Alstom DART+ multiple-unit impression

IRELAND: The cabinet has approved the DART+ South West project to provide ‘fast, high-frequency and electrified’ suburban train services from Hazelhatch & Celbridge station to Dublin Heuston.

An application for a Railway Order granting planning permission for the project is to be submitted to planning body An Bord Pleanála by the end of March. Subject to approval and final funding arrangements, construction could start in 2025 for completion by the end of the decade.

Services along the route would at least double in frequency, with up to 11 trains/direction/h at peak times, raising capacity from 5 000 to 20 000 passengers/direction/h.

The project will include 20 route-km of electrification, quadrupling the tracks between Park West and Heuston and the construction of a Heuston West station at Islandbridge. It also includes electrification of the Phoenix Park Tunnel route, which will enable DART trains to run to Dublin Connolly station and beyond as an alternative to the Heuston terminus.

Dart Plus Map

‘This rail project will transform the lives of people living in communities along the route, giving them a fast, reliable and frequent train service into Dublin’, said Minister for Transport Eamon Ryan when the cabinet approved the scheme on March 8. ‘It also means that we can move ahead with good, transport-led planning, facilitating vital affordable new housing along the route’.

DART+ South West forms part of the wider DART+ programme to treble the current DART network from 53 km to 150 km, extending to Drogheda to the north, Maynooth and M3 Parkway to the west and Hazelhatch & Celbridge to the southwest. This will increase the number of people living within 1 km of a DART station from about 250 000 to 600 000 in future.