Nicest line in the Republic of Ireland

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MidnightFlyer

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If you had a day in Dublin, and the opportunity to do one line in the Republic (excluding the line north into the UK), which one would it be, based on scenery, and interest (and rolling stock if need be)? I've got a couple of days in Dublin coming up this summer, but I don't know enough about any of the lines to make this judgement for myself, so I'm going to have to take anybody's word for it!

If it helps, the lines I'm looking at are Dublin-Galway / Waterford / Rosslare / Sligo. I'm told the Rosslare line is nice, but that the Sligo line is slightly dull. Can anyone advise anything more?

Cheers
 
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Eire Sprinter

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I'd say definitely the Rosslare line.

In summary - the city suburbs, Dublin Bay, Dún Laoghaire Harbour, Killiney Bay, the Bray Head tunnels (spectacular), coast to Wicklow, woods/forests at Rathdrum, country scenery, towns of Arklow and Gorey. Riverside stretch Enniscorthy to Wexford. Runs beside the street through Wexford town at 5mph, then through slobland to Rosslare Strand then finally close to the coast with views of the approaching harbour. Make sure to get a seat on the seaward side of the train (normally the side you board if starting in Dublin Connolly).

There's an online offer at present €9.99 single end to end which will work out cheaper than booking at the ticket office though needs to be bought three or more days in advance:
http://www.irishrail.ie/cat_offers.jsp?i=4577
There's an online booking transaction fee - €2 for a debit card; €3 for a credit card.

At station fares shown here:http://www.irishrail.ie/index.jsp?p=118&n=197&a=265#Dublin%20Connolly%20-%20Rosslare%20Fare%20Grid

In case it's of help SailRail ticketing is available from any station England/Wales via Holyhead/Dublin/Dún Laoghaire to any Rosslare line station.

Ex Ireland Irish Rail can issue from Irish stations via Rosslare-Fishguard to Britain.

More than likely you'll have a three car Intercity railcar (22000) class on Rosslare. Another option is to take the DART as far as Greystones.

While there are some large intervals between trains on the Rosslare line it might be worth bearing in mind the possibility of doubling back a little by using parallel bus services such as: http://www.buseireann.ie/pdf/1300287394-2.pdf

In the interests of fairness I should add the other lines all have some scenic bits e.g. along the Royal Canal for the initial part of the Sligo journey/nice lake (Lough Owel) after Mullingar.

Galway line: river Shannon at Athlone

Waterford line: the Curragh (in Co. Kildare) - a plain.

The excellent photos on this website will give a taster and idea of places along the line: http://www.flickr.com/photos/finnyus/sets/72157627128965852/
 
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4SRKT

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Agreed. The Rosslare line is the best. One of the best anywhere in these islands.
--- old post above --- --- new post below ---
If the day in question is 15th or 29th July the RPSI are running steam trips from Dublin to Wicklow. Always better to do the section between Bray and Greystones in hauled stock that you can lean out of. Also on 19th August there is a steam trip 80+ miles each way to Kilkenny.

Calling Northern Ireland 'the UK' is a pretty strong statement of political allegiance in this context. I've always found it much better to keep away from such terms as 'the UK' or 'Ulster' (or from the other side 'the North' or 'the Six Counties') because they are extremely politically loaded. 'Northern Ireland' is the only safe neutral term I've ever been 100% comfortable with, and even that can cause offence sometimes in my experience!
 
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aformeruser

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If you had a day in Dublin, and the opportunity to do one line in the Republic (excluding the line north into the UK)
Contradiction in terms there. I've done Cork-Cobh which is a very scenic line but it's not something you can do easily from Dublin as you have to do a much much longer line to even get to Cork.
 

4SRKT

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Contradiction in terms there. I've done Cork-Cobh which is a very scenic line but it's not something you can do easily from Dublin as you have to do a much much longer line to even get to Cork.
Likewise Mallow > Tralee.

A real gem that I did for the first time last year is Ballybrophy > Limerick. Only 2 trains a day but if you time it right and go one way via Limerick Junction you can do it in a day from Dublin.
 

D6975

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Yup, Rosslare line is the best, but I wouldn't do the last bit, I'd get off at Wexford and have a wander around there.
The 09:40 gets to Wexford at 12:02 and the return departs at 13:20.
Just enough time for a wander around and a bite to eat.

Not the same on units though... much better when it was 141s and 071s
 

GM078

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I'd vote for the Rosslare as well. I'd also recommend the Tralee line. The Belfast route can be interesting enough; some nice seascapes for a good bit of the journey out of Dublin.

The former MGWR routes can be pretty dull scenery wise, although the Mayo road more than makes up for it in terms of freight activity.

