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Dublin Airport is a large establishment serving the city of Dublin in Ireland, as well as many other nearby areas. It has the IATA code of DUB, and consists of two large terminal buildings which are extremely well equipped for passengers. The airport of Dublin is also very significant for international traffic, and is rated as the seventeenth largest airport in the world for this type of passenger air travel. Although there is no train station on site, the two main railway stations in Dublin can easily be reached by passengers on the bus services. From both stations, passengers will find many train services, and can reach all parts of Ireland by rail.
Today, the airport consists of two terminal buildings, named as Terminal 1 and Terminal 2. The first mentioned is the airport’s older building, while Terminal 2 was brought into service in 2010, and is used by airline carriers offering long-haul flights and by Aer Lingus, an airline carrier for which the airport is a hub. This terminal is capable of processing up to 15 million passengers per annum, and has brought the total airport capacity up to thirty-five million per year. Included in the Terminal 2 project was an improved internal campus roads network for Dublin Airport, a new multi-storey car park, a major utilities upgrade and provision of space for a new underground transportation centre and a future metro station. Since 2006, there have been proposals for a rail link (Metro North) to the airport, but in 2011, it was announced that the project has been postponed due to lack of funding resources.
The airport train link, if ever achieved, will run from the city centre to Swords, with a stop at the airport. Originally, it would have been a spur off the Dublin to Belfast line, but a new underground metro line was later decided as a more appropriate option. The Metro North line will take into consideration other modes of transport, by connecting to the Luas lines, and will allow transfers at Drumcondra as well. There will be three stops in the city centre of Dublin, and another in Swords, an area which is home to many airport workers. Park and ride stops will be found at various locations en route, and the airport train will take only eighteen minutes to travel to St Stephen’s Green. The Metro North would be implemented by the Iarnród Éireann, which is the Irish Railway Company.
Perhaps in the future the airport will have it’s own rail connection, but for now, passengers arriving at the airport will need to take a bus to either the Dublin Connolly Train Station or the Dublin Heuston Train Station for rail access. Dublin Airport is served by over 700 buses every day, some of which travel to various parts of the city and others provide intercity links. The Dublin Bus, or the Airlink 747 is the bus providing a connection to the train stations of Dublin, and is available from the airport approximately every ten minutes during the day, and at less frequent times later in the evening. The buses leave from outside the terminal buildings, and bus tickets for the journey can be purchased from the Tourism Information Desks in the arrival hall of Terminal 1, from vending machines at the Airlink bus stop at Terminal 1 or single fares can be paid to the Airlink bus driver. It will cost 6.00 Euro for an adult single ticket, 10.00 Euro for an adult return ticket, 3.00 Euro for a child’s single ticket and 5.00 Euro for a child’s return ticket.
From the Dublin train stations, the Dublin Bus is very convenient as well, leaving for the airport at regular intervals. In the city, tickets can be purchased in advance from Dublin Bus at 59 Upper O’Connell Street or from Dublin Tourism, at Suffolk Street and O’Connell Street. Single tickets are available from the bus driver. Dublin Airport taxis are another way of reaching either of the two Dublin train stations from the airport, or for travel to the airport. A taxi journey from/to the airport will cost approximately 20.00 Euro, depending on the time of travel and various other factors.
Connolly Station, or the Dublin Connolly Train Station has been in existence since 1844, and is one of Dublin’s main railway stations. The name of the station is in honour of James Connolly, an Irish revolutionary and socialist. In the late 1990’s, the station received a complete upgrade of it’s facilities, as a new station hall was built, new bar/cafes and shops were added and a platform roof was replaced. In 2004, the Luas Red Line to Tallaght began serving the station. Connolly Station consists of seven platforms, four terminals dedicated to trains that are coming from the north and three for trains arriving from the south. From Connolly Train Station, passengers can take three intercity routes or one of a couple of suburban services. Intercity services include the Enterprise service to Belfast, with stops at Drogheda, Dundalk, Newry and Portadown, the Sligo Mac Diarmada with stops at Maynooth, Mullingar and Longford and the Rosslare Europort, via the Pearse Station. Suburban services run as far as Drogheda, Dundalk, Maynooth and Gorey or Enniscorthy.
While Connolly Station connects the city of Dublin to the east coast of Ireland, the Heuston Station serves the south and west of the country. Although trains seldom run between the two stations, they are connected by the Luas tram system and the No. 90 bus. In future years, there may be a interconnector tunnel from Heuston Station to Pearse Station, and continuing on to the new Docklands Railway Station. Heuston Train Station consists of nine platforms, of which eight are terminal platforms and one is a through platform. There are intercity and commuter services available, serving the areas of Cork, Kildare, Kilkenny, Waterford, Portarlington, Tullamore, Athlone, Portlaoise, Ballybrophy and Limerick, amongst others.
Although there is currently no train station at the airport, passengers can still hope for the Metro North line to one day be accomplished. Further details regarding Dublin trains can be found at http://www.irishrail.ie.