| 3.3°C Dublin

Boost for rail passengers as new Dart project gets go-ahead to proceed to planning


Intercity train and a DART at Connolly Station.

Intercity train and a DART at Connolly Station.

Intercity train and a DART at Connolly Station.

Commuters from west Dublin and Kildare are on track for improved rail services as plans for an extension of the Dart are finalised.

The Dart+ South West project will go to An Bord Pleanála by the end of this month, seeking permission to build 20km of new electrified track from Heuston Station to Hazelhatch and Celbridge on the Dublin-Kildare border.

The line will follow the route of the Dublin-Cork train, serving stations at Park West and Cherry Orchard, Clondalkin and Fonthill, Kishoge and Adamstown.

A new station, Heuston West, will be built close to the existing Heuston Station to provide dedicated platforms for the services.

The existing Phoenix Park Tunnel line will be electrified and provide a link between the new Dart line and the Dart+ West line to Maynooth and M3 Parkway which has already gone to planning but is waiting for an oral hearing.

Both projects are the latest phase in an ambitious expansion plan to have expanded Dart services throughout Dublin, Wicklow, Kildare and Meath.

Transport Minister Eamon Ryan said the aim was to have construction works for Dart+ South West begin in 2025 with trains running by 2030.

When fully operational, he said train services along the route would at least double in frequency, with up to 11 trains each way per hour at peak times, quadrupling the passenger capacity.

The electrification of the Pheonix Park Tunnel will allow commuters from the outer limits of the line travel electric all the way to central hubs and employment centres in the city such as Dublin’s Connolly Station and Grand Canal Dock.

This timescale is subject to planning permission and Cabinet approval of funding. The cost of the Dart+ South West project, including trains, was put at €656 million in 2021.

Minister Ryan said Cabinet approval for it to proceed to planning demonstrated the Government’s commitment to providing high-quality public transport and decarbonising the transport system.

“This rail project will transform the lives of people living in communities along the route, giving them a fast, reliable and frequent train service to Dublin,” he said.

“It also means that we can move ahead with good transport-led planning, facilitating vital affordable new housing along the route.”

Plans are also being prepared for expansion and upgrade of infrastructure and services on the two Dart coastal lines, north to Drogheda and south to Greystones.

Public consultation has started on the former and will begin soon on the latter.

In the meantime, 90 new Dart carriages are to be rolled out to increase capacity and replace some of the oldest stock.

Related topics

Most Watched