Ireland is often referred to as the emerald isle due to its abundance of luscious green pastures. In turn, there is no better way to explore the country than by its historical railway which opened in 1834. Despite a reduction at the turn of the century which left only a third of the original railway system, travelling by train in Ireland has never been more efficient than it is today, with the construction of its first Light rail line in 2004 and links between the divided north and south at an all time high!
Ireland’s capital city, Dublin, dominates the railway landscape in Ireland. The most travelled routes tend to be the busy commuter lines to the capital from Cork, Limerick, Galway, Kilkenny and Killarney. In addition to between the major cities in the Republic of Ireland, another extremely popular train journey is that from Dublin to Belfast which is a cross-border train service, provided by Enterprise, linking the two capital cities together.
There are three different rail services in Ireland, all of which are provided by the national railway system Iarnrod Eireann. On average Iarnrod Eireann carries around 40 million passengers each year and was founded in 1987. The train service is organised into four regional areas (north, east, south, west, with half managed by Connolly and the other half by Heuston - the two biggest stations in Dublin.
Train operators in Ireland predominantly offer high-speed InterCity trains travelling long-distance routes all around the country, with the majority of their services starting from Dublin. They also offer commuter services which are based out of Dublin and accommodate the huge number of people living around the peripheries of the city. The DART (Dublin Area Rapid Transit) runs along the eastern coast of the capital city; which, along with being highly efficient and reliable, is beautifully scenic and relaxing.