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Government Approves DART+ Programme

The Dart +West programme has been given government approval to enter the planning system, which is a crucial milestone in expanding and transforming the rail network in the Greater Dublin Area.

Government today also approved the preliminary business case for the wider DART+ Programme.

DART+ will:

  • Double passenger capacity per hour to 52,000 and treble the length of the DART network to 150km.
  • Facilitate sustainable mobility and transport-orientated development in the capital and surrounding counties.
  • Provide clean and green electrified rail services in line with the targets set in the Climate Action Plan.

Funded under the National Development Plan, DART+ West is key to the entire programme and the project will see construction of a new depot near Maynooth as well as electrification of the current Maynooth Line and upgrade of infrastructure at both Connolly and Docklands stations in the city centre. Government approval means the project can enter the statutory planning system. Iarnród Éireann are currently considering submissions received during the second round of non-statutory public consultation on DART+ West and Iarnród Éireann will apply to An Bord Pleanála for a Railway Order in 2022.

Minister Eamon Ryan T.D. Minister for Transport said, “this is a hugely significant decision which fulfils one of our key public transport commitments in the Programme for Government. This is a tangible demonstration of progress, which will transform public transport and help us meet our climate goals. DART+ will double capacity and triple the length of the commuter network in the Greater Dublin Area. DART+ West, which will electrify the line to Maynooth is the first step and will also facilitate the development of the entire programme.”

DART+ consists of five different but complementary projects:

  • DART+ Fleet.
  • DART+ West.
  • DART+ South West.
  • DART+ Coastal North.
  • DART+ Coastal South.

Anne Graham, CEO of the National Transport Authority stated, “the approval by the Government today of the DART+ Programme Preliminary Business Case marks a significant step forward towards the delivery of this project. Under DART+, passenger capacity and service frequency will be vastly improved for people across the rail network in the Greater Dublin Area. When it comes to providing travel choices, DART+ will be a game changer and will contribute to a reduction in emissions in the region by providing a reliable alternative to the private car. It will also reduce congestion, improve air quality and provide greater public transport connectivity across the region. NTA looks forward to working with Iarnród Éireann in making DART+ a reality.”

Jim Meade, CEO of Iarnród Éireann, warmly welcomed Cabinet approval, “the DART+ Programme – as the Preliminary Business Case clearly demonstrates – will enable rail to be the backbone of a sustainable, high capacity public transport network for the Greater Dublin Area and beyond. It will also allow us to maximise the contribution rail can make to the Climate Action Plan and sustainable mobility. All elements of the DART+ Programme are underway, and our project team in Iarnród Éireann look forward to delivering the enormous benefits of DART+ as we roll out the programme.”

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