The Irish Side

Goodwick is just 62 miles from Rosslare (as the Stena Ferry sails). And once you arrive, a whole new world of transport connections open up. Here’s a sample …

Rail and bus times in Ireland

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Shortly, on the Fishguard side of the Irish Sea, all eyes will be on the reopening of Goodwick Station. For some of us, the trip to Fishguard Harbour might become a thing of the past. But we’d be missing out if we didn’t make use of the rail and bus links waiting for us in Rosslare. From Ireland’s south-east port, Dublin is only three hours away, Waterford under two hours, and Belfast 5-6 hours.

Living in Fishguard, we can’t avoid long journey times to get anywhere east of Cardiff. So we might as well take advantage of living just as near Wexford as Bridgend, and explore our nearest neighbour. This timetable, helpfully compiled for us by Bernard Allan of South Wexford Integrated Forum for Transport, is an excellent start. Click on the timetable to enlarge, and for a full size printable pdf, go to the Timetables page.

6 Comments

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6 Responses to The Irish Side

  1. Rhydgaled

    Living in Fishguard, we can’t avoid long journey times to get anywhere east of Cardiff.Which is why we need the Swansea District Line opened for regular passenger service with trains from Carmarthen to Cardiff calling only at Llanelli, Port Talbot and Bridgend and a journey time of 1hr 25mins (or slightly less, 1hr 22mins is just about possible).

    With sensible depolyment of loco-hauled stock, and the 150 that I think is currently leased to Northern, I think if we’re lucky there might be three class 158s to be released. I think two of those are needed for the promised (but not delivered) hourly service on the Cambrian main line, but it’d be great if the third could be used to introduce Cardiff – west Wales expresses.

    I’d suggest a morning departure from Milford or Fishguard, gaining Cardiff by 10:30. The 158 would then run the existing fast boat train to and from Fishguard, accelerated to the above journey time and with additional stops at Bridgend, Port Talbot and Carmarthen. It would then run back west at around 17:39 to allow west Wales passengers to avoid the sardine train, and get them home to Milford and/or Fishguard earlier from a similar departure time.

    • Spad

      The Swansea District Line has been in our sights from the start. It is just as important for the future of Welsh public transport as the already-improved north-south services. Fishguard Trains plans a big push in the new year – first the Goodwick Station reopening, then the Swansea DIstrict Line campaign is the plan.
      Commenters have already contributed valuable knowledge and suggestions about the line, past, present and future. Keep your thoughts coming, and we’ll move the campaign to the top of the agenda in 2012.

  2. Swansea Jack

    Nice to see a focus on the transport links over in Ireland. I’m impressed with the improvements to rail connections from Dublin that now meet with the ferry for the first time in many a long year. A day trip (with an early start granted) is now possible to Dublin on a Monday to Friday, but the new connecting train unfortunately does not run from Dublin to Rosslare on a Saturday.

    The biggest shame of it all is that when the trains ran through to the port terminal in Rosslare the train connections from Dublin where abysmal. Now that the train services connect up with the ferries the long walk from the terminal building to the new, remote station is an issue.

    We need to ensure that what is a perfect physical link between Ferry and train at Fishguard Harbour is not allowed to deteriorate in the same way as part of the Marina development. In all the excitement over our new train services we need to remember that the busiest trains remain the boat trains with their connections into the ferry that is only a short walk from the train platform. we must not lose that advantage like Rosslare has done!!!

    The loss of a train connection to Waterford and onwards towards Limerick and the Irish South West is a shame too – it means rail-sail trips to Kilkenny via Waterford are off the agenda now – such a shame!

    • Rhydgaled

      Good point about making sure Fishguard Harbour station stays open, and where it is, even if the service there is reduced back to 2 trains per day when Fishguard & Goodwick opens. Another big disapointment is that, now we finally have trains to connect with the fast ferry, there will be no fast ferry.

      For another reason why the harbour station is important, see this picture: http://www.sixbellsjunction.co.uk/photos/89S03-17.jpg from this page: http://www.sixbellsjunction.co.uk/80s/890513hr.htm. If aviation is ever taxed to a level that reflects the enviromental damage it causes, or that Icelandic volcano errupts again, there will probablly be far more demand for rail-sail to Ireland. When that happens, long trains like that might return, and you wouldn’t fit the full length of an Intercity 125 in Fishguard & Goodwick’s platform.

  3. DBJ

    Had quite a few interesting experiences on both sides of the Irish Sea. The first time I did rail and sail there was a 125 service to Fishguard and wooden paneled loco hauled stock from Rosslare, which made our trains look positively futuristic! How times have changed, now with their EU funded new units compared to our pacers it’s the other way round! On my second journey up the line to Dublin we were told that the direct return service would arrive 20 mins after the ferry had left, so we had to go from Heuston station via Limerick junction and Waterford (it was quite literally a long way to Tipperary that day!) just to make our sailing. It baffled me a lot quite as to why the inhabitants of Rosslare Harbour with their one chip shop, garage and a phonebox benefitted so much from having the train from Dublin arrive 20 mins later, as I just assumed the entire purpose of that station was to serve the ferry services. So I am delighted to hear that Ianron Eireann have come to their senses and re-scheduled the Connolly trains to meet the boats, but saddened to hear about the Waterford branch, it was great fun shuttling back and forward several times at Limerick junction just to get onto the right line, and bouncing around on the jolty tracks!

    And yes, finally we get a train service to meet up with the Lynx in the summer, just a shame Stena have flogged it on to the Koreans!

  4. Swansea Jack

    Yes it was a shame about the loss of the Lynx. I realised that it was struggling, but had hoped that the arrival of the new, connecting train service would have allowed Stena to see how things worked out for next Summer before making a final decision.

    Reminds me of the 1 year (unadvertised) trial of the Lord Warden on a Fishguard to Dun Laoghaire Summer only service back in around 1978. Reasonably successful, advertised for the next Summer, but cancelled, so that we never saw if a properly advertised service would work. I always wondered how much the influence of Holyhead affected that decision!

    I do remember however that the new train service was not dependant on the connections to the Lynx service, just that such a connection might have been a useful to some non-car travellers. Shame!

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