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Irish Rail - Iarnród Éireann

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Iarnród Éireann (IÉ; in English Irish Rail), is the national railway system of the Republic of Ireland. Established on 2 February 1987, it is a subsidiary of Córas Iompair Éireann (CIE). It operates all internal intercity, suburban and commuter railway services in the Republic of Ireland, and, jointly with Northern Ireland Railways, the Enterprise service between Dublin and Belfast.

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      13.10.2008 22:17
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      Playing a long overdue catch-up with other European networks. A great way to see Ireland

      As with much of Ireland's infrastructure, Iarnród Éireann, the country's national rail network has seen a massive improvement in investment and service. Once a poor neighbour to the UK's rail system, IÉ has a comprehensive and popular network of intercity and commuter services that reach a substantial (if not complete) cross section of the country, with regular connections to Belfast and the Northern Ireland Railways network.

      IÉ's network is predominantly un-electrified - only the DART (Dublin Area Rapid Transport) has electrified service, and it provides fast and relatively frequent service to north and south Dublin, although frequencies are sometimes patchy outside peak times. "Intercity" routes radiate from Dublin's two major stations: Connolly (for the north and north-west) and Heuston (for the west, south-west and south). Older trains have almost completely been replaced by modern locomotive hauled stock or diesel multiple units, with comfortable two class service between Dublin and Cork, Limerick, Tralee, Ennis, Galway, Waterford, Rosslare Europort, Sligo, Westport and Ballina.

      "Commuter" trains serve additional towns and intermediate stations. Most of these radiate from Dublin, but there are a handful that serve towns around Cork and Limerick. These services have responded to Dublin's exponential growth and can be very busy as commuters travel to and from the capital from suburban towns.

      Passenger numbers have risen in the last few years, and so have many fares. But service is, on the whole, improving. The trains are more and more modern and more and more reliable. Flagship services such as the Dublin-Cork and Dublin-Belfast "Enterprise" (co-operated with Northern Ireland Railways) are very comfortable and a highly recommended component of a car and stress free holiday in Ireland.

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