Cobh, Ireland Travel Guide

Cobh is a seaside town that has remained almost unchanged from its appearance in the early 1900s during the Edwardian era. Today, it is a popular destination for travelers from across the world. It boasts Ireland’s lone cruise ship terminal and vessels can land their passengers in the town’s center.

Tourism in Cobh is largely influenced by the tragic stories of the Lusitania and the Titanic. Known as Queenstown then, Cobh was the last stop before the infamous ship vanished into history. In 1915, when Lusitania was torpedoed both the dead and survivors were brought to Cobh. Learn about the impact of the Titanic’s loss on this town by embarking on the Titanic Trail. You can also visit the Lusitania Memorial located in the center of town to pay your respect.

Go for a walk around Cobh once you are done walking in the wake of the legendary liners. Sightseeing around the town will show you brightly painted boats and houses contrasting with the deep blue sea. You can hire one of the boats for a tour of the harbor if it looks appealing to you. If you prefer to stay dry, you can explore Cobh on the Cobh Road Train. Make a stop at one of the many cafes and pubs scattered throughout the town and enjoy a pint of beer or a cup of coffee.

St. Colman’s Cathedral is a French Gothic Cathedral perched on a hillside terrace just above Cobh. The 47-bell carillon is the cathedral’s most exceptional feature with its range of 4 octaves. The biggest bells weigh about 3440kg, just as much as an adult elephant. If you arrive around May and September, you will hear the carillon on Sundays at 4.30 pm. While the construction of St. Colman’s Cathedral started in 1868, it wasn’t completed until 1915.

To learn more about this city’s history, visit the Cobh Museum. Curious artifacts, photographs, paintings, and model ships tracing the history of Cobh fill this engaging museum. The museum is housed in the nineteenth-century Scottish Presbyterian church just overlooking the train station.

Spike Island is another great place to learn more about Cobh’s history. It is a low-lying island in Cork Harbour and was once a critical part of the defenses of the ports. During the country’s war of independence in the second half of the nineteenth century, it served as a prison. A guided tour of this island takes in the shells tore, the old punishment block, and the modern prison.

Brief History of The Railway Hotel

Train travel was both glamorous and well known in the late 19th and early 20th centuries in Canada. Additionally, a crucial part of the experience had to do with staying in large luxury hotels on the rail lines constructed in a chateau-style that was similar to a mix of French and Scottish castles. The beauty of these hotels lives on till date through remarkable landscapes like the Fairmont Banff Springs.

To understand how crucial these hotels are, it is essential to look briefly into the history of the Canadian railway. When the Canadian Pacific Railway was constructed in 1885, it brought the world to this land filled with incredible landscapes both as new immigrants and tourists.

It became the job of the CPR to ensure Canada was populated all along the new rail lines perhaps due to their financial motive. A department for immigration was established with offices in Great Britain and Europe. Posters and pamphlets were created in diverse languages and shared everywhere.

Canada was also showcased overseas as a destination to go on holidays with an emphasis on fishing and hunting as well as remarkable mountains. It wasn’t a typical idea to see mountains as beautiful locations to be observed as tourist attractions, and they were usually seen as settlement obstacles.

Most of this was made possible by the president of the railway company named William Cornelius Van Horne. Who was initially hired as a general manager before he got a promotion.  When Banff springs which the latest railway hotel of the company which was styled was based on a Baronial Castle was open in June 1888, Von Horne made a request to the federal government that the surrounding areas be transformed into a national park. It was due to this that inquisitive tourists started to flock the area. He also asked that additional parks should be established along the rail lines to the mountains of Alberta.

He had already started to imagine grand hotels around the country, which would draw in a consistent amount of visitors from outside the country. The Canadian Government listened to his request and created the Banff National Park in 1885 which has now become a Heritage Site of UNESCO accompanied by Yoho and Glacier National Parks.

The Windsor hotel in Montreal which was the first grand railway hotel in Canada began operation in 1878 beside the main station of Montreal was not owned or controlled by a railway company. The initial grand hotel CPR that was established was in 1888 known as the Hotel Vancouver.

Things to Know before taking a train tour/trip in Canada

Going across Canada by train is a remarkable experience like none you would ever see. Observing the entire country from Halifax to Vancouver is very exciting. But before you take your trip and take a nap to wake up in entirely different Canadian time zone, the following are some of the things you should be aware of so you would be able to get the best from your experience.

They include;

The whole Journey take between 4-6 days Non-stop

Depending on the period you decide to embark on a train trip across Canada, the entire trip takes between 4-6 days. This is, so you have to be certain that your train schedule tallies with your connecting train. If you are going with ‘The Canadian’ which goes through Toronto and Vancouver, the trip will take four days straight if you don’t disembark.

Winter is the ideal period to take the train across Canada

You can book a transcontinental train trip during the winter at a more cheaper rate than the peak season, and you stand to gain larger benefits which include a minimal amount of people to struggle with to get a great view on the train. If you have plans to take stops at some cities, the cities would not be as crowded with tourists and loads, and it would also be less expensive.

The most significant benefit traveling by train in Canada during the winter provides is that it offers the most remarkable views of any season. This was re-iterated by Roofing Edmonton owner who make the trip this past winter. This is because lots of trees have shed their leaves and you would be able to see the landscape beyond through them.

