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Tourist pass for Irish Rail and BusEireann

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Jun 9th, 2016, 10:08 AM
  #1
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Tourist pass for Irish Rail and BusEireann

I am familiar with some bus/train passes issued to tourists. I used Open Roads which provides good short term travel on buses traveling main routes. I know they had a combination pass to allow some travel on trains but cannot see this one, think they called it Rambler. Booking bus tickets individually is reasonable but the rail train journeys, say to Cork or Killarney from Dublin, seem expensive. I am a senior citizen and familiar with routes. Going first to Killarney, would need a train back to Dublin for other stops. Did they discontinue giving the free rail pass to seniors, which was available a few years back?
Thought I might try to include trip to Great Atlantic Way going up to Donegal for 2 days. Any good suggestions on best way to plan. Know there is excellent Air Coach service from airport but would have to travel to Cork from Killarney to get this service. Not sure how many buses run between Cork and Killarney but one time I took a train to Killarney from Cork and had to return on bus to Mallow to connect with train. I will be in Ireland for 8 days so want to see the best places in late summer. Many thanks.
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Jun 9th, 2016, 11:36 AM
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Everyone aged 66 and over living permanently in Ireland, is entitled to free travel under the Department of Social Protection Free Travel scheme.
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Jun 9th, 2016, 12:54 PM
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I did not state that I live in Ireland. I reside in US and visit Ireland (where I was born)frequently.

Thanks.
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Jun 9th, 2016, 01:42 PM
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Look here: http://www.irishrail.ie/fares-and-ti...kets-explained

Click on "Tourist Tickets".
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Jun 9th, 2016, 03:15 PM
  #5
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Thank you for above web link. Since I might be able to manage with a few R/T routes, will check and compare. The pass costing Euro 110.00 is expensive.
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Jun 9th, 2016, 03:20 PM
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Canvagal, I knew that and that is why I posted what I did, only residents get the free pass now. You have to pay, no free ride. I would go to Westport from Dublin, then get the bus from there to Donegal.

From Dublin Heuston to Westport
Dep Arr Dur. & Chg.
07:35 10:55 3:20 1
12:45 15:55 3:10 0
14:45 17:55 3:10 0
18:15 21:17 3:02 0
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Jun 9th, 2016, 05:25 PM
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I looked at the schedules hoping I could order some tickets online but the Rail site shows that tickets cannot be booked online. Buying them ahead of time would mean a big savings but I might not be able to do this. The fares going to Killarney from Dublin is just under 50 euros each way. Have never been able to avail of the free rides that they offered but I remember seeing a Rambler ticket one time that included bus and a few rail and that would be my best choice if I could get it. Last year I had difficulty ordering bus tickets online but at last minute was able to book a R/T between Dub Airport and Athlone and it worked out to be a good deal. Thanks for your help.
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Jun 9th, 2016, 05:43 PM
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Are you looking at http://www.irishrail.ie/?
48.49€ for Killarney to Dublin is the last minutes online price. If you buy ahead, such as for June 18th, it can be 22.99€.

What does "the Rail site shows that tickets cannot be booked online" mean? Are you looking at tickets for August 9th or later at this point? Tickets up to August 8th are available right now. I have bought Cork-Dublin tickets at http://www.irishrail.ie/ and traveled just last week.
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Jun 10th, 2016, 11:33 AM
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I looked on Iarnrod.ie site a few times thinking that booking in advance would show cheaper fares and I looked at the Tourist Passes also. Will be traveling week of August 17 over several days. Not sure if Westport route is best. If I travel from Dublin towards Monaghan I think getting To Donegal Letterkenny might give me shorter route but realize its bus. Would take a train from Killarney early morning to try to connection. I have to pull out the maps again and check distances and check Buseireann. I did see a few times that the Tourist passes Open Roads and Rail pass cannot be purchased online and must be bought at a ticket window in Ireland. That is not encouraging, as last time I walked from hotel into Killarney train station on a Saturday morning to buy tickets to be told Ticket office is closed on weekends. Thought that is crazy during peak summer season. Luckily I met a uniformed person at one of the gates checking tickets at gate to train and told him I had to leave on next morning early train and he was so kind, told me he would be on duty next day and just see him and I could board the train without a ticket and buy from the conductor, which I did. Bus tickets for single and R/T journeys can be booked online and I did this, printed the confirmation and showed the bus driver at airport and it was perfectly fine, my journeys were paid in advance.
Since I'm traveling in August will keep checking the fares online and see if I can get organized. Thanks to all.

s
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Jun 11th, 2016, 05:18 PM
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I continued by search today on Buseireann site and found that they offer day trips and there is one from Killarney passing some very nice scenic areas and towns and along the Ring of Kerry returning to Killarney before 5pm. Its been years since I took the Ring of Kerry trip so that is worth a thought. I can buy the Open Roads for local journeys and pay the additional cost of the tour.

Also looking at tours in Northern regions and there is a nice day trip to Wild Atlantic coast from Donegal town along route to Killybegs to Carrick and then a break to walk some to see the cliffs which are tallest in Europe. This sounds like something worth considering. Would need to arrive Donegal town evening before to take this full day tour. I like doing this kind of independent touring without paying for escorted tour. Might only need to buy one r/t rail ticket to get to Killarney and return via route to reach Donegal town. Will look at the Killarney/Dublin train or to Westport and check the bus journeys to Donegal.
Any comments greatly appreciated. Thanks to all.
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Jun 13th, 2016, 04:05 PM
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The easiest way to get from Dublin to Donegal Town is by bus. It's a 4-hour journey. A single costs about €21, a return costs €31.

If you prefer to use trains, your closest railhead is Sligo.
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Jun 14th, 2016, 10:32 AM
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Thank you Padrai. I checked many schedules and routes for Buseireann. Could take bus from Killarney to Limerick, then change over on to Athlone route. Connect in Athlone for bus to Donegal. Thinking of doing the Wild Atlantic day trip which I would like since I enjoy hiking and photography. Hope to visit Irish Tourist office some time late this week to get more info on Wild Atlantic routes. This tour begins from Donegal town at Abbey Hotel.

Know people who started escorted tour from Letterkenny where they had base. Anyone know which direction might be better. Will need hotel in Donegal town if I take the Buseireann day tour. Any suggestions for hotel. Thank you to all.
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Jun 14th, 2016, 12:45 PM
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Most routes through the Irish midlands are not scenic. so Killarney-Limerick-Athlone-Donegal is just a transfer, not a great piece of tourism. The Dublin to Donegal route is slightly better: first, I suspect that you might have some affinity with Cavan, which is on the route; second, the last stage of the journey, via Enniskillen and alongside Lough Erne, has some scenic appeal.

There are tow hotels right in the middle of Donegal Town: The Abbey and The Central. Both are reasonably good, of approximately equal standard. There are other options, but I have not used them (and it's some years since I last used the Central and the Abbey). The centre of the town can be noisy at weekends.

If you stay in Donegal, the castle is worth a visit.
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