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Dublin: 9 °C Sunday 21 April, 2019
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Extra trains to be put on for Pope's visit to Phoenix Park

Irish Rail has also laid on special services from Westport, Ballina and Athlone to/from Claremorris for the Knock shrine event on Sunday 26 August.

Pope Francis
Pope Francis
Image: SIPA USA/PA Images

EXTRA TRAINS ARE to be provided by Irish Rail for the papal visit later this month.

The transport provider said it will provide capacity for up to 250,000 journeys for those travelling for the Papal Mass in Phoenix Park on Sunday 26 August, as part of the visit of Pope Francis for the World Meeting of Families.

Extra trains will operate to/from Dublin on all Intercity routes, and a high frequency of DART and Commuter services will operate also.

There will be free travel on all public transport within Dublin on Sunday 26 August for anyone attending the event.

There is no car park where attendees will be able to park up and walk to the event in the Phoenix Park. The event organisers have secured additional car parking for this event but these car spaces are for those availing of Park & Ride facilities.

Intercity

Irish Rail said today that advance booking of Intercity train tickets is mandatory for the Papal mass on Sunday 26 August.

It said this applies to regular services, and extra trains which will operate from Cork, Kerry, Limerick, Galway, Mayo, Sligo, Rosslare and Waterford to Dublin on the morning of 26 August, returning in the evening.

It said that Intercity train tickets will not be available for sale on the day and that there will be no access for anyone to Intercity trains who does not have a ticket or reservation.

Irish Rail said that for existing ticket holders, including free travel pass holders and season ticket holders, an advance reservation is essential for travel on Sunday 26 August.

Reservations for this date are free of charge, and can also be booked at the Irish Rail website. They will not be available at stations.

Irish Rail said that those travelling by Intercity should also note:

  • Customers must travel on the train they book – due to high demand, there is no flexibility to change to other services
  • Trains will have unallocated seating. Please take any available seat on your train.

DART and Commuter services

Extra DART and Commuter services will operate on Sunday 26 August before and after the papal mass.

The National Transport Authority has announced that holders of tickets to the Papal Mass travelling in the short hop zone (that means DART, and between city centre and Balbriggan, M3 Parkway, Kilcock, Sallins, Kilcoole) can avail of free public transport on this date.

Additional services

There will also be a number of additional services:

DART

  • DART services will begin from 6am, and will build to a frequency of every 10 minutes from 9am onwards, and directly after the event
  • Connolly Station and Tara Street Stations are the closest points on the DART network to Phoenix Park – commuters can also transfer at Connolly for trains to Ashtown, for closer access to Phoenix Park.

Maynooth/M3 Parkway

  • Connolly to Maynooth/M3 services will begin from 6am, and will build to a frequency of every 10 minutes in each direction (alternating between Maynooth and M3) by 10am, and directly after the event
  • Customers travelling from Maynooth/M3 Parkway inwards are advised to alight at Navan Road parkway station, for access to the Phoenix Park
  • Customers travelling from Connolly are advised to alight at Ashtown Station, for access to the Phoenix Park.

Northern Commuter (Drogheda/Dundalk)

  • Services begin from Dundalk from 6am (Drogheda 7am), building to a frequency of every 20 minutes from Drogheda, hourly from Dundalk by 10am
  • Translink will operate extra Belfast/Dublin Connolly services
  • Connolly Station and Tara Street Station are the closest points on the DART network to Phoenix Park – commuters can also transfer at Connolly for trains to Ashtown, for closer access to Phoenix Park.

Heuston Commuter routes

  • Extra trains will operate from Portlaoise and Kildare
  • First service from Portlaoise at 7.57am Portlaoise to Dublin Heuston
  • Heuston Station has closest access to Phoenix Park

Irish Rail said that public transport services, including rail, will get people to the events faster, particularly due to the major restrictions in place for private cars

It advised people to take account of the walking distance from the station to the Papal Cross, and allow time for this walk when choosing train times.

There are over 6,500 car parking spaces in greater Dublin area train stations, including 1,300 spaces in M3 Parkway alone.

An Iarnród Éireann spokesperson said Irish Rail looks forward to bringing people to the event.

We cannot stress enough how essential it is for customers to book Intercity travel in advance – this will ensure that all can travel to and from the event in comfort.

Knock event

Irish Rail has also laid on special services from Westport, Ballina and Athlone to/from Claremorris for the Knock shrine event on Sunday 26 August, including a free Bus Éireann bus transfer to/from Knock.

Extra services will operate at:

  • 6am Athlone to Claremorris
  • 6am Ballina to Claremorris (change at Manulla Junction)
  • 6.10am Westport to Claremorris
  • 1.35pm Claremorris to Athlone
  • 2pm Claremorris to Westport/Ballina (change at Manulla Junction for Ballina)
  • Scheduled Westport/Heuston services will also serve Claremorris, including 7.50am Westport to Heuston

As with Intercity services to/from Dublin, anyone who wishes to travel on these services must pre-book their rail ticket. Even if you hold an existing ticket or are a free travel pass holder, you must reserve your seat in advance of the event.

Full details on rail services for the World Meeting of Families events are available at www.irishrail.ie

Full details on the Papal visit are available at the official website.

Customers can book travel at: www.irishrail.ie or 018366222 and are advised to do so as soon as possible, as Irish Rail said that trains will sell out.

The Gardaí have issued the following advice:

  • Leave your car at home
  • Take public transport to and from the event or use private coaches
  • If travelling within Dublin walk to the transport hubs
  • Be prepared to walk on the day and suitable footwear is recommended

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