Enterprise is the name of the train which runs between Dublin and Belfast on the island of Ireland. This service connects the Republic of Ireland with Northern Ireland which is in another country, the United Kingdom. There is a common travel area between the two countries so there are no immigration or customs checks on the journey.
Heading northbound from Dublin the train stops at Drogheda and Dundalk in Ireland, then Newry, Portadown and Lisburn in Northern Ireland before reaching Belfast. Tickets cost around €20 each way in standard class. First Plus costs €61 one way or €99.00 return however you can get it cheaper by upgrading a standard class ticket.
There are two main stations in Dublin which are Heuston and Connolly. Services to the south and west of Ireland depart from Heuston while those to the north and west depart from Connolly. Online electronic tickets are not yet available so tickets booked online must be collected from a machine.
Facilities at the station are basic with one coffee shop type place at the concourse. The Belfast Enterprise train boards from platform 2 on the right hand side and is appropriately signposted.
There is no lounge for Enterprise First Plus passengers so arriving 10-15 minutes before departure should be ample time to board. First Plus passengers have dedicated attendants who you will see waiting at the door to check your ticket as you board.
Enterprise First Plus Carriage
Standard Class seats are arranged two by two with tables in between most pairs. In First Plus, seats are arranged two by one with tables between most pairs. There are always a couple of seats which have only a pull down table to cater for all tastes.
All seats have charging ports for devices located in easy reach. These were added in the Enterprise mid-life refurbishment which was completed in 2016. There is free wireless Internet provided also and I found the service to be very good.
Toilets are located between the carriages. The display which shows destination and next stop also shows whether the toilets are occupied or vacant. The toilets are kept clean throughout and really are not very busy.
Enterprise First Plus On Board Service
Once everyone is on board and the train starts moving, the Enterprise First Plus attendant comes around a tray of complimentary welcome drinks. You can choose from apple juice or orange juice and I chose apple on this trip. Shortly after, you are offered the menu and a newspaper.
All services before midday are breakfast services on the Enterprise. This means you can have a proper Irish breakfast to start or continue your day. To see the rest of the menu, it is available on this page of the Irish Rail web site. A conductor comes around immediately after leaving to check your ticket at your seat.
My choice was the Enterprise Plus Full Breakfast where you choose six items from the list on the menu. From the list, I selected the sausage, bacon, potato bread, black pudding, white pudding and poached egg. The eggs are cooked any way you like which is a nice touch. Toast and tea or coffee completes the meal.
It is unfortunate that only one of each item is provided with the breakfast. The sausages – well sausage – is delicious and to only have one is a bit poor. It is literally six items and for €12.15 it is expensive for what you actually get. You pay much less in Dublin for a full Irish and it would be a plate full of food.
Despite that, there are condiments, jam, butter – everything you could possibly need is provided with the tray. The quality of the food is outstanding, I just thought there could have been more of it. Perhaps that’s just because I am quite greedy!
The Enterprise is the perfect way to travel from Dublin to Belfast or vice versa. The service is fast, well priced and very comfortable. Tourists should also use this service instead of the bus as it runs along the coast and provides a gorgeous view of the Irish Sea and the countryside along the way.
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