The Rosslare Dis/connection – breaking news

DART Dublin suburban train


News has just reached us that Irish Rail are restoring the link between Stena’s ferry service from Fishguard to Rosslare, and the onward rail connection to Wexford and Dublin.

From Tuesday June 4th, instead of the evening rail departure leaving before ferry passenger can catch it, the service will be retimed so that afternoon ferry passengers can make the connection.

Lawrence Hourahane flagged up the welcome development to Fishguard Trains, earlier this evening (thanks Lawrence), and Bernard Allan passes on further useful detail –

19.15 ex Rosslare Europort InterCity train. Arrives Dublin Connolly 22.17. Serves the usual stations en route. Will run M-S inclusive.

On Sundays 19.00 Rosslare Europort to Bray InterCity, arriving 21.15. Change there to a DART (that’s the green electric trains that run around Dublin Bay). Arrive Dublin Connolly 22.12.

No one yet knows the reason for the change at Bray, but that’s no great problem – DART trains get you straight to many parts of the Irish capital, so changing there may be as convenient as changing at Connolly.

Apparently the reason for the Tuesday start of the newly timed service is that Monday 3rd is an Irish Bank Holiday.

There’s no doubt about it: this is tremendous news. With this single timetable correction, the southern Rail-Sail link from Wales to Ireland has been substantially restored. Now let’s look forward to a reopening of the Rosslare – Waterford line.

Fishguard Trains congratulates everyone who has taken an interest and raised questions about the issue. We look forward to hearing in due course, how the nonsense of the disconnected service was challenged and overcome.





Filed under News & weather

22 Responses to The Rosslare Dis/connection – breaking news

  1. Rhydgaled

    Good news. Do both sailings now have connections both in and out of the ferry, or is there still a lack of connections into departures from Ireland to Fishguard?

  2. Swansea Jack

    The only change restores a Dublin bound rail connection out of the afternoon Westbound sailing from Fishguard to Rosslare. This is great news as the concerted lobbying has produced positive results.

    It may prove more difficult to get the late afternoon Dublin to Rosslare rail service to be re-timed as Irish Rail (IR) focus that service more on homebound commuters heading South from Dublin rather than as a ferry connection service. Good start though, and IR need to be congratulated on an important first step in improving integration between ferry and rail services at Rosslare.

  3. Graham

    This is great news. Last year I had the sail/rail ticket, and wanted connections to Dublin or Waterford, but had to Car HIre instead, which was expensive.
    Does anyone know if you can now buy a through ticket from the UK, to Dublin? on the Railsail?
    Theres also lots of tickets that can be bought online via, that are very good prices, but it seems you cant buy a ticket in advance online for Rosslare-Dublin serivces or the advertised ‘Gathering’ ticket. Is there a ticket office or machine at Rosslare Europort station, or can you buy comfortably from the guard?

    Many thanks

    • Spad

      Good questions, Graham. You would have thought that selling through tickets for a through service would be a no-brainer. But then you would also have thought that a boat train that left before the boat docks could only have been thought up by someone with little brain. So your questions about ticketing need asking. Anyone help with the answers, please?

  4. Rob

    This is good news. I came back from a few days in Ireland last night and had a good look around the new station. Compared to a few years ago when it was an undercover walk from the ferry to the terminal and then from the terminal straight on to the platform the new layout is appalling. It would be a brisk 7 minute walk to the new platform, in the open air and having to cross the road compared to a very good set up previously. A connecting train is a good start, but through ticketing and re-siting the station back to its old location need to follow.

  5. Irishman

    Rail connections into Fishguard-bound sailings:

    09.00 sailing ex Rosslare: no train (Daily Bus Éireann Expressway route 40 from Waterford, New Ross, Wexford and points along the way):

    21.00 sailing ex Rosslare: 16.37 M-F train ex Dublin Connolly reaches the port at 19.25 (nice time for check-in). On Saturday & Sunday it would be necessary to travel ex Dublin Connolly at lunchtime on the 13.36 (Sat) and 13.45 (Sun). Both reach the port circa 16.30.

