A railway order application to develop the €1 billion DART+ West project, which will electrify the railway line to Maynooth in Co Kildare, is to be submitted to An Bord Pleanála this week. The application will seek permission to extend the electrified DART network from Connolly/Spencer Dock area to west of Maynooth, Co Kildare and to M3 Parkway, Co Meath.
The Railway Order application is to be lodged on Friday, making it the first major application of its kind to be submitted under the current National Development Plan. It will be followed by a statutory consultation period, which will commence on 5th August and run until 30th September. Two previous rounds of non-statutory public consultation have been held on the project, with a third local consultation taking place at Ashtown.
Funded by the National Transport Authority, DART+ West project will increase passenger capacity along the Maynooth line from the current figure of 4,500 per hour to 13,200 per hour in 2025. It will deliver a more sustainable transport option, via electrification and new electric trains, for communities in Maynooth, Leixlip, Clonsilla, Coolmine, Castleknock, Navan Road, Ashtown, Broombridge, Pelletstown, Drumcondra, Spencer Dock and Connolly on the Maynooth line, as well as Hansfield, Dunboyne and M3 Parkway on the M3 Parkway line.
Roughan & O’Donovan, led by Director Mark Kilcullen and Director Barry Corrigan, is acting as a sub-consultant to IDOM on the project. Working together with IDOM and Iarnród Éireann’s delivery team, we completed the option selection and design stages of the project. The Environmental Impact Assessment Report (EIAR), Appropriate Assessment (AA) and draft Railway Order documentation have been prepared by the Railway Order team for submission to An Bord Pleanála.
Construction is expected to begin on the project in 2024 subject to receipt of the necessary planning and funding approvals.
Planned infrastructure improvements include:
- Approximately 40km of electrification and re-signalling of the Maynooth and M3 Parkway lines to the city centre
- Capacity enhancements at Connolly Station, including modifications to junctions, to facilitate increased train and passenger numbers
- Provision of a new station at Spencer Dock to better serve the north Docklands area and improve the interchange with the Luas
- Closure of level crossings and provision of replacement bridges where required
- Construction of a new DART depot facility west of Maynooth for the maintenance and parking of trains
- Interventions at existing bridges over the rail line where insufficient clearances for overhead electrification equipment exist
- Substations, electrical buildings and all other civil and ancillary works necessary to accommodate the project
Chief Executive of Iarnród Éireann Jim Meade said: “Today is a great day for the communities of West Dublin, North Kildare and East Meath. The provision of DART services will transform commuting for the existing and new communities along this railway corridor. It will make travelling with us more sustainable, more frequent and more reliable. This is the first DART+ project to submit a railway order, DART+ South West and DART+ Coastal North and South will follow. The DART+ programme, when delivered, will truly revolutionise commuting in the Greater Dublin Area and assist in meeting Ireland’s climate action targets by reducing reliance on the private car and providing sustainable high frequency, high capacity public transport.”
Anne Graham, CEO, National Transport Authority said: “I very much welcome today’s announcement on the DART+ project and this development is a clear indication of the real progress that is being made across the Programme. Thanks to DART+, passenger capacity and service frequency will be vastly improved for people across the rail network in the Greater Dublin Area over the coming years. DART+ will allow more people to make sustainable travel choices and will contribute to reducing our emissions by providing a reliable alternative to the private car. NTA looks forward to continuing to work with Iarnród Éireann in making DART+ a reality.”