Dublin People

Iarnrod Éireann lodges plans to extend DART+ from Connolly to west of Maynooth

Iarnrod Éireann has lodged the application for a Railway Order for DART+ West seeking permission to extend the DART network from Connolly/Spencer Dock area to west of Maynooth and to M3 Parkway in Meath.

It is the first major Railway Order application under the current National Development Plan.

The Railway Order application was lodged by Coras Iompair Éireann (CIÉ), holding company for Iarnród Éireann, with An Bord Pleanála last Friday, July 29.

The statutory public consultation period will then commence on August 5 and run until September 30, a period of eight weeks.

DART+ West will provide a greatly enhanced passenger carrying capacity with increases of more than 160%.

Iarnród Éireann says 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.

The planned infrastructure improvements include 40Km of electrification and re-signalling of the Maynooth and M3 Parkway lines to the city centre, to allow more trains operate, and more sustainably.

A new second station entrance on Preston Street and rail capacity enhancements at Connolly Station as well as construction of a new station at Spencer Dock with direct interchange with the Luas Red Line.

The closure of six level crossings and provision of replacements accesses where required for vehicles, pedestrians and cyclists, to ensure increased service frequency does not result in road congestion at level crossings, or impact on connectivity within communities.

The construction of a new DART depot facility west of Maynooth Station, to maintain the new DART+ fleet will be included as will all civil, bridge and ancillary works as necessary to accommodate the project.

New electric DART carriages for the DART+ Programme will be deployed on Maynooth / M3 Parkway services.

There have previously been two rounds of non-statutory public consultation, on this project, with a third local consultation taking place at Ashtown.

Changes have been made as a result of feedback, Iarnrod Éireann says.

The main changes have been to the level crossing closure solution at Ashtown and the removal of the vehicular bridge at Coolmine.

As part of the statutory consultation process, members of the public, prescribed bodies and directly impacted landowners and occupiers are welcome to make submissions from August 5 until September 30.

A stand alone Railway Order application website www.dartwestrailwayorder.ie will be live and will feature all of the Railway Order documents.

Subject to receiving An Bord Pleanála approval and funding allocation it is anticipated that construction will commence in 2024 and DART+ West will enter into operation in 2029.

Minister Éamon Ryan T.D said: “Dart+ West will, for the first time, connect established and new and growing communities to the west of our capital city and into Kildare and Meath along a modern, electrified, fast and frequent rail line.

“This is a transport line along which many younger couples and families have made their homes particularly. Dart + West will give these communities a reliable and direct rail connection to the city, and offer an end to the commuting and congestion that too many have had to deal with on roads into the city.”

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