DART – Dublins suburban train

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The suburban train in Dublin is called DART. It is operating in and around Dublin since 1984. The name has nothing to do with the well-known throwing game, but is an abbreviation for “Dublin Area Rapid Transit”. However, the DART is not quite that rapid – it is a rather outdated railway system. The cars of the DART are relatively new, but the tracks are in dire need of a total overhaul. There are still sections of track with a top speed of 30 km/h and less. The DART mainly uses old tracks of the Irish railways, some of which were built in the 19th century.

For tourists, however, a trip on the DART is still awesome. Tourist are hardly ever in a rush. First of all, the track and the landscape are an experience. Especially a trip with the DART south along the Irish coast is beautiful and an unforgettable little adventure for railway fans like me. Secondly, despite the slowness of the DART there are hardly any faster alternatives to get to the suburbs of Dublin. The streets in and around Dublin are often congested, so you won’t be faster by bus or car. Another argument is the cheap fare of the DART. For 5-6 Euro you can make a day trip to the peninsula Howth in the north or to Bray in the south.

Transfer by bus from Dublin Airport: Those arriving in Dublin by plane will need a transfer in the city centre. Taxis are expensive in Dublin. But you can book a cheap bus on the internet:  On this link you will find more information and the tickets for the Dublin Airport Bus

DART lines

Actually the DART consists of only one main line. It runs from the northern suburbs of Dublin through the centre of the Irish capital to the southern suburbs. Most tourists board the DART at Connolly station in central Dublin. The northbound DART line splits at Howth Jtn. into two parts. One leads to the touristically very interesting peninsula Howth, the other to Malahide. The track to the south is much longer and ends in Greystones, a place by the sea about 30 km south of Dublin.

Different Tickets Dublin Airport Transfer

DART fares

A trip with the DART is cheap, the fares depend on the distance.

Here is an overview of some fares from Connolly Station (Dublin city centre) for a one-way trip (status 2018):
Dublin – Howth (terminus on the peninsula): 3,30 € ;
Dublin – Greystones (terminus of the DART in the south): 6,00 €.

If you just want to make a day trip, you can also get off one stop before Greystones in Bray. Then the one-way ticket costs only 3,85 €. Bray is a touristy place with a long beach, typical Irish houses, many restaurants and a kind of small all-year-round fair with rides and the like – not a bad destination for a day trip.

You can earn a little money with a return ticket. In the case of Greystone it costs 10,90.

DART Travel times

The trip Greystones in the south from “Connolly Station” takes approximately one hour, to Bray you need about 44 minutes. To the north it is much faster. The trip from the city centre to Howth takes roughly half an hour. Normally there is a train every 15 minutes in both directions. The operating hours are about from 6 am to 11:30 pm, on weekends the trains do not leave until 7 am and sometimes in a lower frequency (only 2 trains per hour).