Iarnród Éireann, a subsidiary company of a State-owned company, Coras Iompair Éireann (CIÉ), is responsible for operating rail services in Ireland. Iarnród Éireann falls under the remit of the Department of Transport, Tourism and Sport. The company operates passenger rail services nationwide and provides commuter rail services, including the DART service in Dublin and the Arrow service from Dublin to Kildare.
Free travel on State rail services is available to everyone permanently living in Ireland that is aged 66 and over. Certain people under that age are also entitled.
Read further information about Free Travel here.
Free travel on State rail services was available to all tourists to Ireland aged 66 or over during 2010 under a scheme known as Golden Trekker. The scheme has been discontinued.
The DART (Dublin Area Rapid Transport) runs along the east coast of Ireland from Malahide in county Dublin to Greystones in county Wicklow. Details of the facilities available in all DART stations and DART timetables are available on the Iarnród Éireann website. DART fares can be paid in cash or passengers can buy pre-paid tickets to avail of discounts on their journeys. Many DART stations have “park and ride” facilities to encourage commuters to leave their cars in station car parks and reduce the volume of traffic in the city. The Aerdart bus service that runs from Howth Junction DART station to Dublin Airport has been suspended untill further notice.
The Arrow suburban rail service operates between Dublin and Kildare and the suburban rail network operates between Drogheda, Arklow, Maynooth and Dublin. Suburban rail network maps, suburban rail fare information and suburban timetables for all services are available on the Iarnród Éireann website.
Iarnród Éireann’s InterCity services provide rail links between Ireland’s main towns and cities. InterCity services depart from Dublin’s Heuston and Connolly Stations and serve the following destinations: Belfast, Sligo, Ballina, Westport, Galway, Limerick, Ennis, Tralee, Cork, Waterford and Rosslare Europort. Other InterCity services run between Rosslare Europort and Limerick; Cork and Tralee; and Cork and Limerick. The InterCity service has carriages divided between Superstandard (first class) and Standard (second class). Smoking is illegal on all public transport in Ireland. Read more about the Smoking Ban in Ireland here.
The Enterprise service operates between Belfast and Dublin and is jointly run by Iarnród Éireann and Northern Ireland Rail. The service is aimed at all travellers; business, tourist and general rail passengers. Trains on this service are capable of high speeds (90 mph) and can complete the journey in just over two hours. Carriages are divided into First Plus (first class) and Enterprise Class (second class). Each Enterprise service has a Customer Services Attendant on hand and trains feature easy access for mobility-impaired passengers and wheelchair users. The Enterprise service is non-smoking throughout. You can find more information about the Enterprise service here.
You can find information about tickets for a number of UK and European rail services on Iarnród Éireann’s web site. Registered blind passengers travelling by rail or sea to Europe are entitled to buy one full fare ticket and receive another one free of charge. You must to produce your Companion Free Travel Pass when booking to avail of discount. Details are available directly from Iarnrod Eireann (see where to apply), below.
Services for passengers with disabilities
Special arrangements can be made for passengers with disabilities but it is recommended that you contact the relevant station or Iarnród Éireann’s Mobility Impaired Liaison Office at least 24 hours before your journey and give them some details of your travel plans. These details should include:
- When your train is scheduled to depart from
- Where you are going and if you need to change trains on your journey
- The nature of your disability
- Whether you will be travelling alone or with a companion
- Whether you need help arriving or departing from the station.
Any change or cancellation of your journey to the relevant Iarnród Éireann staff. Some stations can arrange for a car-parking space for wheelchair users and all stations have disabled access to at least one platform. Portable ramps are available at most stations for wheelchair users travelling on Mainline and Suburban trains to enable them to board from the platform to the carriage. All dining cars in the Iarnród Éireann fleet have been modified to provide access for wheelchair users and the mobility impaired. This is because there is always a staff presence in the dining car; refreshments are available and a telephone is also provided nearby. If a group of people using wheelchairs are travelling together, Iarnród Éireann will need to be notified in advance so that the necessary accommodation can be provided. DART trains can be accessed directly from platforms and the trains have wide doors and a large area to accommodate wheelchairs.
Most mainline and suburban and all DART stations have public address systems giving details of trains and services for people with visually impairments. Tactile tiles have been put in place in some stations to help people with visually impairments and Braille-coded buttons and a talking lift mechanism are features of newer station lifts.
