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Unread 28-08-2012, 20:28   #121
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Nothing seems to have come of the possible changes to Stena's Fishguard and Holyhead overnight sailings cited earlier in the year to make them closer to a normal sleep pattern.
Haven't come across anything. Would hope that if something is being planned that there would be a reasonable lead-in to it to enable co-ordination with the rail service. Integration of trains at Fishguard Harbour with the Rosslare ferry is prescribed in the rail franchise. Not sure if it's prescribed for Holyhead but in view of the much more frequent train service (24 trains depart Holyhead daily Mondays to Fridays) trains and ships will by default coincide reasonably well.

The two areas that could be improved on in terms of co-ordination/timetabling at Holyhead are:

(i) the night-time situation ex Ireland (as previously discussed).

(ii) an improved level of connectivity with the through trains to Euston e.g. great that the 09.10 ex Euston connects with the 13.50 & 14.10 sailings to Dublin but no through train to London out of the 11.30 and 11.45 ferry arrivals at Holyhead except at weekends. (I didn't mention the 10.45 Jonathan Swift fast ferry arrival as in heavy weather it would be cancelled and passengers transferred to the Ulysses arriving at 11.30). One daytime through London - Holyhead train connecting with the conventional sailings to/from Dublin seems a very reasonable minimum provision.

On the issue of ferry sailing times my personal opinion is that they are largely historic. For example today's sailing times from Dublin Port (08.05, 08.20, 08.45, 20.55 & 21.15) closely mirror the bygone days of the St. Columba sailing from Dún Laoghaire at 08.45 and 20.45.

Similarly for the last few decades or longer a ship has sailed from Rosslare between around 21.00 and 22.00hrs and plied the route to Fishguard.

On a quick aside hopefully the route from Dún Laoghaire to Holyhead will remain. Personally think a smaller fast ferry doing two round trips in the summer and one round trip off season might be better. Pity that fuel costs have affected things on this route to such an extent.

In case anyone is interested there's a consultation underway in Wales where users' views of integrated transport are being sought. Views must be submitted on this Friday at the latest. Details here:
http://wales.gov.uk/topics/transport/public/ptuc/questionnaire/;jsessionid=SmTwQ9nFXyBJfnG2pJMPSf76W9rbBcQB9xJP9h Yjv1RDQprlpKzT!1219044931?lang=en

Last edited by Traincustomer : 28-08-2012 at 20:39. Reason: minor addition
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Unread 29-08-2012, 08:45   #122
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is it something to do with tides?
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Unread 29-08-2012, 08:54   #123
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Not since they moved the ferries out to the outer harbour in Holyhead 15+ years ago
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Unread 30-08-2012, 08:07   #124
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Interestingly the Dutchflyer Rail & Sail service (via Stena Line’s Harwich to Hook of Holland route) saw a 7% increase in usage for the first half of this year with the period from April to June seeing 11% growth.
Unlike other rail and sail offers, this one is actively promoted. I wonder if it's because it is very well integrated as this video shows? And it's a good revenue stream for Greater Anglia Trains, compared to diluting revenue on the other routes? (Rail and Sail fares to Ireland are usually lower than most fares to the departing port). This isn't the case with the Harwich route.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=CxEgAcnOywY


I think what has happened with Rail and Sail to Ireland is that the temporary loss of foot passengers thanks to rise of low cost airlines made the ferry companies amend their schedules to were the business was: cars and freight. In the process, they destroyed the connectivity that was there. Yet, there is a definitely an untapped market for people growing weary of airline nickle and diming.

Just some random, unchecked thoughts!
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Unread 31-08-2012, 18:25   #125
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is it something to do with tides?
If I remember rightly the B & I Line service from Liverpool to Dublin used to be particularly prone to tidal restrictions but think they were on the Liverpool side.
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Unread 31-08-2012, 18:33   #126
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Originally Posted by Sealink View Post
Unlike other rail and sail offers, this one is actively promoted. I wonder if it's because it is very well integrated as this video shows? And it's a good revenue stream for Greater Anglia Trains, compared to diluting revenue on the other routes? (Rail and Sail fares to Ireland are usually lower than most fares to the departing port). This isn't the case with the Harwich route.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=CxEgAcnOywY


I think what has happened with Rail and Sail to Ireland is that the temporary loss of foot passengers thanks to rise of low cost airlines made the ferry companies amend their schedules to were the business was: cars and freight. In the process, they destroyed the connectivity that was there. Yet, there is a definitely an untapped market for people growing weary of airline nickle and diming.

