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Unread 08-03-2011, 16:57   #1
markpb
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Default Sail & Rail

I'm thinking about travelling to London next week and since it's short notice, I've been checking out BE and S&R instead of flying. Perhaps I'm reading the site wrong but it looks like the Sail & Rail option is an hour slower than the bus?

BE leave Dublin at 20.15 and arrive in Victoria at 08.45
Stena leave Dublin at 19.45 and arrive in Euston at 08.36

Am I missing something?
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Unread 08-03-2011, 17:42   #2
ThomasJ
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Nah what's more surprising is the length of the bus journey but then again it goes via Birmingham

There is a gap of nearly 4 hours between the arrival of the ferry and the departure of the train in holyhead that's why the train option takes so long.

Last edited by ThomasJ : 08-03-2011 at 17:45.
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Unread 08-03-2011, 22:28   #3
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Default Maybe Rosslare?

This may not be a lot of use especially if one doesn't have a lot of time so I'm posting it on the offchance it may be of interest/help. (I'm aware that Dublin to London is faster the traditional route via Dublin/Dún Laoghaire).

Unlike Holyhead, Rosslare offers an overnight service in the continuous sense each way seven days a week i.e. no prolonged wait of circa four hours for the train. Just a short wait of around half an hour from the time one disembarks the ship (Stena) to the time the train can be boarded.

A through ticket from Connolly to London via Rosslare can be purchased but as most readers of this forum probably know few trains actually connect to/from the ferries. The major disbenefit is getting from Dublin to Rosslare. The last train to connect with the 2115 sailing is the 1330 ex Connolly (not an option unless one wants to enjoy a long meal/few hours in a Rosslare pub/hotel). One could though take the 1630 Connolly to Wexford train (arr. Wexford 1904) and catch a Bus Éireann coach immediately outside the station to the steps of Rosslare ferry terminal. Coaches at 1920 and 2010. Journey scheduled to take 30 mins but in practice is achieved in several minutes less (coincidentally same coaches depart from Busáras at 1630 and 1730 respectively). Dublin-Rosslare Harbour 16.65 e single online. Wexford-Rosslare Harbour 5 euro single onboard.

There is a cafe in the terminal and the Stena Europe usually commences boarding around 2015. The onward train leaves Fishguard at 0150 (but available to board before half one). At Swansea it's necessary to change onto a First Great Western High Speed Train which will be open and ready to board at an adjoining platform. Arrival at Paddington is 0732.

If one left Dublin by coach at 1730 the overall journey via Rosslare is only about an hour longer than via Holyhead and more comfortable as there's no prolonged waiting around.

(The return is at 2015 ex Paddington, arriving Rosslare Harbour 0615 and Dublin train at 0750).

Last edited by Traincustomer : 08-03-2011 at 22:31.
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Unread 08-03-2011, 23:06   #4
Eddie
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I did the overnight trip once in the days when there was a 9.30pm HSS service from Dun Laoghaire which got into Holyhead about 11.45pm, and even then there was a 2 hour wait for the 1.50am departure to Birmingham, which took about 3 hours. Transferring to the first train from Birmingham at about 5.30am, got you into Euston at 7.30am, but the train would have been packed with London commuters. So now it's only an hour longer and I'd say the first direct service from Holyhead to London at about 4.30am would be pleasant enough once you're on it.

If you've ever got time to waste in Holyhead during the day, may be worth doing a "reckie" and finding a patch of grass on the hill nearby the port, with a view to taking a sleeping bag, a bivvie bag and an alarm clock and getting a few hours shut eye. Not very sophisticated, but with a bit of sleep there, and a bit more on the train and you'll almost be as refreshed as you would if you'd got the first flight over there. And there's probably a shower somewhere in Euston station so you're ready for the day.

There are about 4 direct services from Holyhead to London between about 4.30am and 9.30am - it's a shame the 2.15am Stena service from Dublin port to Holyhead doesn't take foot passengers and make a good connection with one of them.

On the other hand with the coach at least you're not having to get on and off, and you can just fall asleep, and wake up in London. I'd say it would be awful if it was packed though - I'd hate to be forced to be in an aisle seat next to someone I didn't know.

Last edited by Eddie : 08-03-2011 at 23:08.
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Unread 09-03-2011, 09:35   #5
markpb
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Thanks for the replies folks. I think I'll just take the bus, it's slightly cheaper and, like Eddie says, I don't have to wait or change - I can just get on and sleep. It's a pity the sail/rail connection isn't better but I guess the demand isn't there.
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Unread 09-03-2011, 21:00   #6
Eddie
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Let us know how you get on...
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Unread 10-11-2011, 09:36   #7
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National Rail (UK) has announced it is ending walk-up Sail & Rail ticket sales from the new year, due to customer misuse. Reservations will have to be made in advance and people will have to travel on the train booked.

