DUBLIN'S hard-pressed suburban services will gain a 30% increase in capacity at a cost of €170m under Phase I of the DART & Suburban Enhancement (DASH) project announced by Iarnród Éireann on March 24. Platforms at 23 stations will be increased from six to eight-car length, and two other stations are to be rebuilt, in addition to the work already underway at Tara Street in the city centre. Infrastructure will be improved at several locations, and all DART stations will be made fully accessible to mobility-impaired passengers.

In a separate €80m deal, Mitsui will supply another batch of 40 cars for the DART electrified network. These will be delivered in 2005 to coincide with completion of the DASH works. Power supply will be augmented to permit eight-car operation, and depot facilities provided to accommodate the extra stock.

Financial restraints have led to postponement of an associated resignalling scheme which would have raised capacity on the cross-city section from 12 to 16 trains/h. This will now constitute DASH Phase II, which is unlikely to start before 2005.