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Friday 1 December 2023 Dublin: 2°C
Iarnród Éireann A proposed new depot near Maynooth station
dart+ west

Application on track to extend Dart out to Maynooth and Meath

The plans include 40km of electrification and resignalling along the Maynooth and M3 parkway rail lines.

IARNRÓD ÉIREANN IS preparing to extend the Dart network out to Co Kildare and Co Meath under plans for the new Dart+ West, with a railway order application to be lodged this week.

The plans include 40km of electrification and resignalling along the Maynooth and M3 parkway rail lines and a new Dart depot west of Maynooth station.

In the city centre, a second station entrance is planned on Preston Street at Connolly Station, rail capacity enhancements – also at Connolly – and a new station at Spencer Dock with an interchange with the Luas red line.

Coras Iompair Éireann, the railway operator’s holding company, intends to lodge a railway order application with An Bord Pleanála on Friday.

A public consultation is due to open on 5 August and last eight weeks until 30 September.

The Dart+ West will serve 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.

However, it is expected to take until 2029 before the project is operational, with construction due to commence in 2024, subject to An Bord Pleanála’s approval.

DART+ West Map Iarnród Éireann Iarnród Éireann

Minister for Transport Eamon Ryan said that “many younger couples and families have made their homes” near the tracks.

“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,” the minister said.

“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.”

Homeowners and occupiers of lands that are affected by the railway order application are to be contacted before Friday, Iarnród Éireann said.

The work includes the closure of six level crossings and the provision of replacement accesses where required for vehicles, pedestrians and cyclists “to ensure increased service frequency does not result in road congestion at level crossings or impact on connectivity within communities”.

Entrance to proposed Spencer Dock Station The entrance of the proposed Spencer Dock station

Chief Executive of Iarnród Éireann Jim Meade said the provision of Dart services would “transform commuting for the existing and new communities along this railway corridor”.

“It will make travelling with us more sustainable, more frequent and more reliable,” Meade said.

“This is the first DART+ project to submit a railway order, DART+ South West and DART+ Coastal North and South will follow. The DART+ programme, when delivered, will truly revolutionise commuting in the Greater Dublin Area and assist in meeting Ireland’s climate action targets by reducing reliance on the private car and providing sustainable high frequency, high capacity public transport.”

Anne Graham, CEO of the National Transport Authority, added that passenger capacity and service frequency would be significantly improved across the rail network in the Greater Dublin Area over the coming years.

“DART+ will allow more people to make sustainable travel choices and will contribute to reducing our emissions by providing a reliable alternative to the private car,” she said.

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