No idea how this affects tickets issued from IÉ.
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Unread 10-11-2011, 09:52   #8
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There is a serious problem with respect to non use of reservations it can result in being left behind particularly on Holyhead Dublin. But thats not the reason for this, its to stop people using Sail/Rail to bypass UK fares i.e. not travel on the ferry. That doesn't apply to IE issued tickets as you have to take the ferry to get to the UK in the first place

Irish Rail are actively looking at online sale of Sail/Rail but it could be some time
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Unread 10-11-2011, 10:55   #9
Thomas Ralph
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The main problem I foresee is whether IÉ-issued tickets will be accepted without UK reservations by badly-trained ATW/Virgin staff.
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Unread 10-11-2011, 11:44   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Mark Gleeson View Post
That doesn't apply to IE issued tickets as you have to take the ferry to get to the UK in the first place
I don't think that's strictly true.

For example, IIRC, if you ask for a single to Bangor from Cork, it's about E15 cheaper than a single to Dublin from Cork.

However, the only way you make a saving is on walk-up singles to Dublin.
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Unread 10-11-2011, 12:19   #11
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Irish Rail has very limited number of offices selling SailRail unlike the UK where any staffed office can sell them so there is a very low rate of abuse on the system.

For comparison a walk up single London Holyhead is £135.50/£80.30 SailRail is £32

Cork Bangor is 20 + 35 = 55 Cheapest walk up cash fare is the 51 euro day return, 37 euro online. So its not a massive weak spot in the system.
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Unread 10-11-2011, 13:48   #12
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Having arrived at Dublin Ferryport for the 08:45 Jonathan Swift fast craft sailing to Holyhead one morning in the Autumn without a ticket, myself and family member had the SailRail tickets we purchased stamped with standby numbers 8 & 9. Luckily all standby passengers were then carried.

I was surprised it was so busy.

Wonder what the book in advance requirement on UK side will entail; at least two hours before commencing the first leg of the journey?
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Unread 09-12-2012, 02:09   #13
Colm Moore
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Default Christmas & New Year Travel 2012

Arriva Trains and Virgin Trains information and SailRail availability here: http://www.railusers.ie/forum/showpo...57&postcount=3
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Unread 13-12-2012, 00:28   #14
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Default Additional bus journeys between Dublin Ferryport and Heuston :

A new timetable has been introduced on Dublin Bus route 53B (that operates as a private hire to Irish Ferries for ferry foot passengers) which sees additional journeys each way between the Ferryport and Heuston. Link: http://www.dublinbus.ie/en/Your-Jour...-Connections1/

Previously there was only one early-morning journey in each direction between the Ferryport and Heuston.

This new timetable only seems to have come into effect in the last week or so.

It is a welcome development which should make SailRail a more appealing and feasible option when travelling to/from provincial destinations. Stepping off a train at Heuston and onto a dedicated bus to the ferryport is streets ahead of a fragmented trip across the city entailing possibly being a standee on a LUAS and waiting at Busáras for the bus to the ferryport.

PS: nice shot there Sealink of the HSS!

Last edited by Traincustomer : 13-12-2012 at 00:28. Reason: addition
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Unread 24-12-2012, 00:40   #15
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Default earlier train from Holyhead on Saturday 29th December:

Of possible assistance to anyone travelling to London (or other destinations) for the New Year is that Arriva Trains Wales will operate an earlier train from Holyhead on Saturday 29th December. This train will be suitable for ferry foot passengers arriving off the 20.55 Irish Ferries and 21.15 Stena Line sailings from Dublin.

The train will depart Holyhead at 03.35 and arrive at Crewe at 05.33 serving Bangor, Llandudno Junction and Chester en route.

At Crewe it'll provide a connection into the 06.18 Crewe to London Virgin Trains service which arrives into Euston at 08.34. En route the train will serve Nuneaton, Milton Keynes Central and Watford Junction.

HSS Dún Laoghaire - Holyhead Sailing schedule 2013:

The HSS Stena Explorer will run between 22nd March and 10th September 2013 (both dates inclusive) and again at Christmas 2013 (presumably New Year 2014 too). The passage time has recently changed from 2 hours to 2 hours 15 minutes, quite understandable given fuel costs. Sailing from Holyhead at 10.30 and at 13.30 from Dún Laoghaire.

Last edited by Traincustomer : 24-12-2012 at 00:47. Reason: minor addition
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Unread 03-01-2013, 18:52   #16
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Default 2013 fares

Irish Ferries have the new fares listed on their website. The only change apparent is a €1 fare increase on the single fare (€2 on a return).

From Dublin Ferryport on the conventional vessel Ulysses the (advance) fares are:

Britain Zone A €39 single (was €38 in 2012)
Britain Zone B €40 single (was €39 in 2012)
Britain Zone C €41 single (was €40 in 2012)
Britain Zone D €43 single (was €42 in 2012)
Britain Zone E €46 single (was €45 in 2012)

The supplement for travel on the fastcraft Jonathan Swift remains at €6 each way and the additional charge of €6 for booking on day of travel remains unchanged. Irish Rail add-on fares (for travel to Dublin from provincial stations) remain unchanged too.

Irish Rail's small section on SailRail still shows Dublin to London as €45 so perhaps Irish Rail are not implementing the 2013 fares yet?

If there was an award for SailRail information and innovation Irish Ferries would win it this side of the Irish Sea. Whilst it's not a perfect product they are taking a real interest and making a real effort to project and improve it.
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