You can check the facilities for disabled passengers available at any station in the Iarnród Éireann network by checking its web site.
Pets (with the exception of Guide dogs and hearing dogs for people with hearing impairments) are not allowed onto DART or Suburban rail trains. Pets are allowed on Intercity trains, provided they are properly restrained and supervised.
Luggage should be placed in the specially provided luggage compartments, overhead racks or under your seat. You must also make sure your luggage is not causing inconvenience for other passengers. Bicycles are carried on most Mainline and InterCity trains but you should check with the station supervisor for details of the service that you intend to use. The supervisor can advise you on where to store your bicycle. Bicycles may not be transported in the passenger area of any train and if the train does not have a special compartment for bicycles, they must be stored in the guard’s van.
If you have complaints about Iarnród Éireann services, you should bring them to the attention of the relevant station manager. If you want to take your complaint further, you can contact the Customer Services (InterCity) division or the Customer Services (Suburban Rail) division of Iarnród Éireann. It is recommended that you write a letter of complaint, including as much detail as possible (date and time of travel, where you were travelling from and to and a phone number). You should also send your ticket, if you still have it. You may get an immediate response to your complaint but if not, you will get an acknowledgement within three days and you should have a full response within 15 days. You may also make complaints or raise customer services issues online.
If your service is cancelled or seriously delayed for any reason within the control of Iarnród Éireann, you could be entitled to a refund or a discount voucher. The value of discount voucher is based on the length of delay and the fare you have paid for your single journey (i.e., approximately half the value of a return fare).
If the train you planned to catch is delayed or cancelled and you decide not to travel, you will be given a full cash refund if you return your unused ticket immediately to the ticket office where you bought it. If you decide for some other reason not to use a rail ticket you have bought, you can apply for a refund at any main InterCity station, the Suburban Rail office in Pearse Station or any Travel Centre. There may be an administration fee and you must make all refund claims within 28 days of the end date of your ticket. If you did not buy your ticket from Iarnród Éireann, you should return it to the place where you bought it. The ticket issuer will arrange any refund due and may make a reasonable administration charge. Refunds and discount vouchers are also given if your seat reservation is not honoured and no seat of the same standard is available to you or if you are not offered in-seat catering where this is advertised as part of the service.
Each train station has a lost property office where items found on trains will be handed in and kept for collection. For more details, you should contact the relevant station directly.
Obstructions on railway lines and bridges
Section 14 of the Non-Fatal Offences Against the Person Act 1997 makes it an offence to endanger rail traffic in Ireland. This includes throwing any dangerous obstruction on a railway, tampering with any railway machinery, etc. The Act also prohibits tampering with any signalling equipment, or devices used to control railway traffic.
If tried in a District Court before a judge, the maximum penalty for these offences is 1,905 euro and or 12 months in prison.
If these offences are tried in a Circuit or Central Criminal Court, the maximum penalty is a fine and or 7 years imprisonment.
You can pay your train fare in cash or you can use a pre-paid ticket. Tickets vary depending on the service you use and you can get full details of leisure fares , commuter travel fares and UK and European rail fares from the Iarnród Éireann web site. Prepaid tickets can be bought from all ticket offices. Discounted fares are available with the correct identification card.
The Student Travel Card allows students to get substantially discounted fares on Iarnród Eireann, Luas and Dublin Bus services. It is only available to full-time students in second and third level education.
Those claiming free travel must be able to produce a valid Department of Social Protection Travel Pass.
Iarnród Éireann accepts payment by cash or cheque and some stations also accept credit cards. (Accepted cards are Visa, Mastercard and American Express).
In December 2011, an integrated transport ticketing system was introduced for the greater Dublin area called the Leap Card. Information is available at Leapcard.ie.
How to apply
You can find passenger timetables on the Iarnród Éireann website. Application forms for suburban rail identification cards are available at your local suburban rail station.
Where to apply
Head Office Connolly Station
Tel: +353 (0)1 850 366222
Information about discounted rail travel in Europe for registered blind passengers is available from:
International Traffic Section
Tel:+353 (0)1 703 1885
www.irishrail.ie/fares-and-tickets/sailrail (UK rail)
www.irishrail.ie/fares-and-tickets/interrail (European rail)