Irish Rail First Class Worth It?

Feb 25th, 2014, 11:09 AM
Original Poster
Join Date: Apr 2003
Posts: 32
Irish Rail First Class Worth It?

In early May we're planning to take the train from Dublin to Killarney. Is there a difference in the seat size, comfort, leg room, etc. between First Class and Standard on this route? Or is it simply a carriage that has same size seats as standard, but fewer seats with another area (buffet?) taking up the remaining space? I can't seem to find much on trains in Ireland which address this particular route. I do realize that there is a change in Mallow and that the second leg (outbound) does not have First Class.

Timing would be late morning on a Monday outbound and return to Dublin on a Friday. We're looking mostly for space/comfort. In the UK at least, standard/second class is usually much more crowded but I don't know if that compares in Ireland.

denisede is offline  
Feb 25th, 2014, 12:39 PM
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check for insights on that.
PalenQ is offline  
Feb 25th, 2014, 02:11 PM
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denisede......I've found it's always more fun to be in 2nd class on trains in any country.
Isadore204 is offline  
Feb 25th, 2014, 05:00 PM
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Thanks for the links but I have already visited them and did not get my answer, unless I missed it.

The Irish Rail site mentions CityGold - Dublin/Cork route and First Plus - Dublin/Belfast route as both having extra legroom, etc. The "Other InterCity routes" (one leg which I will take via Limerick Junction) are Premier but do not mention anything about extra legroom.

I also found nothing noteworthy on the "Man in Seat 61" site that specifically mentions the Premier class.

Has anyone knowledge of the stock that Irish Rail uses for the Premier class and whether the seats are any different than Standard class? I've only found some older forum discussions that are now outdated.

I am asking here as I have looked at other sites including the above for the information I am seeking, and have not come up with anything. Google searches also provide little. It may mean that I need the answer from someone who has actually been on this route in the recent past, as it seems Irish Rail has added and improved their stock within the past year or two. The odds of finding this are not very likely, I'm afraid, but I thought it worth a shot!

Thanks all.
denisede is offline  
Feb 26th, 2014, 04:50 AM
Join Date: Mar 2011
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I have a Disability pass so get free sub 1st class travel on Irish rail, I am more than happy with that, the rolling stock is generally better than much UK stock.

Whether something is worth paying a lump more for or not depends if you have that lump more in your budget that wouldn't be better spent elsewhere.

If I had the money to pay Double the normal fare for 3 hours I doubt I would. but that's personal opinion.
Tony2phones is offline  
Feb 26th, 2014, 07:46 AM
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There is always a significant difference between second and first classes in any country on any train and that's why locals pay more to ride it - that's why there are first class cars - sometimes IME (not recently in Ireland) there are more empty seats in first class so you can spread out, etc. Seats are always larger in first class, with more leg room - there being fewer seats in the same-size train cars.

If you do not buy a ticket until getting to Dublin simply go to the station and look at the trains beforehand and see the difference in seat size, etc.
PalenQ is offline  
Feb 26th, 2014, 10:31 AM
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I did a bit more Googling last night using some different search parameters/wording. What I seem to find is that there is no difference in the size of seats or legroom, just a smaller compartment (half the carriage; the other half is the buffet) thus a little more private and perhaps quieter. And a few amenities (tea and coffee?).

So, to me, it appears it's not really worth it. The cost is, as Tony2phones says, double that of the Standard fare for this route when booked in advance. And the Premier leg is only 2 hours or so.

I had been hoping for a better experience in the Premier class as I have also read that at times the Standard can be very full. I want to be able to look out the window as this is a favorite part of why I take the train as often as I do in the UK and some other parts of Europe and not feel cramped and hemmed in. We were recently favorably impressed by the Virgin experience in First from London to Windermere, and then again London to Glasgow as we booked the quiet coach and had the quite comfortable single side seating so it was easy to get up and move about. They provided drinks and food. And I booked it far enough in advance so that the price was very close to the second class fare.

Thanks for the feedback on this, I appreciate it. It has helped me to decide against the First class on this route.

denisede is offline  
Feb 26th, 2014, 10:43 AM
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The benefit maybe that you are travelling the opposite way to the Dublin traffic who go to Dublin on Monday and From Dublin on Friday.
Tony2phones is offline  
Mar 3rd, 2014, 02:37 PM
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Premier class, which is what's available on most trains except for the Belfast line and the more popular Cork trains, is physically no different to standard class. Seats are not larger nor give more leg room. It takes up roughly half a carriage next to the buffet. On some services there is at-seat food service instead of having to go to the counter. The only other benefit is that this section of the train tends to be a bit more quiet. Standard class is perfectly fine in my opinion, I think the trains here are more roomy than in Britain.
Scampibear is offline  
Mar 5th, 2014, 08:54 AM
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Thanks, Scampibear. This again confirms what little research info I have been able to find, in addition to the posters here. It sounds as if you have first hand experience and that is what I am looking for. Standard class it will be, as Premier is too costly for what little advantage it may give.
denisede is offline  
Jul 17th, 2014, 10:53 AM
Join Date: Jul 2014
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I can't believe I found this post as I have been scouring the Internet to find this exact information. It had seemed like the first class is no roomier than the standard. My mate who is quite tall has been pushing for first, but I hate to spend extra money for extra benefits that aren't relevant to me. It looks like you took this trip in May; I am headed from Dublin to Ennis (via Limerick) in two weeks. Can you let me know what you found out? Were Standard and First comparable, especially in legroom? Was there Wifi in standard? Anything else? Thanks!
DarylD is offline  
Jul 17th, 2014, 11:07 AM
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I never rode in 1st class so far, but I found Standard Class very good on the InterCity trains in Ireland.
The cars were modern, clean - so were the lavatories.
Had no issues with legroom and I'm 6'3".
All in all very pleasant and uneventful.
Picking up the tickets from the station's kiosk was dead easy. So was finding the right car and the reserved seat (overhead displays show your name).
I don't remember if WiFi was there, but coverage is only so-so in the rural areas anyway (and also the train picks up the signal from the existing mobile network) so I would not get my hopes too high to be able to watch online video..
I did not get any refreshments on the train as I stocked up at Heuston station before I boarded the train.
Maybe one final bit of information: As access to the platform/trains is only possible so and so many minutes before departure, there is no sense in going to the station excessively prior to departure.
Cowboy1968 is offline  
Jul 17th, 2014, 11:18 AM
Join Date: Jul 2014
Posts: 4
Thanks, Cowboy1968. Very helpful. I'm with a crew of 4; two of us want train and 2 want to hire a driver. Great to have more points for the train! We actually have to figure out how to get from Ennis to Lahinch, so the driver side has its merits. But I like trains!

Two more questions:

We'll have two sets of golf clubs; is there room for them on train? Would you "check" them, or is there more storage than overhead bins?

Do you recommend buying tickets in advance online?

Thanks again!
DarylD is offline  
Jul 17th, 2014, 02:59 PM
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Standard class was fine for us. The trains in Europe and Japan just do not view legroom the same way that airlines do. Thank G-d for that.
BigRuss is offline  
Jul 18th, 2014, 09:57 AM
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Buying tickets in advance can save a LOT of money on Irish Rail.

I must admit that I have no clue how big these golf clubs or bags are. But you cannot check luggage anyway. So this should answer someone else who knows about this stuff.
Cowboy1968 is offline  
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