    In the reverse direction:
    06.15 arrival (02.45 ex Fishguard): 07.20 train from the port to Dublin Connolly M-S (09.40 Sundays).
    18.00 arrival (14.30 ex Fishguard): refer to good news above! (19.15 M-S from 4/6 & 19.00 Sundays from 9/6).

    Through ticketing is still available this side. It was disenabled on the Wales/England side due to the issues with connections at Rosslare. Seems to have been disenabled around 2009/10. It wasn’t available in early Autumn 2010 at which time the South Wexford Line still had its solitary train each way M-S. Whether this evening connection is suffice to see through ticketing reinstated is unclear. Arriva Trains Wales are in charge of this.

    Crucially this service is essentially a trial until the start of September:
    Hopefully it will become a permanent feature of the timetable. Spread the word and use when possible!

    The Gathering ticket needs to be easier to obtain – only a handful of rail stations sell it, have no idea which bus stations sell it. The ticket is a card type ticket/pass and is purchasable over the counter at the following railway stations: Cork, Dublin Connolly, Dublin Heuston, Galway, Killarney, Limerick and Sligo. It can however be purchased online via the Bus Éireann website:

    Last time in Rosslare there was no ticket machine but have heard one could be coming. There’s no ticket office since the port authority cum rail and bus ticket office on the ground floor of the ferry terminal closed in 2009/2010. Online tickets are available for some trains ex Rosslare. In the absence of a machine to collect tickets it’s necessary to print off the confirmation and show it to the ticket collector (I’ve seen notices at Rosslare Europort station stating this policy/procedure). Last time I travelled from the port with an online ticket the ticket checker gave me my actual ticket in Wexford. In the unlikely event of encountering no ticket checker and being asked any questions at destination station just state where you boarded and the absence of a machine or guard. If paying in cash just buy from the ticket checker (has a portable machine). The walk-up fares for the line are shown here:

    A ticket vending machine may or may not be put in place at Rosslare Europort station in the future (would be in an obvious position). This is something which could happen overnight and without notice. To be on the safe side if you see a machine and don’t already have a ticket, or a ticket to collect, buy from the machine.

    • Spad

      Your information is much appreciated, Irishman.

      It is also rather alarming. What we assumed was a permanent correction to the absurd rail timetable at Rosslare turns out to be a VERY short term amendment. Here’s Iarnród Éireann’s announcement:

      Iarnród Éireann will have amended service times on the Rosslare line from 4th June 2013 until 2nd September 2013 to provide greater connectivity for those returning to Ireland by ferry for the Gathering through Rosslare Europort.

      So this amounts to no more than the previous change to cope with Icelandic volcano traffic. We are getting just three months of sensible times (with little notice), then back to nonsense. Will that really happen in September?

      Alternatively, if this is a trial to test the water for a permanent change, where’s all the publicity here in Wales? Because it is travellers from Wales and England who need to know about this, and need to know about it now, not after the service ends in three months.

      Altogether very disappointing. We’ll be needing more letters to the Minister.

  6. Graham

    Thank you for all that info, very interesting and very useful.
    Its good to know details, the last thing you need, is to have a ‘all in’ railsail ticket from the UK to fishguard, and the ferry to Rosslare, to then be worrying and panicing about how you buy a ticket to continue to Dublin.
    Are the Rosslare-Dublin trains staffed with a guard selling tickets? I travelled on the Limerick-Galway service last year, and was amazed it had no guard at all, and the train driver himself done all the door closing.
    In the uk, travelling on any route or rail provider without a ticket, not purchased from a ticket office or ticket machine, normally gets you a fine, even when the guard has a ticket machine around their neck!!