--- old post above --- --- new post below ---
Agreed. The Rosslare line is the best. One of the best anywhere in these islands.
--- old post above --- --- new post below ---
If the day in question is 15th or 29th July the RPSI are running steam trips from Dublin to Wicklow. Always better to do the section between Bray and Greystones in hauled stock that you can lean out of. Also on 19th August there is a steam trip 80+ miles each way to Kilkenny.
The Wicklow trip is the 15th, the ones on the 29th are the Midland shuttles (One to Maynooth, One to M3 Parkway).


Interesting conversation re: Northern Ireland naming convention, whatever about that the north it's funny the way you still occasionally get the Republic referred to as 'Southern Ireland' in the media - some 90+ years after the term ceased to exist! Which of course leads to such absurdities as Donegal being in the 'south', despite it being the most northerly county on the island!
 
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Techniquest

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Having not yet got to Galway (doing that this month, typically I'm already booked up to do stuff and now I find out about the RPSI stuff, same for the 19th of August I'm off elsewhere too), I can't comment there but I'd recommend the Rosslare line over Waterford, from what I can remember of the former.

Agreed with the gentleman who said about the Cobh branch, that's well worth a go. Needs a full day away from Dublin to do it though as the trip to Cork is long. I seriously can't understand how it takes so very long even on the super express calling patterns.

Mallow to Tralee is definitely worth a go, again needs a full day away from Dublin to do it but worth it.
 

GM078

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Agreed with the gentleman who said about the Cobh branch, that's well worth a go. Needs a full day away from Dublin to do it though as the trip to Cork is long. I seriously can't understand how it takes so very long even on the super express calling patterns.
Indeed - and you could throw in a trip to Midleton while you're down there.
 

Techniquest

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Aye I wanted to do that when I was last there but couldn't fit it in. So it'll be another and expensive trip over to Cork just for that, although may try to tie it in with Manulla Junction to Ballina somehow.
 

MidnightFlyer

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Thanks for all the answers so far, and apologies to anyone offended by calling NI the UK. I don't want to do Tralee, Cobh and Midleton as I only have time for one actual line, ditto the lines in Mayo, so I've narrowed it down to the four most unlike that. I don't think I'll have time for Rosslare I'm afriad, I only have 6 hours from around midday onwards. Is there anything to put Waterford, Galway or Sligo in front of each other or all they all the same rolling greenery with not much going on?

Cheers
 

Techniquest

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Sligo is a mission based on the fact there's long sections with bugger all of interest. Enfield to Mullingar I think is the worst at 25 or so minutes, was mentioned in my Irish Trekker report anyway.

Personally, you've got a reasonable chance of a 29000 Class to Sligo but nothing but 22000 'Rotem' Class to Waterford. 22000s are also booked to Sligo, but when I went two pairs of 29000s were in use so you may be in luck. Far more rateable for sound they are in my book.
 

GM078

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Thanks for all the answers so far, and apologies to anyone offended by calling NI the UK. I don't want to do Tralee, Cobh and Midleton as I only have time for one actual line, ditto the lines in Mayo, so I've narrowed it down to the four most unlike that. I don't think I'll have time for Rosslare I'm afriad, I only have 6 hours from around midday onwards. Is there anything to put Waterford, Galway or Sligo in front of each other or all they all the same rolling greenery with not much going on?

Cheers
Depends what you're looking for... the Sligo line can be pretty boring for a lot of its length, but does have some features - follows the canal for a lot of its length (practically side by side from Broombridge to Maynooth. Beyond Mullingar there are some lakes that are pretty scenic. In other parts though it's plain bogland.

Galway - a lot of the scenery is pretty plain. Probably my least favourite of these three but that's just me. The occasional engineering feature like the Shannon Bridge at Athlone and that over Lough Atalia into Galway itself may be of interest. As with the Sligo road it traverses bogland for a considerable portion of its length.

Waterford - not as scenic as the Rosslare or Kerry lines but I would rate it above Galway at the same time. A lot of the scenery is rolling fields but I would rate this over open bogs on the Midland routes. Engineering wise there's the Thomastown viaduct and architecturally speaking some nice stations like Athy, Carlow, Muine Bheag.

Operationally speaking there's probably more to see on the Waterford and Galway routes, especially in terms of freight (the main container flows in Ireland are Ballina-Waterford and Ballina-North Wall (Dublin Port) - Ballina trains sharing the Galway line as far as Athlone.

I think if I was to rate these I'd go:

1. Waterford
2. Sligo
3. Galway

But as I said that's just me.
 

