The DART's expansion will help offer sustainable mobility alternatives for many Dublin commuter towns, Source: Iarnród Éireann on Facebook

Urban rail expansion in Dublin will transform commuter mobility

Urban rail expansion in Dublin will transform commuter mobility

The proposed DART+WEST will connect Castleknock and Maynooth to Connolly Station in the heart of the capital

Today, transport authorities in Ireland announced that they will go ahead with submitting plans to expand Dublin’s urban rail network (DART) into the west of the city. Iarnród Éireann, the Irish rail services, plan to create the DART+West connecting the city’s central railway hub Connolly Station with Castleknock, Lexlip and Maynooth in the greater Dublin area.

As RTÉ, Ireland’s national broadcaster, reports, the expansion plan will be submitted to the Irish Planning Board (An Bord Pleanála) this week and if it goes through, construction is set to start in 2024 and end in 2029.

Dublin’s sustainable mobility plan

The urban rail expansion in Dublin is part of the city’s vision of improving sustainable mobility. One of the key pillars of its current public transport scheme is the DART – an electric public rail system that connects Malahide and Howth to Graystones, all commuter towns along the coast of Dublin Bay.

The existing line currently accounts for 50 kilometres of sustainable rail connections, integrated with the rest of the public transport system, as well as the national railroads, via Connolly Station.

If, however, Iarnród Éireann is able to implement its full expansion plans, the DART+ network will grow to 150 kilometres and cover many commuter towns around Dublin with sustainable mass public transit. This includes towns like Drogheda in the North, Kildare in the South-West and Dunboyne in the North-West.

Dart MaptA map of the DART+ project, Source: Iarnród Éireann


According to a statement by Minister for the Environment and Transport, Eamon Ryan, expansion plans include a new station on Spencer Dock, which will connect with the Dublin tram network and the Luas Red Line.

Furthermore, the DART+West will go through Castleknock and terminate at Maynooth Station, where officials also plan to make a new train depot. The depot, in its own right, would help to house the increased number of trains that will travel the new line.  

This will be the first-ever expansion of the Dublin urban rail network and, along with the new project for a metro connecting the city centre with the Airport, will completely transform transit in the city, moving away from buses and into mass public rail. This is especially true for people commuting into the city from surrounding small towns.

Additionally, it will give people more flexibility in choosing their housing arrangements, as the city has been continuously struggling with a shortage of living space for years.



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