    Its also strange that it is possible to book advance tickets on via the internet and pick up the tickets from the station or machine, but only SOME services from rosslare allow advance purchase, and from looking, the boat train connection train does not allow you to purchase online.

    Any help?

    I bought all my train travel tickets online from last year, and picked the tickets up daily from the station. Saved tonnes of money doing this.

  7. Graham

    Think its important that Arriva trains and and Stena along with england/wales travel and tourist offices/railway stations advertise this new connection, and hopefully make a through ticket easy to find and buy too.
    Such a great service and price, it needs to be shouted about, so the service after september is kept permenant.

    Travelling from pritty much any station in england/wales, with ferry travel too for £40 ish each way really is amazing !

  8. Irishman

    Glad the info is of help. Rosslare-Dublin trains generally have a guard/ticket checker. Limerick – Galway trains are different in that even the smallest stations e.g. Ardrahan have ticket vending machines (TVMs).

    I think the reason for some Rosslare trains not being bookable online is that those trains are (or can potentially be) operated by commuter stock. Don’t know any way around this I’m afraid.

    Incidentally the through fares from this side are:
    Dublin Connolly/Wicklow/Rathdrum to Zone A (e.g. Carmarthen) €54
    Dublin Connolly/Wicklow/Rathdrum to Zone B (e.g. Cardiff) €55
    Dublin Connolly/Wicklow/Rathdrum to Zone C (e.g. Swindon) €56
    Dublin Connolly/Wicklow/Rathdrum to Zone D (e.g. Birmingham) €58
    Dublin Connolly/Wicklow/Rathdrum to Zone E (e.g. London) €61

    Arklow/Gorey to Zone A (e.g. Carmarthen) €49
    Arklow/Gorey to Zone B (e.g. Cardiff) €50
    Arklow/Gorey to Zone C (e.g. Swindon) €51
    Arklow/Gorey to Zone D (e.g. Birmingham) €53
    Arklow/Gorey to Zone E (e.g. London) €56

    For Enniscorthy, Wexford and Rosslare Strand it’s usually cheaper to buy a separate ticket to Rosslare and the SailRail from Rosslare onwards.
    The above fares are the advance purchase fares. For tickets bought on the day of travel add €6 to the above fares.

    There has been talk that the Irish Rail online booking fee (€2/€3 depending on which card used) is to be abolished but nothing seems to have come of this. There is also a plan to sell SailRail tickets online.

    It is great that the whole journey from much of England/Wales can be completed in one day and during daylight too. Hopefully the service will be retained beyond September.

  9. DBJ

    I think we need to give some credit to Paul Davies AM, he has been lobbying on our behalf about this issue in the Senedd and has also written to his counterparts in Ireland. It’s good to see the democratic process being successful!

  10. Graham

    Was in Wexford on Sunday and saw 3 services during the course of the day pass through, 2 in the Rosslare direction and 1 in the Dublin direction.
    Although not travelling on them that particular day, I must say the 4 carriage train to Rosslare was packed, along with the following 3 carriage service to Rosslare. Neither of these services were for the Ferry, so it shows on a summer sunday, that line really does get used.

  11. Irishman

    Last week’s Wexford People newspaper (issue of Tues 30th July) carries the following piece:

    “Train change to stay
    IRISH Rail plans to make permanent the later departure of the train from Rosslare to Dublin to allow time for passengers arriving by ferry from Wales to connect with the service.
    Wexford’s Deputy Mayor Cllr. Joe Ryan said he had a meeting with Irish Rail at which he had been told that as more passengers than expected had used the service it was to remain in place with a 7.15p.m. departure time.
    Under the previous timetable, the last train from Rosslare left before ferry passengers were able to make the connection. Irish Rail also confirmed to Cllr Ryan their intention to re-configure trains to provide additional seating on the Rosslare-Dublin route.”
    Was on the evening trains three times in recent weeks and on the Sunday 19.00 there were 20 or so onboard leaving the Harbour (several had come from the ferry terminal; I hadn’t come off the ferry myself on this occasion but had been in the ferry terminal briefly). At Rosslare Strand 40/50 passengers boarded; some had evidently been down to the fine beach (5 mins walk from the station) for the day and were returning to Wexford/Enniscorthy.

