Rediscover the joy of the train: Stories from an Intercity route
Taking the train is time better spent - whether you choose to catch up with a friend, relax and have some 'me time' or catch up on some work
Making the most of the journey: families can enjoy the extra leisure time train travel provides. Photograph: Getty Images
The road to Dublin is lined with tolls and traffic - not to mention the parking nightmares. Taking the train takes the stress out of travel - whether you choose to catch up with a friend, browse your phone, or just have a snooze. We spoke to some rail users on the Cork to Dublin route about why the train works for them.
‘It’s nice to look at the scenery - plus I’ve been able to get some work done’
French Canadian Greg Amyot was travelling on business from Cleveland, Ohio, with his wife Karen Amyot.
“We flew into Dublin last week from the States, spent the weekend there and then got the train down to Cork as I had business in Blarney. We stayed in the city for the week and are on our way back to Dublin now, to fly back to the States. We never take the train at home - we drive everywhere usually - but we’ve really enjoyed travelling by train in Ireland, it’s all been very relaxed and friendly,” says Greg.
“Plus, I’ve been able to get some work done en route, which is great. It’s great to have free wifi and somewhere to charge your phone as well. It’s our first time in Ireland and we’ve loved it. We’ve been made feel so welcome.”
‘The train is the easy option, especially after four night shifts in a row’
Nurses at CUH Grace Fitzpatrick and Jess Buttimer, both aged 24, were travelling to the Mumford & Sons concert at Malahide Castle.
“We are massive fans of Mumford & Sons so we are really excited. I’ve just come off my fourth night shift so the main reason for getting the train is to catch up on some sleep,” says Fitzpatrick.
“We chose the train for the comfort really. It’s tiring driving all the way to Dublin - and stressful. I couldn’t bear the hassle of trying to find parking and the expense of it - when you factor in petrol costs, getting the train works out cheaper. It’s nice to be able to sit and chat in comfort. You can use your phone and have a cup of tea - it’s all very convenient and there’s no stress. Everything is within reach and there’s plenty of space.
“The train is just the easy option. We booked online so got a discounted rate and you get to pick your seats.”
‘The train means I am able to visit my daughter and her family every couple of months’
Donal and Helena Higgins from Frankfield in Cork were going to Dublin to visit their daughter and her family.
“We are staying for the weekend in Mountmerrion and we are really looking forward to it. We are going to see our daughter, her husband and our two grandchildren who live there. We may go to Stillorgan and Dundrum as well while we are there,” says Donal.
“I have been visually impaired for 14 years, so I haven’t been able to drive since then. It’s meant a lot of changes but it’s important that I can still get about and visit my family. The train is great for us - there is always someone to help if we need it and it’s very comfortable and relaxing. The staff are very helpful and polite, the toilets are clean and it’s a peaceful way of travel.
“The train means I am able to visit my daughter and her family every couple of months and that is so important to us.”
‘It’s smooth and comfortable and we can have a good chat and a laugh’
Rita Walsh and Mary Foran come from Ashbourne in Co Meath. They were travelling back from Cork after a week in Trabolgan with the Lions Club.
“We love the train, and we have had a great laugh,” says Walsh. “It’s smooth and comfortable and we can have a good chat and a laugh.
“The staff have been very helpful and polite and we have had a great time after our week away.”
‘We decided to hop on the train and have a day out in Dublin’
Students Rian O’Connor, 21, from Kerry, and Sarah Stuart, 23, from Cork, decided to take the train to Dublin on a whim.
“We just decided to hop on the train at the last minute and have a day out in Dublin. We are going to do some shopping, have dinner and come home afterwards as we are both working tomorrow,” says O'Connor.
“Travelling by train is so comfortable. We can get up and walk about, can sit together, have free wifi and somewhere to charge up our phones. I get the train from Kerry to Cork quite a lot."
‘It’s nice to just chill and relax’
Eleanor Ryan was travelling to Dublin for the day
“I haven’t been on a train in a long time but I’m really enjoying it. I’m going up to do some shopping. I’ll come back later today - I’ve an open ticket.
“You can switch off and relax on the train, read a book or do a bit of work on the go.
“My work is very busy so it’s nice just to chill and relax when I’m travelling. I’d like to go to Belfast next so I’m hoping to use the train more in the future.”
For more, visit www.irishrail.ie