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As Irish Rail increases Dart frequencies, fewer trains will stop at Portmarnock

One commuter said that the changes make their journey “almost unmanageable”.

A Dart at Portmarnock station.
A Dart at Portmarnock station.
Image: Google Maps

IRISH RAIL IS making changes to its train schedule from this month that will mean more frequent Darts, but will also result in less trains passing through Portmarnock.

The new schedule will mean that from the 10 September, Darts will arrive at an increased frequency of every 10 minutes in both directions (apart from Greystones, which will stick to a Dart departure every 30 minutes). This will have minor changes to other train timetables.

Although there will be more Darts stopping at Portmarnock as part of these changes, Irish Rail said that a number of Drogheda or Dundalk commuter services will not stop at Portmarnock, Clongriffin, and Howth Junction to free up capacity for the growth happening at stations between Donabate and Drogheda.

One commuter raised concerns about these changes, saying that with family commitments, the longer wait times at Portmarnock almost make their commute “unmanageable”.

The commuter added that there are 2,000 houses due to be built as part of a development beside the station. Part of the planning process involves limited parking as it’s planned that residents would use the rail service.

Irish Rail acknowledged that frequency from Portmarnock “will reduce at peak in the morning from ten pre-9am departures to eight”.

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The railway line said that this was “balanced by the fact that trains serving Portmarnock will have more capacity for customers boarding there, [as] many existing services start from Drogheda and are heavily loaded when they arrive at Portmarnock”.

“We will however actively monitor the operation and demand on both Dart and Northern Commuter services in the peak from the change on 10 September.

After the early weeks of operation, we will review this to establish if we are adequately catering for demand from all stations in the revised schedule (both Dart and Northern Commuter), and we will advise customers if there are any further changes arising from this review.

“Longer term, as population grows, we will be investing in this route over the coming years, including electrification to Drogheda, a new fleet of 300 carriages for Greater Dublin area services generally, and other measures to allow us to increase the frequency and capacity of the service.”

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