Monday, July 25, 2022

Sarah Mooney

An application seeking permission for proposals under the Dart+ West rail improvement project is set to be lodged with planners later this week.

Irish Rail said the application will seek to extend the electrified Dart network from the Connolly/Spencer Dock area to west of Maynooth, Co Kildare and to M3 Parkway, Co Meath.

The Dart+ West project, funded by the National Transport Authority, aims to provide an electrified, reliable and more frequent rail service with increased capacity for communities on the Maynooth and M3 Parkway lines.

Planned infrastructure improvements include 40 kilometres of electrification and re-signalling of the lines, construction of a new station at Spencer Dock with direct interchange with the Luas Red Line, a new second station entrance on Preston Street and rail capacity enhancements at Connolly station.

It is also planned that a new Dart depot facility will be constructed west of Maynooth station, to maintain the new Dart+ fleet.

Minister for Transport and Environment Eamon Ryan said the Government was “absolutely committed to extending quality public transport to more and more communities, from an environmental point of view, but critically, from a social and economic point of view.”

“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,” he added.

“This is the first of many railway orders to come, which will transform travel in the Greater Dublin Area, and help us meet our climate targets.”

Public consultation

The railway order application will be lodged with An Bord Pleanála by Coras Iompair Éireann (CIÉ), the holding company for Irish Rail or Iarnród Éireann, on Friday.

Potentially impacted owners and occupiers of lands referenced in the application will be contacted directly before the order is lodged, Irish Rail said.

A statutory public consultation period will then commence on August 5th and run for eight weeks until September 30th. Members of the public and impacted landowners and occupiers are welcome to make submissions during this time.

Subject to 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.

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