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Transportation Dublin to Northern Ireland(Ballycastle) in July 2024

My husband and I have a 2 week trip to Ireland planned for this July -we fly in and out of Dublin but plan to visit Causeway Coast with base in Ballycastle for first part after a day in Dublin and then back to visit Galway, Killarney and back to Dublin again. We are not particularly comfortable renting a car and driving and had planned to utilize train and buses for intercity (and taxis within cities) but I'm quite stressed now that I've discovered the Enterprise train will not run from Dublin to Belfast due to the new Belfast station change transition happening. Any suggestions/help on combined train and coach to get us there(with our luggage) and back or do we need to just tough it out and be anxious and drive? The Translink site and the Irish rail site are a bit vague for travelers coming from the states for the first time.

Posted by
119 posts

You could take an organized tour from Dublin to the Causeway Coast as a day trip. I'm doing one from Belfast through Paddy Wagon, I think, which was recommended on here.

Posted by
6734 posts

This is what is happening-

Wednesday 3rd July – Early Autumn 2024 - Summer railway line closure. The rail line will close between Belfast Lanyon Place and Lisburn during July and August the southern corridor will operate from Lisburn southwards to Portadown/ Newry.

Express bus substitution services will operate between Europa Buscentre (off Glengall Street / Gt Victoria Street) and Lisburn Train Stations every 10mins ( Monday to Saturday & every hour on a Sunday).

A direct express shuttle will operate between Europa Buscentre & Lanyon Place every 30 minutes at quarter past the hour and quarter to the hour.

Passengers can also walk, cycle or use scheduled Metro or Glider services to interchange between Belfast Stations (York Street, Lanyon Place, Botanic, City Hospital)

Note: Lisburn Road Train Stations will be serviced by Metro and Ulsterbus Lisburn Road scheduled bus services.

Valid rail tickets can be used on Metro/Glider Services to interchange between these stations.

All other rail lines will remain open from Belfast Lanyon Place / York Street Station to Derry~Londonderry, Larne and Bangor.

Cross Border Services will operate from Portadown with coach transfers from Belfast to Newry to connect with the Enterprise Train.

The exact timetable is not yet published.

The regular cross border Translink bus service (the one that calls in to Dublin Airport) will still be running, takes not much longer than the train, and connects directly at Belfast Europa for Ballycastle.

EDIT- The train from Newry to Dublin takes 53 minutes. The normal express bus takes 65 minutes. Add on time to transfer from train to bus and you only have a 20 minute time penalty.

Posted by
2 posts

Thank you both for your replies☺
isn31c, this was very helpful and much more detailed info than I was able to find on my online searches as far as the bus transfers etc.! I had decided that we would likely take the Dublin Express Coach and found that we should be able to store our luggage on Ulsterbus or Goldliner routes onto Ballycastle. Also appears once in Belfast station, that we can get day or week
iLink cards(Zone 4) for our 4 days of sightseeing from our Ballycastle base as well as our trips from and back to Belfast-I'll have to add up the various stops we plan on to see if the cost is worth the card vs individual trips(I did go ahead and put the mLink app on my phone.) So excited about this trip and grateful for these forums to help in the planning details!