In association with GalwayTransport.info - Galway's public transport information site

2019 Galway Races shuttle bus and train services

The Galway Races Summer Meeting is from Monday 29 July - Sunday 4 August 2019.



This is a summary of the public transport and traffic-management plans.
  • Bus √Čireann special races shuttle buses will run from Eyre Square.  
  • Private bus companies are running special services from various towns and villages.  Some hotels are also organising shuttle services. 
  • There are some changes to regular regional buses during race week and the next week.




Race days and times 

  • Monday 29 July - Opening Day - Gather Your Tribe:
    Gates open at 2:30pm, first race at 5:20pm, 7 races, last race at 8:40pm    
  • Tuesday 30 July -  Sports and Social Day - Paddy Power Zorbing Derby - Colm Quinn BMW Mile Handicap:
    Gates open at 2:30pm, first race at 5:20pm, 7 races, last race at 8:40pm   
  • Wednesday 31 July - Country Music Day -  Galway Plate Day:
    Gates open at 2:30pm, first race at 5:10pm, 7 races, last race at 8:30pm
  • Thursday 1 August - Ladies Day / Guinness Hurdle: 
    Gates open at 11am, first race at  2pm, 8 races, last race at 6pm   
  • Friday 2 August - Friday's Fair Lady: / Most Stylish:
    Gates open at 2:30pm, first race at  5:10pm, 7 races, last race at 8:25pm    
  • Saturday 3 August -Super Saturday  / Family day:
    Gates open at 11:30am, first race at 2:15pm, 8 races, last race at 5:55pm    
  • Sunday 4 August - Mad Hatters Day / Family day:
    Gates open at 11:30am, first race at 2:15pm, 8 races, last race at 6pm


Special Shuttle Bus Services to Ballybrit Racecourse

From Eyre Square (Galway city centre) 

Bus √Čireann are running the races-special service between Eyre Square and Galway Racecourse.

Monday 30 July 

  • Shuttle buses to the racecourse will run from 2pm until 7pm, leaving Eyre Square every 15 minutes or as required.
  • The return services will run on-demand, and run until 11pm.

Tuesday 31 July

  • Shuttle buses to the racecourse will run from 2pm until 7pm, leaving Eyre Square every 15 minutes or as required.
  • The return services will run on-demand, and run until 11pm.

Wednesday 1 August

  • Shuttle buses to the racecourse will run from 2pm until 7pm, leaving Eyre Square every 15 minutes or as required.
  • The return services will run on-demand, and run until 11pm.

Thursday 2 August

  • Shuttle buses will leave Eyre Square from 11am until 4:45pm, every 15 minutes or as required.
  • The return services will start at after the last race, and run until 9pm.

Friday 3 August

  • Shuttle buses to the racecourse will run from 2pm until 7pm, leaving Eyre Square every 15 minutes or as required.
  • The return services will run on-demand, and run until 11pm.

Saturday 4 August 

  • Shuttle buses will leave Eyre Square from 11am until 4:45pm, every 15 minutes or as required.
  • The return services will start at after the last race, and run until 9pm.

Sunday 5 August

  • Shuttle buses are advertised as leaving Eyre Square "as required" from 11am.   
  • However in previous years, the special buses have not run on Sunday, and passengers are directed to the regular 401-Ballybrit or 409 bus.
  • Extra buses are usually put on route 409 to meet demand later in the afternoon.

Fares

  • Adult: €6 single and €10 return.
  • Children: €3 single and €5 return.
  • Booking is not possible.  Buy your ticket when you catch the bus.
  • Leap cards are not accepted - pay in cash only.
  • Free Travel Pass and TaxSaver tickets are not accepted on the Galway Races shuttle buses.

Route

Shuttle buses leave from the west side of Eyre Square, outside the Skeffington Arms Hotel (map).   Drop off is through the tunnel entrance, within 50 yards of the course-entry.

These shuttle buses do not pick-up or drop-off along the way.   See "Regular Galway city services to Ballybrit" below for information about services which do.


From Oranmore 

Local businesses have co-ordinated a bus-service:
  • Each day, the first bus leaves from the village centre one-hour before the first race (there may be later buses too TBA).
  • Return services are also offered, presumably after the last race.
  • Fare is €12 return:  this includes a complimentary drink in any pub in the village.


From Athenry

Buses will run from / to the Raheen Woods hotel at the following times:
  • Monday:   3:30pm and 4:30pm - returning at 9pm
  • Tuesday:   3:30pm and 4:30pm - returning at 9pm
  • Wednesday:   3:30pm and 4:30pm  - returning at 9pm
  • Thursday:  12-noon, 12:30pm, 1:30pm, 2pm - returning at 6:30pm and 7:30pm
  • Friday:  4pm and 4:30pm - returning at 9pm

Fares have not been announced - they may include food / drink at the hotel.

Regular BusLink services to Galway city are likely to be running - they drop off in Eyre Square at the same place where the regular 401 and 409 services leave from, across the Square from the races-shuttle bus stop.


From Claregalway

There are three options for travelling to the races from Claregalway:



  • Bus4U special bus from Roscommon also pick up in Claregalway (see below for details).
  • Rgular public transport services from to and from Galway City (see the Claregalway Neighbourhood Map for details) connect with both city and races shuttle buses.