Just some random, unchecked thoughts!
I think the integrated rail/sea terminals on the London-Netherlands route make a big difference along with the fact the crossing time neatly fits a normal sleep. Shipboard facilities are just as good on the Irish Sea but the shorter crossing time results in overnight journeys being fragmented.
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Unread 31-08-2012, 21:11   #127
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Default HSS Dún Laoghaire Christmas 2012 & New Year 2013 service:

The Stena Explorer (HSS) will operate from Dún Laoghaire to Holyhead this Christmas and New Year.

Having spent several minutes going through the booking engine on the Stena Line website the sailing schedule is 10.30 ex Holyhead and 13.30 ex Dún Laoghaire with a passage time of 1 hour 59 minutes.

Dates seem to be Thurs 20th to Sun 23rd inclusive.
Thurs 27th to Sun 30th inclusive and Weds 2nd Jan 2013 to Sat 5th Jan 2013 inclusive.

Last edited by Traincustomer : 31-08-2012 at 21:12. Reason: typo
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Unread 10-09-2012, 17:25   #128
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Default Additional Xmas & New Year Irish Ferries Dublin to Holyhead sailings

On December 22nd, 23rd, 27th and January 2nd and 3rd the Isle of Inishmore (conventional vessel) will operate:

* a 13.00hrs Dublin to Holyhead sailing arriving Holyhead 16.40 - the booking engine currently shows that SailRail bookings using this sailing are possible on the 22nd and 23rd December (but for other dates there is insufficient space).

* a 18.30 Holyhead to Dublin sailing arriving Dublin 22.00 (booking engine currently shows SailRail bookings possible for 2nd & 3rd January)
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Unread 01-12-2012, 13:47   #129
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Stena HSS returning to Dun Loaghaire next summer!

Was it not their intention to remove these vessels from traffic?
Good to see them back, even after 15 odd years they still look great.

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Unread 01-12-2012, 16:20   #130
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They have added a further 15 minutes on the journey time, they might be able to cross now with only 2 of the 4 turbines running

2:15 is the scheduled time, 99 minutes was the original time and 90 minute was possible on a good day back then

Fuel costs, plus charges in Dun Laoghaire port are the problems
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Unread 09-12-2012, 01:09   #131
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Default Christmas & New Year Travel 2012

Arriva Trains and Virgin Trains information and SailRail availability here: http://www.railusers.ie/forum/showpo...57&postcount=3
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Unread 12-12-2012, 23:28   #132
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Default Additional bus journeys between Dublin Ferryport and Heuston :

A new timetable has been introduced on Dublin Bus route 53B (that operates as a private hire to Irish Ferries for ferry foot passengers) which sees additional journeys each way between the Ferryport and Heuston. Link: http://www.dublinbus.ie/en/Your-Jour...-Connections1/

Previously there was only one early-morning journey in each direction between the Ferryport and Heuston.

This new timetable only seems to have come into effect in the last week or so.

It is a welcome development which should make SailRail a more appealing and feasible option when travelling to/from provincial destinations. Stepping off a train at Heuston and onto a dedicated bus to the ferryport is streets ahead of a fragmented trip across the city entailing possibly being a standee on a LUAS and waiting at Busáras for the bus to the ferryport.

PS: nice shot there Sealink of the HSS!

Last edited by Traincustomer : 12-12-2012 at 23:28. Reason: addition
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Unread 23-12-2012, 23:40   #133
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Default earlier train from Holyhead on Saturday 29th December:

Of possible assistance to anyone travelling to London (or other destinations) for the New Year is that Arriva Trains Wales will operate an earlier train from Holyhead on Saturday 29th December. This train will be suitable for ferry foot passengers arriving off the 20.55 Irish Ferries and 21.15 Stena Line sailings from Dublin.

The train will depart Holyhead at 03.35 and arrive at Crewe at 05.33 serving Bangor, Llandudno Junction and Chester en route.

At Crewe it'll provide a connection into the 06.18 Crewe to London Virgin Trains service which arrives into Euston at 08.34. En route the train will serve Nuneaton, Milton Keynes Central and Watford Junction.

HSS Dún Laoghaire - Holyhead Sailing schedule 2013:

The HSS Stena Explorer will run between 22nd March and 10th September 2013 (both dates inclusive) and again at Christmas 2013 (presumably New Year 2014 too). The passage time has recently changed from 2 hours to 2 hours 15 minutes, quite understandable given fuel costs. Sailing from Holyhead at 10.30 and at 13.30 from Dún Laoghaire.

Last edited by Traincustomer : 23-12-2012 at 23:47. Reason: minor addition
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Unread 03-01-2013, 17:52   #134
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Default 2013 fares

Irish Ferries have the new fares listed on their website. The only change apparent is a €1 fare increase on the single fare (€2 on a return).

