I decided to try out something different for my return sector to Dublin. Instead of taking the bus from Drogheda, I decided that I would take the train back to Dublin. This required some tight coordination as Irish Rail’s Sunday Commuter timetables doesn’t see many services. As a matter of fact, the Commuter service between Drogheda and Dublin operated only intermittently on Sundays.
In my case, the next (and last) bus out of Newgrange would drop me at Drogheda Bus Station at 3:25 pm, while the earliest train out of Drogheda was at 3:45 pm. This gave me 20 minutes to connect to the train from Drogheda Bus Station.
First posted 12 July 2017. Updated 14 March 2023.
Bus Éireann 163 from Brú na Bóinne Visitor Centre to Drogheda Bus Station
To get the 163 back to Drogheda, simply walk back to the bus park at Brú na Bóinne Visitor Centre. The Bus Éireann pole is near the entry driveway complete with a waiting bench. I must say the location is quite odd for a bus stop, as you’d be staring at big buses driving in and out right in front of you – not the safest especially if you have children or there’s more waiting people than the bench can handle. It was just as well that there are other benches available at safer spots around the bus park which still gives you quick access to the bus stop.
The bus arrived on time and I took my seat after confirming with the driver that it was headed back to Drogheda. This time, I was the only passenger on this intercity bus set.
Connecting to Drogheda MacBride station from Drogheda Bus Station
The ride back to Drogheda takes only about 10 minutes. Once I was out of the bus I did my best brisk walk to the train station. According to Google Maps, it was only a 12 minute walk. It wasn’t a complicated route, as I simply had to walk to the adjacent main road and turn right, and then walk straight down until I saw the train station.
At least that was the plan until I accidentally took the scenic route – A walk along the riverfront, admiring the River Boyne viaduct, and then ending up having to walk under a dark tunnel with no sidewalks to rejoin the main road. Fun times.
Irish Rail Commuter from Drogheda MacBride station to Dublin Connolly station
I purchased my tickets from the ticket machines in the station. Previously I had attempted to check the fares online, but at that time Irish Rail didn’t display Commuter fares online, making this a bit of a shot in the dark.
As it turned out, the single ticket to Dublin Connolly cost me me €13.85 , which was a huge shock as it cost almost as much as a ticket on the Enterprise to Dublin, and it was almost half that of my 2nd Class ticket on Czech Railways from Berlin to Prague. For perspective’s sake, it costs as much as a regular intercity ticket even in Ireland.
Drogheda station features 3 platforms and is a major station adjacent to a service depot. The Enterprise service also calls here, which provides access to Belfast without having to go all the way down to Dublin.
The Commuter service is operated by CAF-built Class 29000 DMUs. They are Irish Rail’s equivalent of NIR’s Class 3000 and 4000 trains, who were also built by CAF.
Cabin & Onboard Amenities
The interior is fitted out with intercity style seats upholstered in a pleasant green. There are also toilets on the train, and maps of the Dublin Commuter network are installed above the doors.
Arrival at Dublin Connolly
We departed Drogheda on time, and I decided to take a quick nap for most of the train ride as I had been up since 5am.
I only woke up when we were approaching Dublin Connolly with the vague memory of the ride being decently smooth.