Minister Ryan Announces New DART Line to South West and Celbridge
The Minister for Transport, Eamon Ryan, has secured agreement from the Cabinet for the new DART line to South West rail project to enter the planning system. This major public transport project will extend DART trains from Dublin city centre to Hazelhatch and Celbridge train station in Co. Kildare, as part of a wider expansion of DART services in the coming years.
The project will provide a fast, high-frequency and electrified rail service to communities along the route at Islandbridge, Park West and Cherry Orchard, Clondalkin, Adamstown, and Celbridge and Hazelhatch.
Following government approval, a Railway Order (planning application) for DART+ South West, covering 20km of new electrified rail infrastructure, will be submitted to An Bord Pleanála by the end of March. Subject to planning permission and final funding arrangements, construction works for new DART line to South West could commence in 2025, with delivery of the infrastructure by the end of the decade.
In general, train services along the route will at least double in frequency, with up to 11 trains each way per hour at peak times serving stations upon completion of the project. This will increase the number of passengers that can travel to and from Dublin city along the route from circa 5,000 each way per hour at present to 20,000 in future.
The project will see construction of a new station, Heuston West, at Islandbridge, and the quadrupling of rail track between Park West and Heuston. The project involves electrification of the Phoenix Park Tunnel along with the wider route, allowing DART trains to operate between Hazelhatch/Celbridge and Connolly station (and beyond), as well as Heuston station.
DART+ South West is part of the multi-billion euro DART+ Programme which will treble the current DART rail network from 53km to 150km, extending the DART to Drogheda to the north, Maynooth and M3 Parkway to the west and Hazelhatch and Celbridge to the south-west. This will allow many more people to travel conveniently and sustainably by public transport. The number of people living within 1km of a DART station will increase hugely from about 250,000 at present to 600,000 in future.
Minister Ryan said, “the government’s approval of DART+ South West today highlights our commitment to invest in high-quality public transport and decarbonise Ireland’s 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 into Dublin. It also means that we can move ahead with good, transport led planning, facilitating vital affordable new housing along the route. I look forward to the DART+ Programme rolling-out further in the coming years. We’ll start this with the delivery of the first batch of 90 new DART carriages arriving next year. This will see new DART services between Drogheda and Dublin city from early 2025, before then expanding to other areas including Hazelhatch and Celbridge.”
Anne Graham, CEO of the NTA, commented, “the DART+ South West project is a key deliverable in the Greater Dublin Area Transport Strategy and will provide a major upgrade to rail services for passengers living along the rail corridor. This project will be particularly beneficial to commuters, as many of the DART trains will operate to and from Dublin city centre through the Phoenix Park tunnel to Connolly and Grand Canal Dock stations.”
Jim Meade, CEO of Iarnród Éireann, stated, “we welcome this decision from the government which shows clear progress in the roll-out of the ambitious DART+ Programme. DART+ South West will have a major beneficial impact on the quality of the service that we can provide on the Kildare rail line, increasing frequency, reliability and comfort for our passengers.”