From Dublin Ferryport on the conventional vessel Ulysses the (advance) fares are:

Britain Zone A €39 single (was €38 in 2012)
Britain Zone B €40 single (was €39 in 2012)
Britain Zone C €41 single (was €40 in 2012)
Britain Zone D €43 single (was €42 in 2012)
Britain Zone E €46 single (was €45 in 2012)

The supplement for travel on the fastcraft Jonathan Swift remains at €6 each way and the additional charge of €6 for booking on day of travel remains unchanged. Irish Rail add-on fares (for travel to Dublin from provincial stations) remain unchanged too.

Irish Rail's small section on SailRail still shows Dublin to London as €45 so perhaps Irish Rail are not implementing the 2013 fares yet?

If there was an award for SailRail information and innovation Irish Ferries would win it this side of the Irish Sea. Whilst it's not a perfect product they are taking a real interest and making a real effort to project and improve it.
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Unread 21-02-2013, 12:59   #135
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HSS is running out of dun laoghaire as of tuesday!

It is running as cover for one of the ships that has been taken out of service for refurbishment following a docking incident in Holyhead.

It sails from dun laoghaire at 15.05

Last edited by ThomasJ : 21-02-2013 at 13:05.
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Unread 21-02-2013, 13:24   #136
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The Nordica was in Rosslare, as the Europe is dry docked and is now in Belfast to cover the twin superfast ships

Finnarrow got into serious trouble in Holyhead on Saturday night and it most definitely is out of service

The Nordica doesn't take foot passengers, but the HSS does

The HSS was due back March 22nd anyway.

Lights were on at the terminal in Dun Laoghaire last night

Last edited by Mark Gleeson : 21-02-2013 at 13:30.
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Unread 29-03-2013, 15:18   #137
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From Stena's website:

"Stena Line are pleased to announce that from Monday 1st April 2013 foot passenger will be able to travel on the 02:15hrs and 15:10hrs sailings from Dublin Port!"

With the Nordica having been in place since 2008, why has it taken this long? Good news though. The availability of the 0215 from Dublin port and 2030 from Holyhead offer some new Sail 'n' Rail travel opportunities.
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Unread 29-03-2013, 17:31   #138
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That's good news - particularly the 15.10 sailing ex Dublin. Even with a 18.40 arrival in Holyhead, London is reachable at just after 01.00 (change at Bangor & Birmingham). Between dedicated night buses and ordinary routes operating 24 hours a day there's about 8 bus routes serving Euston at this time and linking to a wide range of places across the city and suburbs.

The disadvantages of living in provincial Ireland and trying to use SailRail ex Dublin at present are that:

1. the 3 morning sailings (08.05 Irish Ferries conventional, 08.20 Stena Line conventional & 08.45 Irish Ferries fast ferry) are hard to access by public transport. While there are express coaches from various towns around Ireland to Dublin during the night it's unrealistic to reach Dublin at 05.00/05.30 for a sailing that's still a few hours ahead. There's nowhere to pass the time short of forking out for a taxi and a very long wait at the terminal. The first buses and trains from several provincial centres reach Dublin either too late or worryingly tight to make one of these ferries.

2. The afternoon sailings are a fastcraft from Dublin and the HSS from Dún Laoghaire (both susceptible to cancellation in windy weather).

3. The night sailings entail sitting in Holyhead for around 4 hours) awaiting the first train) and while Rosslare-Fishguard offers a viable overnight journey with no long wait, origin in Ireland and or destination in Britain may not be compatible with using the southern corridor.

An afternoon service operated by a conventional ferry essentially resolves point 2 making it possible to plan ahead further and allows the end to end journey be accomplished within a normal day. It will be interesting to see if Irish Ferries at a future date may introduce a conventional afternoon sailing (as per certain dates at Christmas).

As an aside Stena Line have also just introduced Rail and Sail via the Belfast - Liverpool (Birkenhead) route. Bookable via booking engine on UK site. Apparently they've a free shuttle bus from Hamilton Square Merseyrail station to the port. Can see it working very well as there's also an overnight option (8 hours crossing) each way daily.

The Steam Packet Company also note that Sail and Rail has been growing in recent years though that's via the routes between the Isle of Man (Douglas) and Heysham/Liverpool and not available on either the Dublin or Belfast routes (provincial Ireland to the IOM was available as a through sea-rail ticket in the 1990s or thereabouts). Incidentally the Dublin - Douglas route sees the lowest passenger figures of all of the company's regular routes - it used to be ahead of Belfast in terms of usage but now it's far below it.
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Unread 02-04-2013, 12:57   #139
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Yep good news indeed!

Also noticed that the stena line website is taking foot passengers for ALL sailings on the Dublin/dun laoghaire-holyhead route!

Last edited by ThomasJ : 02-04-2013 at 13:16.
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Unread 02-04-2013, 13:10   #140
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Looks like the Nordica's passenger certificate has been increased at overhaul, previously it was 400, HSS, Adventurer and Ulysses all take 1500+
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