really curious about how GB Railways is supposed to improve this sort of thing in order to give a better passenger experience!
Given that according to the ORRs figures for exits and entries at Holyhead are only just over 200k pa pre-covid once the figures are deducted for local traffic the whole sailrail market must be tiny.
In that small sailrail market Id guess that 95% plus are to Dublin, Id guess that the cost of maintaining through ticketing beyond there is just not viable.
My limited experience of mostly travelling overnight is that you can expect at best a handful of other sailrail passengers. On my last trip to Galway the IR conductor told me it was the first time he'd seen a through British Ticket for 2 to 3 years.
I understand why Rail enthusiasts love the concept of through ticketing but I reckon the reality is that once you take in to account the it costs its unviable just like Eurostar through ticketing.
 

deltic

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Given that according to the ORRs figures for exits and entries at Holyhead are only just over 200k pa pre-covid once the figures are deducted for local traffic the whole sailrail market must be tiny.
In that small sailrail market Id guess that 95% plus are to Dublin, Id guess that the cost of maintaining through ticketing beyond there is just not viable.
My limited experience of mostly travelling overnight is that you can expect at best a handful of other sailrail passengers. On my last trip to Galway the IR conductor told me it was the first time he'd seen a through British Ticket for 2 to 3 years.
I understand why Rail enthusiasts love the concept of through ticketing but I reckon the reality is that once you take in to account the it costs its unviable just like Eurostar through ticketing.
I think with climate change and people avoiding flying there is potential to increase the market significantly - given Ireland seems to operate a zonal fare system the add-on should be fairly easy. On a recent Belfast - Liverpool crossing there were around 100 foot passengers - probably 10 were going on to catch the train despite poor publicity and the lack of through tickets.
 

Wallsendmag

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The fares are too high and the journeys are too long to attract substatial numbers. From Newcastle to Belfast would be the best part of a day. We did it in 35 minuntes for about £25 with Easyjet.
 

185143

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I think with climate change and people avoiding flying there is potential to increase the market significantly - given Ireland seems to operate a zonal fare system the add-on should be fairly easy. On a recent Belfast - Liverpool crossing there were around 100 foot passengers - probably 10 were going on to catch the train despite poor publicity and the lack of through tickets.
Really?? When I did it in October, admittedly heading to NI just before the Circuit Break lockdown and back a week into it, there were sufficiently few foot passengers to not even fill a Streetlite, admittedly with no social distancing on the return leg.
 

deltic

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Really?? When I did it in October, admittedly heading to NI just before the Circuit Break lockdown and back a week into it, there were sufficiently few foot passengers to not even fill a Streetlite, admittedly with no social distancing on the return leg.
There were 3 double decker loads on arrival at Liverpool- even with social distancing must have been 30 a bus

The fares are too high and the journeys are too long to attract substatial numbers. From Newcastle to Belfast would be the best part of a day. We did it in 35 minuntes for about £25 with Easyjet.
It’s never going to be a mass market but it could easily be twice the size it is now with decent promotion.
 
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TUC

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There are some odd contradictions on the StenaLine site https://www.stenaline.co.uk/ferries-to-britain/rail-sail .

It says
'If your journey is starting from Belfast, Dublin or Rosslare Ports and you need to pick up your rail ticket before departure, then please call us on 08445 762 762 to make your booking by phone. Unfortunately it is not possible to pick up a ticket at these ports if you book it on The Trainline (below) or any other third party website or vendor.

If you are travelling from a rail station in Great Britain to Ireland, then you can book online below as normal.'

but then says:'Tickets can be purchased at any time online or via telephone... Your Rail and Sail tickets will be issued by thetrainline'.

So let me get this straight. If you're travelling from Ireland or NI then it's not possible to collect tickets booked via The Trainline. However, if you're travelling from GB and booking via StenaLine, then your tickets will be issued by The Trainline...
 

Paul Kelly

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If you're travelling from Ireland or NI then it's not possible to collect tickets booked via The Trainline. However, if you're travelling from GB and booking via StenaLine, then your tickets will be issued by The Trainline...
Yes that's correct. Booking from Ireland it should be possible to have your tickets delivered by post though; I wonder why they don't mention that as an option.
 

island

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There are some odd contradictions on the StenaLine site https://www.stenaline.co.uk/ferries-to-britain/rail-sail .

It says
'If your journey is starting from Belfast, Dublin or Rosslare Ports and you need to pick up your rail ticket before departure, then please call us on 08445 762 762 to make your booking by phone. Unfortunately it is not possible to pick up a ticket at these ports if you book it on The Trainline (below) or any other third party website or vendor.

If you are travelling from a rail station in Great Britain to Ireland, then you can book online below as normal.'

but then says:'Tickets can be purchased at any time online or via telephone... Your Rail and Sail tickets will be issued by thetrainline'.

So let me get this straight. If you're travelling from Ireland or NI then it's not possible to collect tickets booked via The Trainline. However, if you're travelling from GB and booking via StenaLine, then your tickets will be issued by The Trainline...
Doesn‘t seem odd at all, there are no National Rail ticket vending machines on the island of Ireland so nowhere to issue the tickets from.

There ought to be an option to book them for postal fulfilment of course, not to mention an option to book without ringing a premium phone number…
 

paul1609

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Doesn‘t seem odd at all, there are no National Rail ticket vending machines on the island of Ireland so nowhere to issue the tickets from.

There ought to be an option to book them for postal fulfilment of course, not to mention an option to book without ringing a premium phone number…
Technically its a special services basic rate number not a premium rate number. It may attract a hefty fee from some mobile phones but that's not the providers fault.
 

XAM2175

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NI/ Eire aren't part of the British railway sysytem (fairly obviously) so don't interface with any of the British systems.
Please note for correctness: the country's proper name in English is Ireland (or the Republic of Ireland where disambiguation is necessary), or Éire in Irish, but not Eire.
 

LNW-GW Joint

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Seemingly no e-ticket option for Irish Rail either - collect at a station or ATM appear to be the only options.
 

island

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Iarnród Éireann does not offer e-tickets at all, only paper tickets and (for certain journeys) smartcard PAYG/season ticket.

Technically its a special services basic rate number not a premium rate number. It may attract a hefty fee from some mobile phones but that's not the providers fault.
Same difference. It costs far more than calling a normal number and the called party receives part of the cost of the call, therefore it is a premium number in common parlance.
 
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