From Loughrea 

Lough Rea Hotel are offering a bus meal package on Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday and Friday only.   Bus leaves the hotel approx 1.5 hours before the first race, and the return bus leaves 30-40 minutes after the last race.  

This is open to the public and hotel guests.   It must be booked in advance.   All tickets include a meal and return bus ticket.



From Roscommon

Bus4U will run one dedicated races bus from Roscommon each day, picking up in Athleague, Mt Talbot, Ballygar, Newbridge, Mountbellew, Moylough, Abbeyknockmoy, Turloughmore, Lackagh and Claregalway leaving at:
  • Monday:   2:35pm
  • Tuesday:   2:35pm
  • Wednesday:   2:35pm
  • Thursday:  10:45am
  • Friday:  2:25pm
  • Saturday:  11:25am
  • Sunday:   11:25am
and returning one hour after the last race.

Fares:
  • Roscommom / Athleague / Mt Tabbot - €20 (return)  / €15 (single)
  • Ballybar and closer  - €10 (return)  / €10 (single)

From Tuam 

Burkes servies from Tuam and Dunmore travel into Galway along the Tuam Road.   They have a regular bus-stop at the racecourse entrance at Two Mile Ditch, beside Kenny Motors and McMahons.  See North Galway regional bus services for links to their pages.


From other towns 

Some hotels in County Galway and beyond offer packages including races tickets and access to a shuttle-bus - contact them directly for more information.

Apart from that, there are not usually special services from other Irish cities.   Instead, use the use national and regional services to get to Galway:   these stop very close to where the races shuttle buses leave from.



Regular Galway city services to Ballybrit

The Avenue (back) entrance to the racecourse (number (5) on the Parkmore area map) is served by these buses, which pick up from all stops along their route:
  • Route 401 - through from Salthill to Eyre Square, and then travels along College Rd, through Wellpark, Mervue, Castlepark and Ballybrit, then on to Parkmore
  • Route 409 - from Eyre Square, travels along the College and Dublin and Doughiska Roads.

These routes will end at the Briarhill Shopping Centre Junction (previously the Lynch Roundabout) between
  • 3pm to 5pm on Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday 
  • 11.30am to 3:30pm on Thursday
  • 4pm to 6pm on Friday.
The last bus-stop during these times is at the top of Doughiska Rd (route 409)  or Clayton Hotel (route 403) - see the Doughiska neighbourhood map for locations.  Passengers going to/from the racecourse, Parkmore West Industrial Estate, Parkmore East Business and Technology Park, Galway Technology Park, Racecourse Business Park or Briarhill Business Park  will need to walk for approx 15-20 minutes from this last stop.

Also routes 401 and 409 will not use the stops nearest to the Avenue entrance after the race meeting ends each day.   Instead, passengers will get off / on the bus at the Parkmore roundabout stop (200 m north of the Avenue).   Affected times:
  • Monday 8:30pm - 10:30pm 
  • Tuesday 8:30pm - 10:30pm 
  • Wednesday 7-9pm
  • Thursday 7-10pm
  • Friday 8-10pm
  • Saturday 5:30 - 7pm


Note:  These times are based on the overall road closure times in the area, and may be extended if there are traffic management problems in the area.

The usual city bus fares apply, and Travel Pass and TaxSaver tickets can be used.


Changes to regional bus services

BusLink have not yet made an announcement.   But in previous years:
  • The 5:10pm Galway to Athenry service did not run from Mon-Sat.

Burkes Buses have cancelled these services for Race Week and the following week, ie Monday 30 July - Friday 10 August inclusive:     
  • 7am from Dunmore to Galway 
  • 7:20am from Tuam to Galway
  • 4pm from Galway to Headford
  • 4:45pm from Headford to Galway
  • 5:10pm will operate from Galway to Tuam only, not to Dunmore

All other Galway regional bus services are expected to operate normally during Race Week - though may suffer some delays due to traffic volumes.


Trains

Irish Rail are running at leave one extra train to/from Galway  on each day during Race Week - with several extra trains on Wednesday, Thursday and Friday.   See their announcement for details. 

Note that there is limited capacity, and booking on-line in advance is strong recommended, for both these trains and for regular services.


Traffic Management Plan for the Galway Races 2019

The full traffic-management plan for 2019 has not yet been published.

However the 2017 plan and map are still available for download from Galway Races website and it is likely that a very similar plan applies in 2019.   Key points of this plan included: 
  • Traffic from the south and east (M6 / N6 or Oranmore south) can travel via Carnmore Cross and use the Blue Route - Avenue entrance - garda will control crossing right turn at Briarhill junction.
    There is no access to the Avenue entrance from the N6 Eastbound (Dublin road) during the road closed times (listed above, under city bus changes).
  • Traffic from the south and east (M6 / N6 or Oranmore and south) can travel via the old N6 and Galway clinic to use the Red route Tunnel entrance.
    After the Briarhill junction, races traffic use the right lane, and city traffic use the left lane.
  • Traffic from the north (Tuam) can use the Green route - Hill / Tuam Rd entrance - or turn left at the Parkmore Rd and use the Avenue entrance. 
  • Traffic from the city and west can use either the red entrance (via Bothar na dTtreabh), or the green or blue entrance (via Tuam Rd).
  • Taxis have a special lane through the Green entrance