Passenger trains do not have priority as they share the tracks with freight trains

Freight trains bring in more revenue than passenger trains, so they are given a higher level of precedence on the track. The train tracks are also owned by freight trains, so passenger trains frequently move to a side rail until the freight train passes. Some freight trains can be up to 2 or more miles long, so it takes up to 15-40 minutes to pass. Due to the fact that freight trains are not that long, they are to wait at the side until the freight train is done.

Interesting Canada Railway Facts

The railway sector of Canada is globally sustainable and competitive and the mist crucial part of that it is quite safe. Canadian railways work alongside communities and customers and are responsible for the movement of over a million people and almost 70 percent of all the goods that are transported intercity in Canada every year, eradicating congestion of road and reducing emissions that are harmful.

The following are some interesting facts about Canada railway, they include;

  • The railway network of Canada is the fifth largest one worldwide
  • The railway system of Canada is responsible for handling the fourth largest amount of goods worldwide
  • Almost half of the goods exported by Canada are moved by Canada railway
  • More than 10 thousand investors ranging from railway employees and millions of Canadian citizens share direct and indirect ownership of the railway in Canada which was made possible through pension and savings plans.
  • Over $1.4 billion was paid by Canada’s railway in property, sales, fuel and other kinds of taxes in 2015.
  • Over $3.1 billion in benefits and wages in 2015 were paid by the Canada’s railway
  • Over $1 billion was invested by Canada’s railway in new capital programs to provide support for service and growth enhancements
  • Canada’s railway aids in the conservation of fuel, limitation of emissions and relieve congestion on highways. In recent times, over one ton of freight is moved for a kilometer for lower than three cents.
  • Even though massive amounts of goods and people are moved around every year, less than 4 percent of the GHG emissions related to transport are produced by the railways.

  • In 2015, over 30,000 individuals were employed by Canada’s railways.
  • The safest method of ground transportation n in Canada is provided by railway
  • Over $20,000 billion has been invested by Canada’s railway industry since 1999 to make sure there is infrastructural safety as well as investment in safety technologies.
  • Over 25,000 railroad employees, as well as the industrial plant personnel, have been trained by the Railway Association of Canada as well as its members.
  • More than 99% of dangerous goods have been transported to their various locations by the railway industry in Canada without accidents. There has also been a remarkable record of safety on Passenger rails.

Best Train Trips in Canada

Most individuals who love adventure understand that it is not a complete experience if there is no adventure by train on their list. The great thing about Canada is that it offers numerous train services that operate across the country, from the west all the way to the east end and vice versa. Regardless of if you are in search of a way to take a break from the cold winter or you just want to have a vacation, a trip by train is always an ideal choice.

Below are four fantastic Canada train trips you can put into consideration if you ever want to take a train journey, they include;

Across Canada by train
This trip is a remarkably long journey. If you want a long trip, this goes through Toronto to Vancouver. The trip lasts for over three days non-stop, and there are multiple departures every week. You can plan your travel during the winter if you want to save some cost as discounted prices are offered during this period.

Through the Rockies
Part of the fun of taking a trip across Canada is taking a trip through the Rockies. If you don’t have sufficient time to make the whole trip, you can take a train trip that goes through these mountains alone. The trip goes through Calgary to Vancouver or vice versa. You can go during the day so you can get a good view of the locations or stay overnight in a hotel.

The far north
The best train trips take you on adventures to areas that do not have cars or roads. Like a trip from Winnipeg to Churchill. This is a journey that lasts for two nights and is about 1,7000km. You can get a better price if you go via coach.

The nearer north
The Polar Bear Express is a form of classic tour train. It goes between Cochrane and Moonstone located on James Bay during the summer. This trip which lasts for a day is a great way to enjoy all the North has to offer, mostly if you have children with you.

Canadian Railway History

Transportation in Canada was revolutionized in the 19th century via the creation of the railways which were powered by steam. It contributed to the very notion of nation building. Railroads played a crucial role in the tying of regions together, a process of industrialization, paving ways for new market and simultaneously developing a demand for technology and resources.

The development of railways like the Canadian Pacific Railway which was transcontinental led to the visibility of settlements located in the West which played a crucial roe in the Confederation’s expansion.

Early Railways
In England, mining railways came to light in the early 17th century. These railways which were powered by horses transported coal and ore from pitheads to water. A railway of this kind which is primitive may have been utilized in Canada as early as in the 1720s to move the stone that was quarried at the Louisburg fortress.

Cable cars which were moved by a steam engine that was winch driven in the 1820s were utilized in the lifting of stones in the period the Quebec Citadel was being built. Another railway was utilized when the Rideau Citadel was constructed to move stones from the quarry located at Hog’s Back, Ottawa.

The Railway Age
Steam locomotion, alongside the minimal rolling friction, ensured that the first of the iconic railway engineers known as George Stephenson was able to design the Manchester and Liverpool railway in 1830 which was what kick-started the railway age in England.

There were about 2100km of rail in the British Isles as at 1841, and The Mania which was the promotion of railways was on the way as at 1844. Lots of the lasting traits of the railway were developed in this early period ranging from the standard gauge and steam locomotion.

Early Railways in British North America
The Railway fever arrived much later to British North America. The colony consisted of a little population and majority of its capital was concentrated in the expansion of its inland waterways and canals. Nonetheless, it wasn’t long before the possible significance was observed by entrepreneurs and politicians who decided to delve into it.