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Unread 19-05-2010, 16:04   #1
lightbulb
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Default SailRail London to Gort

Hello all,

I'm planning to travel from London to Gort in August by SailRail

My intended itinerary is as follows:

Euston 1210
Chester 1412

Chester 1425
Holyhead 1614

Holyhead 1715
Dublin 1915

Dublin Heuston 1130
Athenry 1347

Athenry 1638
Gort 1716

And returning

Gort 1521
Limerick 1628

Limerick 1655
Limerick Junction 1722

Limerick Junction 1732
Dublin Heuston 1930

Dublin 1430
Holyhead 1630

Holyhead 1721
Chester 1913

Chester 1955
Crewe 2018

Crewe 2047
Euston 2245

However, I'm coming up against a few problems.

When trying to book a return ticket over the phone, Gort is not listed as a destination. The nearest stations that I can buy a ticket to are Athenry and Ennis.

As I want to travel out via Athenry, and return via Ennis, will I be able to travel to and from Gort without being excessed?

If I buy a ticket to Athenry, but want to return from Gort via Limerick, would the ticket be valid?

The rules say that I have to complete my journey on the same day, but as the last train to Gort leaves Dublin (via Athenry) at 1525, I've no choice but to stay in Dublin overnight. Assuming that will be allowed, am I obliged to take the first train the next day, which is at 0730, or does the rule apply that I may recommence my journey by 1200 noon the next day as in the UK?

I'd also like to upgrade to 1st class, and as my travel between London and Holyhead and back will be on Saturdays, assume that Weekend First will be available on the train (on the Virgin part). Likewise, would I be able to take advantage of Club Class on board the Swift? Irish Rail also have 1st class upgrades available any day of the week. Are all these upgrades available in conjunction with Sailrail tickets? "The Man in Seat Sixty-one..." website specifically states that 1st class is only available by booking each portion of the journey separately.
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Unread 19-05-2010, 17:18   #2
Colm Moore
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Quote:
Originally Posted by lightbulb View Post
Dublin Heuston 1130
Athenry 1347

Athenry 1638
Gort 1716
Is the extended stop in Athenry deliberate?

Quote:
When trying to book a return ticket over the phone, Gort is not listed as a destination. The nearest stations that I can buy a ticket to are Athenry and Ennis.
This may be because Gort is a commuter / regional station and you can't reserve a seat to it. You should be able to buy a ticket only, without reservation. In a weird twist you should (certainly on the website) then be able to reserve the Dublin-Athenry bit.

Quote:
As I want to travel out via Athenry, and return via Ennis, will I be able to travel to and from Gort without being excessed?
I'm not sure if Irish Rail have made it clear what counts as a parallel journey for Limerick-Athenry. Certainly if the booking system returns a specific train path you can use it, but if it isn't returned, they have tended to treat it as not permissible. Potentially, worst case, book a ticket as far as Ennis, only travel to Gort and buy a single Gort-Ennis on the second day.

Quote:
If I buy a ticket to Athenry, but want to return from Gort via Limerick, would the ticket be valid?
I don't think so. The only permitted path for Athenry-Heuston is via Athlone.

Quote:
The rules say that I have to complete my journey on the same day, but as the last train to Gort leaves Dublin (via Athenry) at 1525, I've no choice but to stay in Dublin overnight. Assuming that will be allowed, am I obliged to take the first train the next day, which is at 0730, or does the rule apply that I may recommence my journey by 1200 noon the next day as in the UK?
AFAIK I know, you need to commence the journey before the last day of validity of your ticket and if you can't complete the journey same day, proceed by the first train the next day.

Quote:
I'd also like to upgrade to 1st class, and as my travel between London and Holyhead and back will be on Saturdays, assume that Weekend First will be available on the train (on the Virgin part).
I can't comment on Virgin. EDIT: http://www.virgintrains.co.uk/weekend-first-class/ I presume your ticket is standard class and so an upgrade is an option.

Quote:
Likewise, would I be able to take advantage of Club Class on board the Swift?
I can't comment for certain, but AFAIK, they sell upgrade on the ferry. No idea of cost. EDIT: http://www.irishferries.com/clubclass.asp

Quote:
Irish Rail also have 1st class upgrades available any day of the week. Are all these upgrades available in conjunction with Sailrail tickets? "The Man in Seat Sixty-one..." website specifically states that 1st class is only available by booking each portion of the journey separately.
You should be able to buy a first class upgrade on the day, provided the service has first class and available seats. They prefer if you buy the upgrade in the ticket office, but if that is closed, get it on the train.
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Unread 19-05-2010, 21:44   #3
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The Gort thing is probably because the station only recently reopened so isn't on the UK booking systems. (It has Carrick-on-Suir, Greystones, Fota, Gorey, Boyle, Mosney, Ballymena, Portrush, and Clonmel, all of which are quite challenging to book to.)
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Unread 19-05-2010, 23:22   #4
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Originally Posted by Thomas Ralph View Post
The Gort thing is probably because the station only recently reopened so isn't on the UK booking systems. (It has Carrick-on-Suir, Greystones, Fota, Gorey, Boyle, Mosney, Ballymena, Portrush, and Clonmel, all of which are quite challenging to book to.)
I'm not certain, but I think its classed the same as the Rosslare line, where reservations are also problematic.
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Unread 20-05-2010, 00:56   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Colm Moore View Post
Is the extended stop in Athenry deliberate?
No, just a long wait at Athenry for the connecting train to Gort!