    On the weekday 19.15 from the Harbour around 30 boarded at the Strand.

    Kelly’s Hotel in Rosslare Strand is a popular spot and there’s a tradition of many travelling to it (from as far afield as Dublin and probably beyond). On one of my journeys an elderly lady passenger on my train checked with me that the Strand was in fact the right station for Kelly’s.

    There’s also a reasonable resident population in both Rosslare Strand and Rosslare Harbour.

  12. anthony

    This idea of a bridge/tunnel from Pembrokeshire to Ireland along with one from scotland looks to be good and would certainly provide a lot of jobs in the economic climate. How about when Crossrail is done can we borrow those TBM’s.

    A through train from London to Dublin by Fishguard I think would bring a lot of benefits to the region.

    • Rhydgaled

      £3.5bn for a bridge (how is that even possible?) and more for a tunnel? You could probablly build my ‘Welsh HS2 Equivalent’ (a Y-Shaped network linking north to south with lots of 90mph running including new lines from Merthyr to Newtown, Welshpool to Gobowen and Porthmadog to Bangor) for less than that.

      My idea is rather pie-in-the-sky (unless Wales gets a Barrnet consequential out of England building HS2 and uses it for my project), a bridge or tunnel to Ireland would be even more so.

  13. Swansea Jack

    I cannot see a rail tunnel or similar to Ireland. Probable likely route if it did happen would be Holyhead to Dublin as that would have the greatest traffic densities, serving the likes of Manchester, Birmingham and the North East as well as the London market unlike a Fishguard – Rosslare alignment. Secondly Holyhead to Dublin is about 40 miles across the Irish sea, thus approximately double the Channel Tunnel underwater stretch (although the actual tunnel is longer, as would be any Irish sea one). As far a jobs go – in the short term building phase I agree, however longer term it would destroy the Ferry routes to Ireland.

    You also need to consider that Ireland now has direct ferry links to France (from Rosslare) and relies less on the UK as a route between the Republic and Mainland Europe than in the 1980s. Finally, at what point would the rail gauge change from 4 foot 8.5 inches to the Irish gauge of 5 foot 3 inches.

    Good as it sounds to have a fixed link not reliant on weather conditions the traffic densities on all routes to/from Ireland cannot make a commercial case to finance a fixed link.

    This story is typical of the Summer silly season ‘ lack of proper news so we’ll make something up’ type than a serious proposal. I thought this story dated from April 1st when I first read it…….

  14. frustrated_rail_sailor

    I’ve just returned from Co Cork via Fishguard to Oxford – by car 🙁

    Just a few points!

    1/ The 1430 sailing to Rosslare now has no connection to anywhere in Ireland now. The ferry docks Rosslare at 1800 and the *last* train to Dublin leaves 5 mins earlier than that. Cretinous – especially considering that Rosslare is a ‘Europort’ largely created with money from the EU – presumably to improve trade and transport within the EU. Irish Rail need a good kicking. Grrrrrr…..

    2/ Unlike a 100 years ago there are no long distance ‘boat’ trains from Fishguard to anywhere except Manchester. If one is travelling from Manchester to Ireland you’d go Holyhead-Dublin!

    3/ I tried purchasing a railsail ticket from Stena – no listing at all. Even a journey originating in Cardiff going to Cork is routed Holyhead-Dublin.

    4/ The closure of the Rosslare to Waterford line is a crying shame and going entirely in the wrong direction. It seems that Irish Rail ran down the train service to make it very unattractive indeed – a perfect reason for closure. To get to Cork one has to go via Dublin. Even with the Waterford line reopening you have to travel well north to Limerick Junction. It would be wonderful to see the Waterford-Dungarvan-Mallow line re-opening – but that’ll never happen – a shame as it’s the perfect route to the west of Ireland from west Wales and most of southern England.

