Wednesday 21 August 2019

DART services to run every 10 minutes under new proposals

DART train
DART train

Emma Jane Hade

Proposed plans to increase train services in the capital will help to alleviate existing capacity issues, according to transport chiefs.

Irish Rail announced today that they intend to launch a public consultation process on overhauling the current timetable system for Dublin’s Dart services, by introducing earlier and more frequent trains.

Trains will begin to operate up to 40 minutes earlier and will run every 10 minutes on weekday mornings under the new proposals, if they are approved by the public.

Transport Minister Paschal Donohoe said it is good news for commuters which comes “in response to the greater demand that is there for public services and is funded by more people using the service”.

“With the capacity that we have and the ability to invest in that new signalling centre, we will be able to support the increased frequency in services that this Dart announcement is signalling,” Minister Donohoe said today in Connolly Station.

The Transport Minister said the number of trains running on the capital’s Dart service will increase by approximately 20pc.

“In relation to the Dart at the moment, depending in what direction you are going in, there is currently around 80 trains running in each direction.

“We are going to see an increase of just over 100, due to the increase of the dart frequency from 15 minutes to 10 minutes,” he added.

Under the draft timetable, the busy commuter train will depart Malahide towards the city centre from 5.50am instead of the current 6.30am.

The Howth service will begin five minutes earlier, at 6am, while passengers will be able to take the Dart from Bray at 5.35am, also five minutes earlier.

Irish Rail announced earlier this year it was planning to increase the frequency of weekday Dart services from the current 15 minutes to every 10 minutes by next year.

New timetable arrangements have been published as part of a public consultation before their expected implementation in the new year.

Other changes include more commuter services to and from Dundalk and Drogheda.

The morning Belfast to Dublin Enterprise service will stop at Dundalk at the earlier time of 7.30 am and Drogheda at 7.54am.

A new express service will depart Dundalk at 7.55am, calling at Drogheda at 8.20am.

Weekend Dart train frequencies will be increased to every 15 minutes on Saturdays and 20 minutes on Sundays in a bid to “eliminate existing scheduling gaps”, according to the company.

Irish Rail has urged all passengers to check the proposed timetable changes on its website.

The company said it has recorded a 5pc growth in passenger numbers so far this year.

The rise in traffic is more pronounced on Dart services, with business up 8pc.

Irish Rail spokesman Barry Kenny said the increase in capacity has stemmed from growth in recent years and the increased frequency will “allow more people to use the service”.

“Its great to be in a position to use from our existing fleet and to propose changes like this,” he added.

The proposed changes are routes which all service Connolly Station and are draft timetables due to commence in 2016.

They are now available online and the public consultation process will close on December 8.

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