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 travelers 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 traveling between the two cities.

Malahide, County Dublin

Malahide train station

5 top tips

1
The train is great for intercity travel with journeys rarely taking longer than 2.5 hours.
2
Dublin and Belfast are the key rail hubs, connecting travelers with cities and towns all over the island.
3
Tickets can be prebooked in the Republic of Ireland (Irish Rail) but must be bought at a station or on the train in Northern Ireland (Translink).
4
Free WiFi connections are available on trains in both the Republic of Ireland and Northern Ireland.
5
Bikes can be brought on trains free of charge, but there may be some restrictions during peak times.

Killiney, County Dublin

DART commuter train

Train journeys around Ireland

Belfast to Coleraine (1.5 hours)
Belfast to Derry~Londonderry (2 hours)
Dublin to Belfast (2.5 hours)
Dublin to Cork (2.5 hours)
Dublin to Galway (2.5 hours)

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 center to discover charming suburban spots such as Ranelagh and Phibsborough.

Got questions?

Irish Rail has a handy online guide that covers everything from WiFi and traveling with pets and bicycles to facilities for disabled travelers. Translink also has information about accessible travel.

Insider tip: Rail services will be less frequent on Sundays and on public vacations, 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".

Downhill Beach, County Londonderry Downhill Beach, County Londonderry

Useful links