Techniquest

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Good point, I recall there being a decent bit of freight seen when I did the Westport part of my Trekker bash. Some 201s on it but mostly 078s on freights when I went.

Sligo gets my vote purely for the 29000 Class opportunity. See what part of Dublin you're in when you get there and if near Connolly then do Sligo, if Heuston do Waterford.
 

DiscoStu

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Mallow to Tralee was my favourite in the early 90's (especially if you dropped on an 'A' Class!) .... I used to love the reversal out of Killarney, and then thrash up the hill back past the station!! :D
 

MidnightFlyer

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After finding out that there's a possibility I can be in Dublin for 0904 (it depends on when I can get to Portadown station for), I can now say any line in the Republic is doable, aside from the line via Clonmel and out towards Mayo (Ballina and Westport; which takes an eye-watering 12 hours+ to do on its own), which are beyond my time.

As such this opens up the Cork area (and line to), plus Dublin-Rosslare, the Western Corridor, and Nenagh, if IE don't cut the horrendously-poorly loaded new service before then. So, I may as well discard the Dublin-Galway / Waterford / Sligo options, and ask, of these four, which would people say is best?

- Heuston-Galway-Limerick-Heuston (via Junction or Nenagh; or reverse via Junction)
- Connolly-Rosslare Europort-Connolly
- Heuston-Mallow-Tralee-Mallow-Heuston
- Heuston-Cork-Cobh / Midleton (both)-Cork-Heuston

Thanks all!
 

Techniquest

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I'd say either go to Tralee or Cobh/Middleton. The line to Tralee's more scenic though in my eyes, and connections are usually on the island platform at Mallow so easy peasy. It's 22000 Class Rotem DMUs from Mallow, unless you happen to time it for a 2700 Class to/from Cork (which given your 0904 at Dublin is extremely unlikely), so you won't get any thrash up the hill out of Kilkenny, but it's still one of those odd journeys where you have to go into the station then reverse back the way you came to reverse in a siding then onwards. Can't think of anywhere in the UK where that happens.

Cobh/Middleton is usually 2600 Class in my experience and they're pretty decent in my eyes for noise. You may also get the 2600/2700 hybrid too like I did. If it comes down to cost, Tralee will be cheaper I think.

As for Dublin to Westport and back taking 12 hours, not sure where you got that from. When I did it, I got the 0730 from Heuston, arriving around 1055 I think and the 1315 back as far as Portalington. We got there around 1600, so probably by 1700 back at Heuston. Still less than 12 hours, but a long day. Yes it's a long time in Westport, but it's a nice little place to wander around, there's a Tesco almost next door and you'll probably see a timber train loading there. Plenty of places to get food and drink from, about 10 minutes walk from the station.
 

MidnightFlyer

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Westport and Ballina takes 12hr plus though ;)

Thanks for the advice, I don't care about engines / thrash etc, I'm more concerned about the interior. I think Tralee is slightly cheaper, only by a handful of euros though.
 

GM078

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Depending on how long you have you could possibly to Dublin-Waterford, then get the Bus Éireann route 40 service to Rosslare (or Wexford town) and get another train up to Dublin from there...
--- old post above --- --- new post below ---
Re: 29000s on the Sligo, they generally only appear on the route on Sundays (the 15:00 Connolly-Sligo and its return, off the top of my head. I think they do another Sunday link but can't recall the specific one).

Most Dublin Intercity routes (apart from Cork/Belfast) use the 22000 class Rotem Intercity Railcars (ICRs), but some of the Rosslare links see 29000s.
If you're only concerned about the interior then it's most definitely the ICRs you want rather than the 29000s!
 
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MidnightFlyer

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Thanks all, went for Rosslare in the end - is there a revised timetable on in part of August? The times I booked were vastly different from the PDF timetables online, plus I can't see any mention of changes... Does anybody know what to do in Rosslare Europort for 70 minutes?!

Also, how strict are guards (?) with sitting in reserved seats? I had to book a seat when buying online, so guessed which way round the train was going to be on the day (though I assume this can change) and selected off that. The trouble is I prefer right hand facing both ways, so if my seats I booked don't allow this, would I be OK sitting in a seat that did, or would staff take issue? I intend to ask etc, but was just wondering generally.

The second day I could probably have a run out further afield, I was looking at Sligo or Tralee, instead I've opted to stay in the Dublin area and get the Howth branch, Hazelhatch, Docklands, Mullingar, M3 Parkway and Luas done on a Dublin Rail and Tram Day Ranger thingy, the one for €9.70~. I'll report back when I return, hopefully a lot quicker than the report I did for NI over a year ago, which I still haven't finished!

