Get Inspired / Europe / Ireland Ireland by Rail: The Top 5 Railway Journeys Collpicto Share on email Print this article Share on Facebook Get Inspired / Europe / Ireland Ireland by Rail: The Top 5 Railway Journeys story by: House of Travel As far as quintessential United Kingdom icons go, you don't get much more authentic than Thomas the Tank Engine. And while Ireland's rail network isn't exactly like what you see on Sodor Island (Thomas' fictional hometown, of course!), it's still fairly impressive. Here are five of the best journeys you can undertake by rail - just watch out for the Fat Controller. Dublin to Belfast Head from capital to capital when you journey from Belfast, Northern Ireland's capital to Dublin, the capital of the entire Republic of Ireland. These two centres are only around 160 km apart and as such can be conquered by motor vehicle, but what's the fun in that? Avoid the traffic and see some spectacular parts of the country with a train ride. Take the InterCity route, which is operated by Northern Ireland Railways and Iarnrod Eireann, and be sure to check out the viaduct over the Malahide estuary as one of the major scenic highlights of the trip. The railway viaduct was built in the 1800s, and the estuary itself is a prominent bird site, particularly during winter. If you keep your eyes peeled you may witness the internationally important Brent Geese population, along with 15 other nationally important species. Journey along two other viaducts, one of which crosses Drogheda's River Boyne and the other passing over 18-arch Craigmore Viaduct, on a trip that should take around two hours and 15 minutes. You'll pass through Lisburn, Portadown and Dundalk on a train that features in-seat audio, power points, overhead and table lamp lighting and even in-seat catering. Dublin to Galway Head cross country from Dublin to Galway on this journey, which spans around 200 kilometres and presents travellers with stunning views around Oranmore, a coastal stretch of Galway Bay, and even the sights of Burren in County Clare. The trip takes between two and a half to three hours and passes through the townships of Tullamore, Athlone, Kildare and Athenry. Pay special attention to the iron railway bridge over Athlone's River Shannon, which dates back to around 1850. You'll end up in Eyre Square after crossing Lough Atalia. Dublin to Rosslare This three hour train trip is possibly one of the most scenic in all of Ireland, sending you along a coastal path to offer you expansive views across the water. Watch out for Killiney Bay, which is visually spectacular and boasts the homes of some of United Kingdom's most rich and famous. Often compared to Italy's Bay of Naples, the bay features a popular beach set alongside a mountainous backdrop. The train slows along the waterfront in Wexford town, which is a sleepy little area with a silted estuary and a fascinating Viking past. This is an ideal place to hop off and explore, breaking up this journey with a breath of fresh seaside air and a poke around the old town. Derry to Coleraine The train trip between Derry, also known as Londonderry, and Coleraine has been described by Michael Palin as one of the world's most beautiful, setting off in the historic city of Derry and meandering along the riverside. Follow the River Foyle toward a lush green landscape, stopping in Bellarena before journeying on to Benone Strand's beautiful unspoiled beach. Downhill's maritime cliffs have to be seen to be believed, with plenty of wildlife to spot if you're alert. Stop off in Castlerock for a beach picnic before continuing on your trip past the local golf course, zooming along the River Bann and into Coleraine, where you can enjoy the local shopping. Cork to Cobh Take a short 25 minute trip from Cork's Kent Station through to Cobh, with plenty of scenic highlights to take in along the way. Coast over the Belvelly Channel and choose your stops, which include Little Island, Fota Wildlife Park and Carrigaloe, or continue right the way through to Cobh station. This town is significant as it is the last departure point for the ill-fated Titanic voyage, and there is plenty of that history to soak up while you're visiting. MORE ABOUT THE UK & EUROPE This article was inspired by ‘10 Best: Irish train rides’ by Pól Ó Conghaile” Enquire Now First name* Last name* Email* Phone How can we help? My preferred House of Travel Store* Select Outlet Auckland Albany: Auckland North Botany Junction: Auckland South Browns Bay: Auckland North Devonport: Auckland North Ellerslie: Auckland Central Hobsonville: Auckland West Howick: Auckland East Milford: Auckland North New Lynn: LynnMall Auckland West Newmarket: Auckland Central Orewa: Auckland North Parnell: Auckland Central Ponsonby: Auckland Central Remuera: Auckland Central St Heliers: Auckland East Takanini: Auckland South Takapuna: Auckland North Whangaparaoa: Auckland North Bay of Plenty Mt Maunganui Papamoa Rotorua Taupo Tauranga CBD the Crossing Canterbury Ashburton Barrington: Christchurch South Christchurch City: Christchurch Central Ferrymead: Christchurch East High Street Lanes: Christchurch Central Hornby: Christchurch West Merivale: Christchurch Central Northlands: Papanui Christchurch North Rangiora Riccarton: Christchurch Central Shirley: Christchurch North Timaru Upper Riccarton: Christchurch West Hawke's Bay / Gisborne Havelock North Jenny Nilsson: Hastings Nelson / Marlborough Blenheim Motueka Nelson Richmond Northland Kerikeri: Northland Whangarei: Northland Otago / Southland Alexandra Balclutha Dunedin Lakers Gore Lakers Invercargill Oamaru Wakatipu: Queenstown Wanaka Taranaki / Manawatu Broadway: Palmerston North New Plymouth Stephen Parsons: Palmerston North Wanganui Waikato Calder & Lawson: Hamilton East Cambridge Coromandel: Whangamata Hamilton: Hamilton Central Matamata Morrinsville Taupo Te Awamutu Wellington / Wairarapa Featherston Street: Wellington City Hunter St CBD: Wellington City Johnsonville: Wellington North Kapiti Coast: Paraparaumu Lower Hutt: Wellington North Masterton West Coast Greymouth Hokitika Westport I would like to receive email updates on the latest HOT holiday deals HOT Privacy Statement * required fields Similar Journeys Add or remove from Wishlist Insiders guide to the British high tea Read more Add or remove from Wishlist Live like a local in Dublin Read more Done this? Tell your friends about it.