DART passengers will have to use shorter trains off-peak
RAIL passengers travelling at off-peak times will travel in shorter trains to help cut Iarnrod Eireann’s fuel bills.
The company has introduced two-carriage trains across the DART network at off-peak times and after 7pm, with further changes to be introduced on the inter-city fleet over the coming weeks.
The changes are aimed at yielding some €3.2m a year in fuel savings. The company has already cut €16m from its annual bills in recent years.
Currently, some 65pc of all DART passengers travel in the four hours of morning and evening peak, with the remaining 35pc travelling across the remaining 14 hours of travel.
“In place of longer trains used currently, the company will increase the usage of two-carriage DARTs at off-peak times from mid-morning to mid-afternoon, and after 7pm, to eliminate unnecessary energy usage and reduce maintenance costs, while continuing existing service frequency to customers,” the company said.
Capacity can be increased, and it will also introduce changes for frequently-used services, for example the 16.40 hours DART from Bray to Malahide, which has been increased from six to eight carriages.
On the inter-city fleet, further changes are planned.
There are currently 234 carriages in the fleet, which are configured to form 48 three-carriage trains and 15 six-carriage trains.
“This has lead to capacity shortages on some services and oversupply on others,” Iarnrod Eireann said.
It plans to reconfigure the fleet to form 45 four-carriage trains, and 18 three-carriage trains.
This will allow greater flexibility, with three, four, six, seven, eight and nine carriage trains possible as result by combining train sets together.
These changes will be implemented on a phased basis by year end.
The company said the changes would allow train size to be targeted to meet demand, especially on heavily-trafficked routes.