Here are details of public transport options for the Papal visit as rail tickets sell fast

Final preparations are underway ahead of the visit of Pope Francis to Ireland.

Measures are being put in place across areas such as transport, security and health.

More than 1,000 doctors and nurses will be on hand to help, while there is also a mortuary set up.

There will be 1,000 volunteers and 3,000 people in the choir, while 31,000 litres of milk and 25,000 sliced pans will be used to look after the food and drink needs of people.

Half a million people are expected to be there for the closing mass and there will be extra services across public transport for the weekend.

Margaret Gormley from the Office of Public Works said: "It's actually the largest event taking place in Europe this year. It's the equivalent of six Croke Parks on All-Ireland final day."

People heading to see the Pope in the Phoenix Park are being advised to book their train tickets quickly as some rail services are already sold out.

Tickets for the Tralee return service are completely gone, as are the morning tickets from Waterford.

There is only limited availability left on the Dublin-Waterford train and for the services from Cork and Limerick.

Advance booking is mandatory for all Intercity trains and no tickets will be available on the day.

    Current availability:
  • Cork-Dublin: Almost sold out, last few seats available
  • Tralee-Dublin: Sold out
  • Limerick-Dublin: Almost sold out, last few seats available
  • Waterford-Dublin: Sold out morning Waterford-Dublin, last few seats available evening Dublin-Waterford
  • Sligo-Dublin: Still availability, book ASAP
  • Galway-Dublin: One train sold out, limited availability on others, book ASAP
  • Westport/Ballina-Dublin: One train sold out, limited availability on others, book ASAP
  • Rosslare-Dublin: Still availability, book ASAP
  • Westport/Ballina/Athlone to Claremorris (for Knock event): Still availability, book ASAP

Irish Rail customers can book travel at www.irishrail.ie or phone 01-8366222 .

For existing ticket holders, including free travel pass holders and season ticket holders, an advance reservation is essential for travel on Sunday, August 26. Reservations for this date are free of charge, and can also be booked at www.irishrail.ie and will not be available at stations.

Extra DART and Commuter services will operate that Sunday also before and after the Papal Mass.

The National Transport Authority has announced that holders of tickets to the Papal Mass travelling in the Short Hop Zone (DART, and between city centre and Balbriggan, M3 Parkway, Kilcock, Sallins, Kilcoole) can avail of free public transport on this date.

    Additional services will operate as follows:
  • DART
  • DART services will begin from 06.00hrs, and will build to a frequency of every 10 minutes from 09.00hrs onwards, and directly after the event
  • Connolly Station and Tara Street Stations are the closest points on the DART network to Phoenix Park – commuters can also transfer at Connolly for trains to Ashtown, for closer access to Phoenix Park
  • Maynooth/M3 Parkway
  • Connolly to Maynooth/M3 services will begin from 06.00hrs, and will build to a frequency of every 10 minutes in each direction (alternating between Maynooth and M3) by 10.00hrs, and directly after the event
  • Customers travelling from Maynooth/M3 Parkway inwards are advised to alight at Navan Road Parkway Station, for access to the Phoenix Park
  • Customers travelling from Connolly are advised to alight at Ashtown Station, for access to the Phoenix Park
  • Northern Commuter (Drogheda/Dundalk)
  • Services begin from Dundalk from 0630hrs (Drogheda 07.00hrs), building to a frequency of every 20 minutes from Drogheda, hourly from Dundalk by 10.00hrs
  • Translink will operate extra Belfast/Dublin Connolly services
  • Connolly Station and Tara Street Stations are the closest points on the DART network to Phoenix Park – commuters can also transfer at Connolly for trains to Ashtown, for closer access to Phoenix Park
  • Heuston Commuter routes
  • Extra trains will operate from Portlaoise and Kildare
  • First service from Portlaoise at 07.57hrs Portlaoise to Dublin Heuston
  • Heuston Station has closest access to Phoenix Park

An Iarnród Éireann spokesperson said: “We cannot stress enough how essential it is for customers to book Intercity travel in advance - this will ensure that all can travel to and from the event in comfort.

"In addition, with Dublin area road restrictions, our extensive DART and Commuter service together with free travel in the Dublin area for those with Papal Mass tickets mean you can travel to access points like Connolly, Ashtown, Navan Road Parkway and Heuston conveniently.”

There are also special services from Westport, Ballina and Athlone to/from Claremorris for the Knock shrine event on Sunday, August 26, including a free Bus Éireann bus transfer to and from Knock.

    Extra services will operate at:

  • 06.00hrs Athlone to Claremorris
  • 06.00hrs Ballina to Claremorris (change at Manulla Junction)
  • 06.10hrs Westport to Claremorris
  • 13.35hrs Claremorris to Athlone
  • 14.00hrs Claremorris to Westport/Ballina (change at Manulla Junction for Ballina)
  • Scheduled Westport/Heuston services will also serve Claremorris, including 07.50hrs Westport to Heuston

As with Intercity services to/from Dublin, anyone who wishes to travel on these services must pre-book their rail ticket as there will be no ticket sales on day.

If you hold an existing ticket or are a free travel pass holder, you must reserve your seat in advance of the event.

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