Thanks all!
--- old post above --- --- new post below ---
I sincerely hope the changes aren't down to a unit shortage by the way, Rosslare's a long way on a 29000!
 

Techniquest

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If you're more interested in the interior, 22000s are definitely better. Personally, if it were me, I'd be over the moon if a 29000 turned up but then they're the units I rate the most over there.

Not sure about reserved seating and the strictness, as I've never used it. I'll be travelling on booked seats myself at the end of the month, so I'll see and let you know as I have the same concerns. Nice to be able to choose a seat mind!

Not much at Rosslare Europort, think there's some small shops on the station but not much else around from what I remember from my only visit there several years ago.

Enjoy the bash!
 

Eire Sprinter

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Regarding reserved seating - on my trip before last a few months ago I had an online ticket and the Rosslare train pulled into Connolly for boarding without seat reservations set (or without destination set). I just took my pick of seats which is generally possible to do without an issue. Sometimes if the reserved seat displays aren't working they'll put a leaflet on seats indicating which are reserved.On the whole there shouldn't be an issue with taking your pick of seats.

At Rosslare Europort there's several things to do and see.

The station itself is not of note - just a single platform with a bus shelter. On the short path from the station platform to the car park the former locomotive shed can be seen on the left - it's now used by Bus Éireann as part of their garage. Look through the car park perimeter fencing to see the turntable.

A few feet beyond this one crosses the road. To access the harbour village turn right and follow the path up the hill beside the port approach road (or go up the flights of steps facing you when you cross the road, turning right at the top). Or turn left and follow the path (circa 5 mins) for the terminal building. It's also possible to walk along the beach here. Closer to the terminal building if there's any incoming or outgoing ferry it's a good place for a photo.

The ferry terminal has toilets and a café (open generally around ferry times). Buses depart from right in front of it and at any given time there's usually a few empty buses parked in the bays too. There's also several plaques displayed for various awards, the most recent unveiled some weeks ago commemorates the St. Patrick, a ferry on the Rosslare-Fishguard route during World War II which was sadly bombed and sank with a loss of life.

The village of Rosslare Harbour at the top of the hill is better accessed via the path up the hill (rather than the daunting flights of steps mentioned!). At the top of the hill there are several vantage points for photography (there may be one of the French ferries in port - Irish Ferries/Celtic Link). The old alignment to the station at the ferry terminal is readily seen. Slightly further along there's a small shopping centre with a supermarket, P.O.,café and chemists etc... As for places to eat there's a few pubs/hotels plus the café mentioned. One can follow the road opposite the shopping centre past the Bank of Ireland, keep straight on for three minutes or so and then left down the short laneway where there is a shop and fish 'n' chip shop (they do nice food in my experience). Pass the side of Hotel Rosslare (a minute's walk) and it leads out to the clifftop overlooking the harbour (and those daunting steps are easier down than up!). There's several bench seats.

Once at the bottom of the steps you're more or less back at the station. Hope this is of some help to get a gist of the place.
 
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james60059

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When it was open, the Rosslare Strand - Waterford line, the key point on that line for me was that huge Barrow Bridge, shame it can't be repeated now though :-x
 

island

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Pulling back to the topic, nobody cares if you don't sit in the seat you are reserved in on IÉ, as long as you don't sit in a seat someone else has booked. You have to pay to get a seat reservation with a flexible ticket, so reserved seats are used a bit more there than in GB.
 

PFX

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I've been trying my best to ignore certain comments here but, given what seems to be the general level of ignorance about the state of affairs over here both in the past and present, perhaps it would be best that the subject is not discussed further, whether or not you know about it. The politics of Northern Ireland/North of Ireland/six counties/province/etc, is an emotive subject and while I don't agree with some views here, I am not going to continue the argument by adding my own. There's nothing worse than people who haven't a clue, telling us 'how it is'.

The thread title is unambiguous and either we should return to discussing that (even including NIR routes as there's a link) or end the discussion entirely.

*off soapbox.
 

Greenback

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I've been trying my best to ignore certain comments here but, given what seems to be the general level of ignorance about the state of affairs over here both in the past and present, perhaps it would be best that the subject is not discussed further, whether or not you know about it. The politics of Northern Ireland/North of Ireland/six counties/province/etc, is an emotive subject and while I don't agree with some views here, I am not going to continue the argument by adding my own. There's nothing worse than people who haven't a clue, telling us 'how it is'.

The thread title is unambiguous and either we should return to discussing that (even including NIR routes as there's a link) or end the discussion entirely.

*off soapbox.
Agreed. I have tidied the thread by removing some off topic posts.

Let's stick to the OP. thanks.
 
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