Just wondering if these buses have a toilet on board as standard? Also is there charging points/Wi-Fi or is it depending on the bus used?
These days as they are using some hire ins so it's variable. Some journeys are also operated by Translink. For Translink/Bus Eireann's own vehicles, the majority have plug sockets and Wifi but few have toilets.
If going from Dublin City / Dublin Airport to Belfast also consider Aircoach who run every service non stop to Belfast from Dublin with USB charger sockets and Wifi on-board but lack toilets.
You also have Dublin Coach operating all their services non stop between Dublin City and Belfast City only, who have on-board Wifi and toilets but lack charging sockets.
*cough* The Enterprise *cough* Bit better than just having a 'Tyleh' on board.
Contrary to popular myth the Enterprise is not that much more expensive so consider that, even standard class is the most comfortable train on the island, wifi never turns off, there are 4 bathrooms, a restaurant car, comfy seats including some with much more leg space.
Bus Eireann has some thing going on ATM where it's not using it's double deckers all the time - on the most important route on the entire island the utter muppets are using hire-ins and older single deckers, and they don't have plugs or in some cases wifi. Translink never use double deckers on this route, only on the Derry-Belfast and Derry-Dublin routes. Their double deckers have USB ports but they don't use them on the Dublin-Belfast route, only single deckers. If you look at the timetable it will tell you which bus will be BE as opposed to T for translink so you can time it, but often there are long gaps between BEs so you have no choice.
The Translink ones are ok comfort wise the seats are nice but they are WAY too close together your face is practically into the seat in front of you unless you are lucky enough to get to the top of the que and sit at the front or in front of the emergency exit on the bottom part of the bus.
Translink wifi is notoriously bad cuts out, you hit quotas just by sneezing, the works
The BE double deckers if you get them do have sockets
I don't get why they have an abundance of double deckers on Navans NX route when I never see enough to fill a single decker on that route, but they are taking them off the bloody Belfast route - CIE 101
Yes Enterprise by far the best for comfort but not for speed and frequency , I have to say its my favourite train to get on this island.
I can't really blame it for speed though, per way round Poyntzpass etc needs huge improvements
Certainly it has good on-board facilities and is the best on these shores. I don't dispute that whatsoever and the train had a good upgrade. That still doesn't get away from the fact though that there are reasons why it is not convenient for me and others who choose a bus instead.
These reasons include:
- It's not very frequent (2-3 hour gaps)
- Belfast Central is not really that central
- The first train doesn't get into Belfast before 10am.
- The Last Train out of Belfast is too early at 8pm.
- It's no quicker than an express bus
If they increased the frequency, line speed, and operated earlier services ex Dublin and later services Ex Belfast and ran it to say Great Victoria Street I'd be all for it, but now its far easier for me to just take Aircoach since I'll get plenty of leg-room there (far more than BE/TL) Charging Sockets, 24 hour service and WIfi, pay €10 for a fully flexible ticket and arrive no later.
The vehicles that are used on the NX route are paid for by the state as they are contracted by the state to provide that service with state funded vehicles by way of a PSO Contract - therefore they cost Bus Eireann nothing and must be used on the routes paid for by the state.
The Double Decker vehicles in Expressway Services are owned by Bus Eireann outright who can use them where they want, although most of the time they are used on Expressway services they can occasionally crop up elsewhere.
I get this, I do. There have been times where I've been in Newry or even Belfast and finished earlier than I thought I would, and calculated that I could get home earlier with the bus even with less comfort. For example if I finish at 15:45 in Newry there is a 15:55 that goes right from Newry only, to Dublin and I'll get to Connoly for 5:30, if I wait for the train I won't get home until 6:15, so that's a good 45 minutes saved. I'd only be getting to Dundalk around the time the bus would be pulling into BusAras, so I do get that.
Isn't one of the goals on this line an hourly service? I can't see how they'll fit that in without DU or some kind of major signals or space upgrade.
Belfast Central not being central
Also true, funny enough they were gonna reroute the Enterprise to Great Victoria Street a while back but I can see why they didn't, there is very limited Platform space and even though it's a more central location it's a pretty crappy station. There is a free bus (using your ticket) and you can use your ticket to jump on any train going to GVS it's less than 10 min, but I can see how many would not be bothered.
First train not before 10am
A big issue on Cork until recently too.
Last train too early
This is an utter joke for the premier intercity service on the island
No quicker than an Express Bus
I'm not sure how accurate this one is. Dublin Coachs times are paper only, the real coaches are never ever that fast. Aircoach and DC might be faster than the other busses but I'm not sure they beat the train. I've also been on the X2 that skips everything and it wasn't THAT much faster.
I think this has to do with speed restrictions on key parts of the line which need to be addressed, rather than the train itself.
I was going to ask about Aircoach having sockets actually! Thanks for that. I nearly had to rush back from Belfast other week and was gonna buy an AC ticket but my laptop was dying was wondering if they had sockets!
I get why BE can use them anywhere - i just don't get why the main route on the island would have busses taken away for quieter routes
Aircoach is 2hr 20 minutes and it's pretty much 24 hours for €10 flat fare.
Enterprise is only 5-10 minutes quicker and even that is more than wiped out when you have to factor in getting to Belfast Central.
They don't have plug sockets (at the moment) they simply have USB Sockets, but they are supposed to be launching a new fleet of coaches on the Belfast route soon which will have plug sockets and USB. However they will be less spacious than the current coaches unfortunately.
May well be that it was either a double decker or no coach and since BE are contracted to provide a service to the state on the NX they most likely would suffer penalties if they didn't operate such service.
I have used the Dublin coach service a few times I have had no problems with it pleny of leg room only downside is no USB Points on the 171 Reg coaches Dublin coach use but there new coaches have USB points also when I travelled on the 10:35 m1 service from belfast to dublin we left on time and were arriving in to dublin on time at 12:25
Thanks for all the replies. We have people travelling north-south by Enterprise frequently enough and the 2 hour delay between services can be restrictive if somebody misses their train and has to wait around in Connolly for a couple of hours. I agree it is a brilliant service and worth the small premium.
Just good to know the other options available. Thanks!