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25th Jul 2022

Major DART expansion set to begin construction in 2024

Hugh Carr

dart plus west

The DART+ West project will extend the network to west of Maynooth and to Meath.

A major expansion to the Dublin Area Rapid Transport (DART) service is set to begin construction in 2024, with planning permission being submitted later this week.

Iarnród Éireann confirmed that a Railway Order for DART+ West is set to be lodged on Friday (29 July).

The application will look for permission to extend the current network from the Connolly/Spencer Dock area to west of Maynooth in Kildare, and to the M3 Parkway in Meath.

The project is set to be the first major Railway Order application under the current National Development Plan.

The new service is being funded by the National Transport Authority (NTA) under Project Ireland 2040.

DART+ West is set to service communities in Maynooth, Leixlip, Clonsilla, Coolmine, Castleknock, Navan Road, Ashtown, Broombridge, Pelletstown, Drumcondra, Spencer Dock and Connolly on the Maynooth line, as well as Hansfield, Dunboyne and M3 Parkway on the M3 Parkway line.

The application for a Railway Order for DART+ West is set to be lodged later this week, Iarnród Éireann has said. The application will seek permission to extend the electrified DART network from Connolly/Spencer Dock area to west of Maynooth, Co Kildare and to M3 Parkway, Co. Meath. It is set to be the first major Railway Order application under the current National Development Plan.

The planned infrastructure improvements include:

  • 40 kilometres of electrification and re-signalling of the Maynooth and M3 Parkway lines to the city centre.
  • A new second station entrance on Preston Street and rail capacity enhancements at Connolly Station.
  • Construction of a new station at Spencer Dock with direct interchange with the Luas Red Line.
  • Closure of six level crossings & provision of replacements accesses where required for vehicles, pedestrians and cyclists.
  • Construction of a new DART depot facility west of Maynooth Station, to maintain the new DART+ fleet.
  • All civil, bridge and ancillary works as necessary to accommodate the project.
  • New electric DART carriages will be deployed on Maynooth / M3 Parkway services.

Potentially impacted owners and occupiers of lands referenced in the Railway Order Application will be contacted directly in advance of the lodgement of the order on Friday. Members of the public, prescribed bodies and directly impacted landowners and occupiers are welcome to make submissions from 5 August until 30 September as part of the statutory consultation process.

Construction is anticipated to commence in 2024 with DART+ West entering operation in 2029.

“This government is absolutely committed to extending quality public transport to more and more communities, from an environmental point of view, but critically, from a social and economic point of view, said Minister for Transport, Environment, Climate, Communications and Transport Éamon Ryan.

“DART+ West will, for the first time, connect established and new and growing communities to the west of our capital city and into Kildare and Meath along a modern, electrified, fast and frequent rail line. This is a transport line along which many younger couples and families have made their homes particularly.

“DART + West will give these communities a reliable and direct rail connection to the city, and offer an end to the commuting and congestion that too many have had to deal with on roads into the city. It will also mean that they can connect with the other light rail, bus and inter-rail options around the city.

“This is the first of many railway orders to come, which will transform travel in the Greater Dublin area, and help us meet our climate targets.”

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