Quote:
I'm not sure if Irish Rail have made it clear what counts as a parallel journey for Limerick-Athenry. Certainly if the booking system returns a specific train path you can use it, but if it isn't returned, they have tended to treat it as not permissible. Potentially, worst case, book a ticket as far as Ennis, only travel to Gort and buy a single Gort-Ennis on the second day.
So are you saying that a ticket to Ennis is valid for travel via Athenry?


Quote:
You should be able to buy a first class upgrade on the day, provided the service has first class and available seats. They prefer if you buy the upgrade in the ticket office, but if that is closed, get it on the train.
How much is this, and is the upgrade valid for the whole journey, or per train?

Thanks for all your help
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Unread 20-05-2010, 02:11   #6
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I found this also: http://www.virgintrains.co.uk/ticket...rains-ferries/

I can't imagine the ferry companies turning down money if there is space available. Although do note that if its a "volcano day" it may be busy.

Quote:
Originally Posted by lightbulb View Post
No, just a long wait at Athenry for the connecting train to Gort!
Ah, are you travelling on a Sunday? There is a quicker connection on other days.

Quote:
So are you saying that a ticket to Ennis is valid for travel via Athenry?
Yes, but only when the booking system offers it.* On Sunday, this is the 16:30 ex-Heuston (arrive Gort 1930, Ennis 2003 perhaps a bit late in the evening). On other days it is the 07:30 and 14:30 ex-Heuston.

* There is a lack of clarity otherwise.

Quote:
How much is this, and is the upgrade valid for the whole journey, or per train?
You can get an upgrade on-line for €20 per journey, i.e. €40 out and back. Not sure how much it is at the booking office or on-board.

There is no first class between Athenry and Ennis. Very little first class Ennis-Limerick. First class on selected trains Limerick-Limerick Junction (mostly the direct trains to Dublin, although main of these avoid Limerick Junction). But first class normally available on Heuston-Athenry and Limerick Junction-Heuston.

http://www.irishrail.ie/your_ticket/ticket_descriptions.asp
Quote:
Ticket Type
Adult UpGrade

Available to
Adults (inc. Students)

Description
Reserving a Citygold/First Class (1) seat for people in possesion of a standard class ticket on certain Iarnród Éireann INTERCITY Services (excluding Cross Border) the supplement applies for each single journey on a particular route irrespective of type of ticket held. Upgrades are subject to availability.

Other notes
When purchased online you will be assigned a reserved seat at no extra cost on the reservable leg(s) of the journey.


(1) Citygold Serives are only applicable to the following Cork services 07.00, 08.00 & 17.00 to Cork and 06.30, 07.30 & 17.30 to Dublin Monday to Friday. All other premier services on the Cork and other Intercity routes are first class.
If arriving late in the evening at a destination, it would make sense to have accommodation reserved.

Quote:
Thanks for all your help
No problem. Just add your experiences here: http://railusers.ie/forum/showthread.php?t=193
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Last edited by Colm Moore : 20-05-2010 at 02:14.
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Unread 18-06-2010, 20:41   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Colm Moore View Post
I'm not certain, but I think its classed the same as the Rosslare line, where reservations are also problematic.
A few weeks ago I tried booking through by train and ferry from Sheffield to MIDLETON on the recently reopened line in Cork, but the computers at Sheffield would not recognise Midleton as a destination; I assumed that through bookings apply to Intercity destinations only, and while Midleton is right at the end of a route which runs via Cork, it is obviously not recognised in the same way as, for example other 'extremities' like the towns of Ballina or Westport which are hardly any larger than Midleton...

The only way I could do it was to book to Cork as I have done previously and get a single to Midleton from Cork...
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Unread 19-06-2010, 07:44   #8
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I would suspect it's something far more mundane, that the National Rail systems haven't been updated for the reopening of the Midleton line. They have some, but not all, IÉ stations on the system (Fota and Boyle are both on it, for example).
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Unread 20-06-2010, 18:51   #9
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Did you make sure they spelled it "Midleton"?
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Unread 08-07-2010, 17:21   #10
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Thomas Ralph is probably right; the system hasnt yet been updated; I would assume that the booking computers at British stations would flag up all similar names as you type in the first letters, such as 'Middleton' in Manchester, 'Midleton' in Cork, etc. The automated self-service fares machines generally do this, as you type in the first letters, any corresponding names come up.
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