    On the Rosslare-Waterford line I gather that the track is not owned by Irish Rail (the only line in Ireland that isn’t) – instead I believe Stena Line own 50%?

    Surely Stena are missing a trick here? If they own Fishguard Harbour station and 50% of a railway on the other side they could really push for environmentally sound tourism to western Ireland and the reverse. Can not Stena push Irish Rail to restore the boat trains and the Rosslare-Waterford service?

    5/ Grump over – I only spent a few hours in Fishguard – and what a great place! Decent pubs, lots of festivals, glorious coast and hinterland, superb history (the French attempting to invade – the tapestry in the Town Hall is wonderful), excellent vernacular architecture, better rail connections now… and so on. Fishguard is a town with a lot going for it – far more attractive than many coastal towns (or inland towns) I could name. For those of you who live there – treasure it – for those that don’t – go and see for yourself!

    • Spad

      We do greatly treasure Fishguard – and thank you for your warm words.
      As for your impressive Grump, there’s lots to chew over here. Who wants to get started?

    • Rhydgaled

      “2/ Unlike a 100 years ago there are no long distance ‘boat’ trains from Fishguard to anywhere except Manchester.” Boat trains from Fishguard to Manchester? I am missing something? I thought the daytime boat train only goes to Cardiff (and in the other direction starts from big Newport). Sure, there’s a Fishguard to Manchester service, but that’s the 08:04, not a ferry connection service.

      At least the daytime boat train is an express service though. Nearly every other service at stations from Carmarthen west is a detouring slow train. The result is that the SWWITCH rail strategy executive summary (published last November) includes a table which makes for grim reading. Rail to Cardiff, it says, is 30 minutes slower than the car from Carmarthen, 28 minutes slower from Fishguard (excluding the express boat train) and 41 minutes slower from Milford Haven.

      As for the Irish side, it certainly is a crying shame that the rail connections are gone. Let’s hope the same fate doesn’t befall Fishguard in a little over six months time (I’d like to know exactly when the trial ends, I’ve tried asking ATW and they keep avoiding giving a straight answer).

      • frustrated_rail_sailor

        “Boat trains from Fishguard to Manchester? I am missing something? I thought the daytime boat train only goes to Cardiff (and in the other direction starts from big Newport). Sure, there’s a Fishguard to Manchester service, but that’s the 08:04, not a ferry connection service.”

        Yes – you’re quite right Rhydgaled – it’s not a boat train – a typed in haste and perhaps some anger! The point stands though – although it’s the connections at Rosslare that are the real problem.

        I spent some time compiling a list of political representatives – EU, UK and the Dail – who I think I’m going to complain to in writing. However it made me realise that EU parliament elections are later this year. The Ireland East constituency is due to be split and Nessa Childers is standing instead for Dublin. Perhaps there is room here for some pressure on candidates for the new constituencies in Ireland and in Wales – a public statement of support for a real real-link. In conjunction with say a Facebook/Twitter campaign in both Britain and Ireland there is some advice for voters as to which candidate most supports it – and moreover companies can be very sensitive to social media. This kind of pressure has been sued in the past quite successfully in places. Just an idea…

  15. Nicholas Murphy

    I agree with frustrated rail/sailor Re ;Rosslare to Waterford rail line- it is indeed a shame that this line is lying idle. When the college WIT is open the traffic tailback in New Ross in the evening is a nightmare. If a rail service was running on this line it take all the students travelling to Waterford and this service would take the pressure off the bridge in New Ross, When the WIT is closed for the holidays there is no problem in New Ross, There is going to be a new bridge over the river Barrow @ a cost of 450 million euro, Surely it would make sense to reopen this line.

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