Minister Ryan Secures Approval of DART+ Coastal North Proposal

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Minister Ryan Secures Approval of DART+ Coastal North Proposal

24 May 2024

The Minister for Transport, Eamon Ryan TD, has secured an agreement from the Cabinet this week, 21 May 2024, for the DART+ Coastal North rail project to enter the planning system.

This major public transport project will extend the overhead electric wires on the DART system by 37km, from Malahide in north Dublin to Drogheda in Co. Louth. It will allow for fast, high-frequency and fully electrified DART trains to operate between Dublin City and Drogheda. This will upgrade the rail service to growing communities along the route, including Clongriffin, Donabate, Balbriggan and Skerries.

Following Government approval today, a Railway Order (planning application) for the DART+ Coastal North project will be submitted to An Bord Pleanála by July. Subject to planning permission and funding arrangements, construction works on the route could commence later this decade, taking approximately three years to complete.

In the meantime, by 2026 there will be a significant boost to rail services between Dublin and Drogheda through the roll-out of 65 new battery-electric DART carriages. These new battery-electric DARTs will replace existing diesel services and provide sustainable modern trains to communities on the route. The development will also be a stepping-stone towards the Coastal North project involving overhead electrification and other capacity improvements on the route. For example, upon completion of DART+ Coastal North, passenger capacity between Malahide and Drogheda will increase from approximately 4,800 people travelling at peak hours in the busiest direction, to 8,800. This is an 83% increase.

Dart+ Coastal North Proposal

DART+ Coastal North is managed by Iarnród Éireann (IÉ) and funded by the Department of Transport through the National Transport Authority (NTA). The project is part of the multi-billion-euro DART+ Programme which will almost treble the DART rail network from 53km to 150km. The DART+ Programme involves extending the DART to Drogheda to the north, Maynooth and M3 Parkway to the west, and Hazelhatch and Celbridge to the southwest. The Programme will encourage more people to travel conveniently and sustainably by public transport, with the number of people living within 1km of a DART station more than doubling from approximately 250,000 at present to 600,000 in future.

Minister Ryan said, “The government’s approval of DART+ Coastal North today marks another milestone in our Commitment to develop sustainable public transport infrastructure for people and communities throughout the country. The DART+ Programme will see a major expansion in DART services across the eastern region, especially to the North, West and Southwest of Dublin. The Coastal North scheme will improve rail links to thriving and expanding towns and communities like Balbriggan, Gormanston and Laytown on the way to Drogheda, itself a lively, growing town.

This is about giving more people, more transport choices, so that they can choose to leave the car at home more often. People will start to see changes quickly, with brand new battery-electric DART trains between Dublin city and Drogheda set to operate by 2026, ahead of the further upgrade planned through the Coastal North project. We want to put Ireland on track for a new age of rail. DART+ will help us deliver that.”

Minister of State, Jack Chambers TD, added, “I welcome the Government’s approval today of the Preliminary Business Case for the DART+ Coastal North project. This will enable a significant expansion of the electrified DART rail network, providing a more frequent and better integrated public transport service for commuters and all rail users in villages, towns and communities across north Dublin, Meath, Louth and surrounding areas.

Today’s announcement complements the work already underway as part of the wider overall DART+ Programme including DART+ West which will massively enhance and improve rail services and frequency to stations between Dublin City and Maynooth. This significant investment will improve quality of life for families and households throughout commuter belt communities as well as support businesses and enhance connectivity.”

Anne Graham, CEO of the NTA, said, “The DART+ Coastal North project is a key deliverable in the Greater Dublin Area Transport Strategy and will provide a major improvement to rail services for passengers between Dublin City and Drogheda. This project will be particularly beneficial to commuters living in growing areas such as Clongriffin and Donabate who will see more and better services as a result.”

Jim Meade, CEO of Iarnród Éireann, said, “We welcome this decision from the Government which shows clear progress in the roll-out of the ambitious DART+ Programme. DART+ Coastal North will have a significant beneficial impact on the quality of the service that we can provide on the route, increasing frequency, reliability and comfort for our passengers.”

(Source: Department of Transport)

The post Minister Ryan Secures Approval of DART+ Coastal North Proposal first appeared on Linkline Journal - Ireland.

The post Minister Ryan Secures Approval of DART+ Coastal North Proposal appeared first on Linkline Journal - Ireland.