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Irish Mail Train

Brisbane, Australia
Level Contributor
5 posts
31 reviews
Irish Mail Train

We have been trying to do an online booking, for the beginning of April, for two on the Irish Mail Train from Euston Station to Dublin Port Irish Ferries via Holyhead. We (two of us) want to travel, sitting together, going forward and on the right hand side of the train (for the view). We cannot find these options on the online sites. Virgin has an 'online chat' option, but no-one is ever online! We have emailed them and received a form reply which didn't help. They will reply to unanswered questions in up to 20 days! We also have trouble calling as we are not in the UK and the telephone numbers they have provided do not connect internationally. We would appreciate any advice on how to complete a booking that meets our requirements.

Dingle, Ireland
Destination Expert
for Dingle
Level Contributor
16,346 posts
21 reviews
11. Re: Irish Mail Train

The train ride along the North Wales coast is pretty spectacular, and the Irish Ferries cruise ship 'Ulysses' is spacious and comfortable, yes, you can get outside on deck if you are a hardy soul!!

The mail train is long gone, together with' this is the night train crossing the border, bringing the cheque and the postal order'. Post goes by air now, and no one uses postal orders either!!

Quainton, United...
Destination Expert
for Train Travel
Level Contributor
9,407 posts
4 reviews
12. Re: Irish Mail Train

Taking train and ferry to Ireland has always been a romantic thing to do, and still is, I think. It's streets ahead of airports and flights in terms of the experience.

Even before Chester, the countryside of Buckinghamshire and Herts is pretty enough, you see narrow boats on the Grand Union canal, then pass the archtypal railway junction at Crewe with a few exhibits in the railway museum visible on your right after leaving the station.

Virgin Trains has done away with train names (so much for heritage!), but the famous train name 'Irish Mail' appeared in the timetables for the direct London-Holyhead train until only a few years ago. I'm using it with a little dramatic licence, it was usually applied to the overnight service, an evening train London-Holyhead and the train leaving Holyhead after midnight, originally with a sleeping-car. Indeed, my own first trip from Dublin to London involved that sleeper in around 1981, it was a Mk3 sleeper that was brand new at the time!

The Irish Ferries ship Ulysses is lovely, huge and rock-steady, with cabins, restaurants, shops, bars and lounges.

Pay the extra 18 euros for the Martello Club lounge when you board at Holyhead and get a great forward-facing view of the coast of Ireland approaching while you drink their complimentary red or white wine and smoked salmon canapes or cheese and biscuits.

Edited: 4:22 am, February 22, 2014
London, United...
Level Contributor
614 posts
16 reviews
13. Re: Irish Mail Train

Yes, i dont mean its not a romantic thing to do and think they should definitely do it, but cant expect Virgin to be geared up to an Orient Express type experience, if they dont see it that way. Thanks for the info about the Ulysses I shall do that next time. The journey is a classic, Brisbane people, and you will feel a connection with the History of these islands as you plough the often choppy Irish Sea and see the hIlls to the south appear, which is very particular.

Kent, UK
Level Contributor
7,755 posts
11 reviews
14. Re: Irish Mail Train

>>There should be an option to bring up the seat plan of the carriages so you can change your reserved seats.<<

Virgin don't offer that option. The only company that does (that I've come across) is East Coast, and only for their own trains.

London, United...
Destination Expert
for Berlin
Level Contributor
6,759 posts
87 reviews
15. Re: Irish Mail Train

Don't try to phone Virgin - their contact centre is offshored and if the answer isn't in the script, they can't help. I've always found their social media team to be great, though, so if you are on twitter you can get them at @virgintrains

Lancashire, United...
Level Contributor
20,045 posts
76 reviews
16. Re: Irish Mail Train

">>There should be an option to bring up the seat plan of the carriages so you can change your reserved seats.<<

Virgin don't offer that option. The only company that does (that I've come across) is East Coast, and only for their own trains."

Cross Country trains also let you choose where you want to sit and change it at a later date.

17. Re: Irish Mail Train

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