There are two rail networks operating in Ireland: Irish Rail in the Republic of Ireland and Translink in Northern Ireland. Dublin and Belfast are the key rail hubs, connecting travellers with cities and towns all over the island. The fast, efficient Enterprise train runs between Dublin (Connolly) and Belfast (Lanyon Place) and is generally the quickest way of travelling between the two cities.
5 top tips
Train journeys around Ireland
Getting around Dublin
The DART (Dublin Area Rapid Transit) train runs from Howth and Malahide in north Dublin right into the heart of the city, stopping at pretty coastal towns and villages, such as Dalkey in south Dublin and terminating in Greystones in County Wicklow.
Hop aboard the Luas, the swift tram service with two lines (red and green) that travel within the city. It’s a quick and hassle-free way to tour Dublin, and also venture outside of the city centre to discover charming suburban spots such as Ranelagh and Phibsborough.
Irish Rail has a handy online guide that covers everything from WiFi and travelling with pets and bicycles to facilities for disabled travellers. Translink also has information about accessible travel.
Insider tip: Rail services will be less frequent on Sundays and on public holidays, so do check timetables before you set out on your journey.
Ireland by rail – highlights
One of the most stunning rail journeys on the island follows the south-east coast from Dublin down to the Rosslare Europort, and takes you through Ireland’s Ancient East.
The 45-minute route between the Walled City of Derry~Londonderry and Coleraine along the Causeway Coastal Route was hailed by comedian and travel documentary-maker Michael Palin as the "one of the most beautiful in the world".