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Interrail for residents of Northern Ireland

  • 20 December 2022
  • 9 replies
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I live in Northern Ireland. Given that the whole island of Ireland is regarded as a single entity for Interrail purposes does this mean that a Global pass which I buy would be valid for unlimited travel in Great Britain? Similarly, am I able to buy a Great Britain single country pass (as would be the case if I lived in the Republic of Ireland)?

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Best answer by Camilo. 18 January 2023, 12:18

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Userlevel 7
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Hmmm, that’s a good question. The conditions of use do not explicitly say that Northern Ireland should be seen as Ireland, and not the UK. The conditions of use also clearly state you cannot use the pass in your own country (which is the UK in your case). But on the other hand, the countries are clearly defined:

I think this means Ireland is to be seen as one entity and one country, so you should be eligble for the Great Britain pass. But before buying, best wait for confirmation of one of the Interrail staff members.

@Annie.@Camilo., is this the right way of thinking?

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I am bumping this as an official answer is required.

 

Northern Ireland is the only place where an entire region of a country is valid with another country instead of it’s own for pass validity.

It should be made clear where residents of Northern Ireland stand with regards to “Home Country” status for buying and using passes.

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Hm-the same could apply-granted these are even much smaller, for citizens of Monaco (regarded as FR?) or Lichtenstein (regarded as AT, as OeBB runs the trains), and Andorra and San Marino=both without railways. Though I very well understand the nr of people wanting to explore on passes EUR by train in all these will be very tiny little small

With a long Xmas weekend looming I dont think there will be an official reaction soon-plus that those pesky strikes and the results will likely also play havoc-keeping staff busy.You and also yorkie most likely will also know of the main UK forum railforums.co.uk, which also seems to have a lot of staff working on the trains on it- I kind of recall that same Q has been posted there, perhaps try if a search there leads to some results?

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Hi @belfastboy 

I understand this might be confusing. The official answer on this topic is: 

1.Choose the country of residence (CoR) based on where you are currently physically residing at the moment. You will need to prove the residency with official documents. 

2. If you are not able to prove your residency with official document, you will have to choose the CoR that matches your passport. 

So for Northern Ireland citizens, for no 1 above, they will choose 'United Kingdom' as a CoR during checkout: However, in case someone residing in Northern Ireland and is holding a passport of the Republic of Ireland rather than a UK passport, and cannot prove their residency with other official documents, they can choose 'Ireland' as their CoR. 

If there is any question, please let me know. 

Userlevel 7
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Hi @belfastboy 

I understand this might be confusing. The official answer on this topic is: 

1.Choose the country of residence (CoR) based on where you are currently physically residing at the moment. You will need to prove the residency with official documents. 

2. If you are not able to prove your residency with official document, you will have to choose the CoR that matches your passport. 

So for Northern Ireland citizens, for no 1 above, they will choose 'United Kingdom' as a CoR during checkout: However, in case someone residing in Northern Ireland and is holding a passport of the Republic of Ireland rather than a UK passport, and cannot prove their residency with other official documents, they can choose 'Ireland' as their CoR. 

If there is any question, please let me know. 

If that is the case does that mean a resident of NI can travel on unlimited travel days in Eire, Eire and NI or neither?

Equally can a resident or citizen of Monaco travel unlimited in France but not travel through Monaco outside the 2 day rule on the Nice - Ventimiglia line?

 

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If that is the case does that mean a resident of NI can travel on unlimited travel days in Eire, Eire and NI or neither?

Equally can a resident or citizen of Monaco travel unlimited in France but not travel through Monaco outside the 2 day rule on the Nice - Ventimiglia line?

 

I wasn’t aware you were a fluent Gaelic speaker Yorkie.

Thank you @Camilo. for your response.

This is indeed confusing - it would be much clearer if there was a “Northern Ireland” residency option in the list when booking which would align with the way that the Interrail areas are structured.

Your answer raises a very interesting point, also referred to by @Yorkie. It appears that a resident of Northern Ireland can use Interrail to get unlimited access to their local trains (ie NI Railways) on the pass (if their ‘home’ network is actually Great Britain). Plus Irish Rail on the other side of the border. A Translink weekly or monthly ticket would be less expensive for someone only travelling in Northern Ireland (as the Northern Ireland rail network is not very big) but for someone working across the border regularly it could be less expensive to use Interrail rather than regular tickets. But I suspect that someone trying this would soon run into difficulties with ticket barrier staff and on train ticket inspectors as it just seems ‘wrong’! It would be helpful if the exact rules could be put on the Interrail website for people to refer to - and to show to ticket checking staff wen required.

Interesting thread. My own interest is that I’m curious about the flipside of this scenario. I’m a UK citizen living in England, so GB for the purposes of the list earlier in this thread. If I travel to Ireland will my pass permit travel through Northern Ireland without it being seen as domestic travel and therefore only allowed on two specific days of my pass? I believe from what I’ve read above that the answer is yes, but I’d like to be sure (I would be on a monthly pass so am not concerned about using a travel day, I’m just interested in the slightly crazy idea of travelling through Stranraer to make good use of one of my domestic travel days 😁)

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I cannot see any other interpretation other than:

  1. Residents of NI have a COR of United Kingdom (Not Great Britain). Since the NI rail network is documented as one of the operators of the Island of Ireland they can frrely travel in the island of Ireland without it being classed as 1 of your 2 COR days.
  2. Residents of Northern Ireland can only use a pass in Great Britain (i.e England, Scotland and Wales) for a maximum of 2 days.

So they are almost unique in that they can travel in their own region in an unlimited way but only 2 days in the other regions of their home country. I did consider countries like Monaco, but that is a bit different as, because their trains and station are deemed to be France, they can theoretically use their pass in all countries including France.

Maybe the other way round is also unique - residents of Great Britain can use the pass in a region of the country of Residence (UK)

For those who never understood that Great Britain and the United Kingdom are different.

Great Britain is the three countries on the Big Island (England, Scotland and Wales) and the United Kingdom (All 4) is also often known as Great Britain and Northern Ireland.

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