Fáilte!

“The big plus of Fishguard Harbour compared to most other ports around Ireland and Britain is that the transfer between ship and train is under cover and the ship’s gangway and train platform are moments rather than minutes apart with no cumbersome shuttle bus transfers.”

Not our words, but quoted from a brand new Irish website launched today: South Tipperary by rail

The non-commercial website, run by Bernard Allan, covers much more than rail travel in a corner of the Irish midlands. Navigate to the page headed Sea & rail via Rosslare – Fishguard to Wales & England, and you get an Irish-eye view of our line, our terminus and its place in the wider scheme of things. It is a refreshing change of perspective.

Instead of seeing our line as a remote extension of the UK rail network, in the gift of vote-seeking politicians (and sadly also at their mercy), Fishguard is seen as a key link in the chain connecting southern Ireland to Cardiff, London, Heathrow and the world. One moment you’ll be crossing Fishguard’s platform under cover from ship to train; a few hours later you’re on the tube at Paddington or checking in at Heathrow.

Which makes it all the more ironic that on the Irish side they are struggling to maintain the integrity of their rail network. The South Tipperary line serves the Irish midlands and south from Limerick to Waterford. It used to continue onwards to Wexford and Rosslare, to provide a continuous sail-rail service from southern Ireland to southern Wales and England. Instead, the line between Waterford and Wexford is closed, replaced by buses. Trains continue to run between Rosslare and Dublin, but the southern sail-rail route for which the Fishguard-Rosslare ferry is ideally placed, has been broken.

Not for us to comment on the politics of rail in Ireland (we can barely understand the politics of rail in Wales). But you might have thought that the European Union would take an interest in how people, goods, business and foreign tourists might best travel between these two neighbouring European regions. Next time a European politician canvasses your vote (they do that, don’t they?), you might ask how they propose to improve travel between southern Ireland and Wales.

Meanwhile we’re with you, Bernard, and a warm Fáilte! to your exciting new website.

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