Special promotional day return fares are available from Cork, Kerry, Limerick, Ennis, Galway, Westport, Dublin and Waterford, which include bus transfers direct to the Ploughing Championship at Cardenton.
For example, on Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday, trains leaving Cork at 5.05am, 6.30am, 7.30am and 8.30am will arrive at Portarlington in less than two and a half hours.
Passengers are then transferred to the Ploughing by bus, included in the return fares for adults from €30, and for children from €20.
Return trains leave Portarlington from 4.30 to 6.45pm.
See www.irishrail.ie for details and booking.
The Ploughing Championships open at 9am each day. Ploughing competitions – including the European Reversible Ploughing Contest for the first time – run from 10.30am to 2.30pm, but a host of other attractions are on the programme.
They include more than 1,100 trade stands (including state agencies, national radio stations and sporting associations); live entertainment; displays from vintage ploughs to sheep shearing to boxing; a huge livestock show; a forestry village; a bio-energy show; the lifestyle village; food fair; craft centre; and the educational/business arcade.
Fashion shows, food halls, bars, and live music, equestrian competitions, vintage threshing, sheep dog trials, sheep shearing and sheaf tossing are among the other activities to keep 200,000 visitors happy.