Trains in Ireland

Cycle-touring, Expeditions, Adventures, Major cycle routes NOT LeJoG (see other special board)
pickerd1
Posts: 36
Joined: 31 Mar 2014, 5:05pm

Trains in Ireland

Postby pickerd1 » 8 Feb 2016, 9:37am

Hi all,
We have booked our ferry from Holyhead to Dublin and we have our accommodation booked in Kenmare (Kerry). We now have to get 3 cyclists and their bikes from Dublin to Killarney (and back). Our preference is not to use a car but it seems the Irish inter city trains only have space for 2 bikes? Although there seems to be differing opinion on this one?

Is this true?

We are considering hiring a car with rack / van but didn't really want to drive all week.

Anyone got any ideas?

Cheers
Dave

eoinh
Posts: 5
Joined: 27 May 2011, 6:31pm

Re: Trains in Ireland

Postby eoinh » 8 Feb 2016, 4:34pm

I think each train actually can take three bikes and you can book on the irish rail website. Make sure to book your train in advance as it is much cheaper.

You would be getting the train to Killarney. From there it's a lovely cycle to kenmare, with a decent climb up molls gap.

Most of the trains going to kilarney change in mallow or cork and the Dublin -Cork train has a mail carriage that can take lots of bikes.

My advice would be to book on as many bikes as you can, travel off peak and you will find a way to get the extra bikes on. They are usually not strict.

Enjoy, it's great cycling down there.

Norman H
Posts: 817
Joined: 31 Jul 2011, 4:39pm

Re: Trains in Ireland

Postby Norman H » 8 Feb 2016, 5:01pm

Information available here.

It seems that there are rush hour restrictions for services out of Dublin Heuston. Outside of these times there appears to be some typically Irish wiggle room:-

“These routes are restricted to two bicycles per service”

“Iarnród Éireann Irish Rail reserve the right to refuse to carry more than two bicycles if there are only two bike spaces available on a service “


It might be worth a phone call or two before booking but you definitely need to book in advance and on line.

An alternative would be to look at buses. Most will carry bicycles in the luggage compartment subject to space being available and at the discretion of the driver. Boarding the bus at the terminus and travelling at off peak times is the best strategy.

pickerd
Posts: 104
Joined: 22 Mar 2015, 7:01pm

Re: Trains in Ireland

Postby pickerd » 8 Feb 2016, 7:52pm

Thanks. I think the Upham to Cork sounds like a good plan. We'll be travelling on Saturdays so should be none push hour also!

pickerd
Posts: 104
Joined: 22 Mar 2015, 7:01pm

Re: Trains in Ireland

Postby pickerd » 8 Feb 2016, 7:52pm

Train not Upham!!!!

pickerd
Posts: 104
Joined: 22 Mar 2015, 7:01pm

Re: Trains in Ireland

Postby pickerd » 8 Feb 2016, 8:38pm

Has anyone used the bus service? It looks good value. How are they with bikes?

marvin123
Posts: 5
Joined: 11 Dec 2013, 11:30pm

Re: Trains in Ireland

Postby marvin123 » 8 Feb 2016, 10:58pm

I use the bus regularly, train services in Ireland are quite limited. I think Bus Eireann charge a 12 euro fee for normal bikes, i got a Dahon for my usual trip as there is no additional charge for folding bikes.

Norman H
Posts: 817
Joined: 31 Jul 2011, 4:39pm

Re: Trains in Ireland

Postby Norman H » 9 Feb 2016, 8:59am

Bus Eireann is the main state owned bus company operating intercity bus travel but there are also a number of private independents that operate on some routes. Dublin Coach run a service (M7) to Killarney. You would need to enquire about their bicycle policy.

MartinBrice
Posts: 448
Joined: 13 Nov 2007, 9:57am

Re: Trains in Ireland

Postby MartinBrice » 9 Feb 2016, 8:53pm

take off the wheels and put them in a bag, remove pedals and possibly handlebars, wrap in a roll of clingfilm and take it on as a steel frame you plan, one day, to build into a full bike. works well on UK East Coast mainline.

pickerd
Posts: 104
Joined: 22 Mar 2015, 7:01pm

Re: Trains in Ireland

Postby pickerd » 10 Feb 2016, 10:30am

Thanks for all the advice. After a bit of digging it seems that travel by bus with Dublin Coach may be the best bet. They are cheapest, run quite regularly, don't charge for bikes which are allowed if they fit in the below floor luggage compartment.
I will post more info for reference when I book travel and actually do the travelling.

Norman H
Posts: 817
Joined: 31 Jul 2011, 4:39pm

Re: Trains in Ireland

Postby Norman H » 10 Feb 2016, 3:15pm

That's good to hear. Do let us know how it works out.

Eoinh wrote:-

From there it's a lovely cycle to kenmare, with a decent climb up molls gap.


Presumably Eoinh is thinking of the main Ring of Kerry route (N71) south from Killarney. It is indeed a very scenic route but do bare in mind that it can get busy at times and attracts a lot of coaches. You should also consider the route to the west of Loch Leane through The Gap of Dunloe and Black Valley. Distance-wise I don't think there's a lot in it and although this route is also popular with tourists, I think it's the more pleasant ride.

Incidentally there are various tracks and paths which head off the N71 up into the hills to the east and I've often wondered if there is an off road alternative to the N71 route to and from Kenmare. Whenever I've used that road I've always been in too much of a hurry to go and explore. I wonder if anyone has done this.

pickerd
Posts: 104
Joined: 22 Mar 2015, 7:01pm

Re: Trains in Ireland

Postby pickerd » 10 Feb 2016, 3:19pm

Norman H - I'll look into that route. Any alternatives are welcomed especially as I have discovered that the Irish tarmac rally championships are being held during our first couple of days in the area!!!!

bobzeller
Posts: 92
Joined: 20 Aug 2013, 8:37pm

Re: Trains in Ireland

Postby bobzeller » 12 Feb 2016, 11:07am

You need to be careful when using Irish trains. I went on one which had hangers that held the bike front wheel upwards and the rear wheel in a steel channel, much like you see sometimes in France. When I was boarding the train, a railway employee, trying very hard to be helpful as I was dealing with my panniers, picked up the bike, hooked the front wheel in the hanger and then dropped the rear wheel into the channel destroying my brand new Honjo mudguard. The secret is to position the rear wheel alongside the channel, not inside it. You can then use your panniers to steady the bike so it doesn't swing about.

Cheers