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Ireland has secured €8.8 million in funding from Europe to go towards Dart expansion project in Kildare

The government’s development plan aims to increase capacity on Dart services to cope with the expected rise in demand in future.

File photo.
File photo.
Image: Leah Farrell/

IRELAND HAS SECURED €8.8 million from the European Commission to go towards the government’s Dart expansion project.

The money – granted under the EU’s Connecting Europe Facility – will go towards the design phase of the upgrade to the Kildare Line.

The Dart expansion programme was allocated €2 billion under the State’s National Development Plan 2018-2027.

Under the plans, it said it will offer a faster, reliable rail system and increase the frequency and capacity of trains. 

It is also proposed to deliver new Dart services between Dublin city centre and Drogheda, Maynooth and Celbridge. It’s estimated it could increase customer capacity from around 26,000 passengers per hour per direction last year to 50,000-60,000 at its peak under the planned investment. 

Minister for Transport Eamon Ryan said the new plans would facilitate an “important reduction in greenhouse gas emissions and a shift towards a climate resilient society”.

He said: “For the Kildare line, the project will facilitate more services, greater capacity and electrification, as well as enhancing the infrastructure into Heuston Station – one of the busiest rail corridors in the country. ”

Minister of State in the department Hildegarde Naughton also welcomed the news.

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“The current rail system in Dublin is approaching capacity, and without investment, will leave the railway struggling to accommodate the population growth projected for the region,” she said. “I am pleased that this project has secured financial backing from the EU.”

The funding for this project in Ireland today comes alongside a €2.2 billion injection from the EU into 140 key transport projects across the bloc. 

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Sean Murray

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