Enterprise (train)

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File:Enterprise (train service).png
Enterprise train.jpg
Franchise(s): N/A
Main station(s): Dublin Connolly,
Belfast Central
Other station(s): Drogheda, Dundalk, Newry,
Portadown, Lurgan, Lisburn, Botanic
Fleet size: 4 (5) 201 Class locomotives
28 De Dietrich Stock coaches
Stations: 9
Parent company: Iarnród Éireann/
Northern Ireland Railways
Web site: www.translink.co.uk/enterprise

Enterprise is the name of the cross-border train service between Dublin Connolly in the Republic of Ireland and Belfast Central in Northern Ireland and is jointly operated by Iarnród Éireann (IE) and Northern Ireland Railways (NIR).

201 Class locomotives are used to haul the service. The coaches were manufactured by De Dietrich Ferroviaire and ownership is jointly shared between both operators , however maintenance is provided by NIR. The service has had reliability issues with the 201 class locomotives which provides head end power to the train. The stress this places on the engines has led to Enterprise-liveried 201s being swapped with non-Enterprise 201s in order to minimise wear from operating in this mode.


The service was introduced as the "Enterprise Express" on August 11 1947 by the Great Northern Railway (Ireland) ((GNR (I)) in an attempt to compete with air and road transport which were challenging the railways. In particular, business travel was and is seen as an important market. Customs checks were limited to the Belfast and Dublin terminals in order to reduce journey times by ensuring that journeys were non-stop, and advanced booking was available. The service proved a success and in October 1950 was extended beyond Dublin to Cork.

However this proved unsuccessful and the Cork link ceased in September 1953 when the Great Northern Railway Board (GNRB), a joint venture between the Dublin and Belfast governments, took over the services of the GNR (I). Its unpopularity may also have been due to the six and a half hour journey time.[1]

On October 1 1958 the GNRB was dissolved and its assets and liabilities were split between Córas Iompair Éireann (CIE) and the Ulster Transport Authority (UTA) — the predecessors of the current operators, Iarnród Éireann (IE) and Northern Ireland Railways (NIR) respectively.

The service was upgraded in September 1997 with a new timetable and new coaching stock from French train makers De Dietrich Ferroviaire (now Alstom DDF)

The service has suffered disruption over the years, particularly during the Troubles, when it was regularly halted by bomb threats. Since the Northern Ireland peace process, however, such disruption has diminished.[citation needed] Renewed investment in recent years has seen the line upgraded to continuously welded track capable of 90 mph (145 km/h) running. However, these speeds are not reached on the northern part of the route.[citation needed]

Journey times vary between 1-hour 55-minutes (with one intermediate stop) and a more typical 2-hours 10-minutes (with four intermediate stops), an average speed of 59 and 52 MPH (95 and 84 km/h) respectively.

Advertising and promotion

Translink has regularly promoted the Enterprise service with a '2 for 1' offer to readers of the Northern Ireland editions of the Daily and Sunday Mirrors. In January 2006, this promotion was undertaken in conjunction with a comprehensive billboard advertising campaign in Belfast, Newry and Portadown railway stations. The slogan, "Depressurise, Capitalise, Economise, Socialise...Go Enterprise; premier rail travel to Dublin," was used to encourage wide groups of customers to use the Enterprise.[citation needed] Discounted Internet booking for the service is also periodically offered by Translink.


  1. A Regional History of Railways (Volume XVI, Ireland), J.W.P. Rowledge, 1995, ISBN 0-906899-63-X


External links

Rail transport in Ireland
Iarnród Éireann - Northern Ireland Railways
Services: Dublin Area Rapid Transit - Enterprise

Domestic: Arriva Trains Wales - c2c - Central Trains - Chiltern Railways - First Capital Connect
First Great Western - First ScotRail - Grand Central1 - GNER - Heathrow Connect
Hull Trains - Island Line2 - Merseyrail - Midland Mainline - Northern Rail
Northern Ireland Railways3 - 'one' - Silverlink - Southeastern - Southern
South West Trains - TransPennine Express - Virgin Trains
International: Enterprise3 - Eurostar
Airport Link: Gatwick Express - Heathrow Express - Stansted Express4
Sleeper: Caledonian Sleeper5 - Night Riviera6
1 Starts 20 May 2007 - 2 Operated by South West Trains - 3 Operated on the Irish railway network
4 Operated by 'one' - 5 Operated by First ScotRail - 6 Operated by First Great Western

Future passenger train operators in Great Britain
New Franchises: Cross Country1 - East Midlands1 - InterCity East Coast - London Overground1
West Midlands1
Proposed open-access
Grand Union2 - Wrexham & Shropshire3
1 Starts November 2007 - 2 Proposed - 3 Awaiting Approval

de:Enterprise (Eisenbahn)