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Dart extension plans have been in the pipeline for several years.

Dart extension to Drogheda and increased capacity promised in new rail plan

A public consultation will now take place as part of plans for the Dart+ West programme.

THE NATIONAL TRANSPORT Authority has published plans that would see the extension of Dart services to Maynooth, Drogheda and Celbridge. 

Launched today by Minister for Transport Eamon Ryan, the plan would see a long-mooted upgrade and extension of Dart services beyond Dublin as well as increased capacity on the rail network. 

Included in the extension programme are plans to buy new trains and the elimination of several level crossings. 

The existing line to Greystones will also be upgraded. 

Work on the project is set to take several years, the deputy head of the National Transport Authority Hugh Creegan confirmed on RTÉ Radio One this afternoon. 

Creegan said that level crossings would be replaced by three road bridges and three pedestrian bridges. 

The first phase of the expansion will be Dart+ West, which would see rail capacity increase on the Maynooth line from seven to 15 per hour and passenger capacity rising from 4,500 per hour to 13,750 per hour. 

A new station in Pelletstown is set to open in 2021, while the service will link up with a proposed new station at Phibsborough that would interchange with the Metrolink. 

Six level crossings will close as part of the plan, with promises that new local arrangements will be introduced. 

Public consultation

A public consultation process has been launched ahead of planning permission being submitted midway through next year. 

The National Transport Authority hopes to begin work in early 2022, with works being finished by late 2024. 

“We know that when people are offered a sustainable alternative to commuting by car, people respond positively,” Ryan said.

“We know that when there is a public transport option that is frequent and reliable and that brings them where they want to go, they will grasp it with both hands. I believe that DART+ is a crucial part of providing more people with that option.”

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