Traveling by Rail in Ireland?

We hope to lodge in Dublin for three or four days later this (please see my Whithet Sligo post, below), and travel by rail to and from Sligo to spend a couple of days with relatives. We are relieved to find rail connections are available between Dublin and Sligo but we'd also like to venture forth on a day trip or two from Dublin. We are senior citizens and, while we're certainly still up for rail travel (we traveled by rail from Amsterdam to Brussels, then from Brussels to Bruges, and on from Brussels to London via the Channel Tunnel train, and made a couple of day trips from London to Brighton and to Canterbury), we don't feel comfortable renting and driving a car in Europe, including Ireland And the UK.

We read with interest the Webmaster's post about Dingle, but that is not a place that can be reached by rail, according to both the Deutsches Bahn and Irish Rail sites. Ireland is a lovely and colorful country but we're not sure that, with expanse of rural land, there may be many interesting Irish cities and towns to which we could make day trips by rail. Our plans are not wholly formed, e.g., dates, let alone lodging have not yet been selected so we've not purchased Rick's Ireland book but will when our plans are firmed and we're at reservation stage.

In the meantime, outside of Dublin itself, and Sligo, are there interesting Ireland sights that are accessible by rail?

Posted by Gail
Downingtown, USA
1658 posts

Just a thought, you might consider two days in Carrick on shannon which I seem to remember is halfway between Sligo and Dublin by train. Loved it and you can take a short cruise of the river.

Posted by Tim
Minneapolis, MN, USA
8700 posts

Ireland doesn't have a very extensive rail network. You'll have a lot more choices of routes and departure times if you're open to taking the bus. See the Journey Planner on the Bus Eireann site. The sooner you buy an Ireland guidebook the better. You'll find lots of suggestions for day trips out of Dublin.