DART+ Coastal North second public consultation open
09 May 2023
Doubling of capacity from Drogheda/Howth to Dublin city, and Howth Junction enhancements proposed
Iarnród Éireann has commenced the second round of public consultation (PC2) on DART+ Coastal North.
Part of the DART+ Programme, DART+ Coastal North will bring the DART to Drogheda, delivering an increased and improved electrified network with additional passenger capacity and enhanced train service frequency between Howth and Drogheda and Dublin City Centre.
Proposed project plans being presented as part of this public consultation include:
- Significant enhancements for Howth Junction & Donaghmede Station, in response to customer feedback from the first round of Public Consultation, to provide a more accessible, user friendly and customer focused station for all rail users
- A more than doubling of service and passenger capacity from Drogheda to the city centre by increasing the number of trains from 11 to 24 and capacity for commuters from 12500 – 26600 per 3-hour peak period.
- Infrastructure proposals to provide a more frequent and reliable DART service
- Infrastructure proposed to enable operational flexibility for both direct Howth to city and Howth DART shuttle services as required
Funded by the National Transport Authority under Project Ireland 2040, this rail improvement project will offer an increase in peak passenger capacity and train frequency between Dublin City Centre and Drogheda MacBride Station - inclusive of the Howth Line – facilitating more frequent and reliable transport to the surrounding communities.
As well as enhancing access to sustainable public transport for new and existing communities, DART+ Coastal North will alleviate road congestion and build a more connected, efficient, and safe rail network, supporting our transition to a low carbon and climate resilient society, less reliant on private cars.
Today’s announcement comes following the order of 185 DART+ carriages from Alstom in two phases over the past 17 months, the lodgement of the Railway Order for DART+ West in July 2022 and the lodgement of the DART+ South West Railway Order in March of this year.
Welcoming today’s public consultation launch, Minister for Transport Eamon Ryan TD said: “The positive public response to the first round of consultation on DART+ Coastal North showed that the people living in north County Dublin, Meath and Louth want to be able to travel by fast, frequent and low-carbon public transport. Battery-electric trains will be serving this demand from 2025 and the future rollout of DART+ Coastal North will further enhance rail transport options along the Northern Line. This Government is committed to providing quality, frequent and accessible transport so that people can choose to leave the car at home more often. The launch of the second round of public consultation on DART+ Coastal North is another sign of progress against this commitment and follows two orders of new fleet and the submission of planning applications for DART+ West and DART+ South West as part of the wider DART+ Programme.”
Anne Graham, CEO, National Transport Authority said: “I very much welcome today’s announcement on the DART+ project and this development is a clear indication of the real progress that is being made across the Programme. Thanks to DART+, passenger capacity and service frequency will be vastly improved for people across the rail network in the Greater Dublin Area over the coming years. DART+ will allow more people to make sustainable travel choices and will contribute to reducing our emissions by providing a reliable alternative to the private car. NTA looks forward to continuing to work with Iarnród Éireann in making DART+ a reality.”
Chief Executive of Iarnród Éireann Jim Meade said: “This is another positive milestone in the progress and delivery of the DART+ Programme for the Greater Dublin Area. DART+ Coastal North will bring a more frequent and reliable service as well as offer greater capacity to communities along the Northern line. The Northern line will be the first route to benefit the new hybrid battery/electric DART+ Fleet which are set to come into service in 2025, meaning a better, more accessible service for rail users in advance of full electrification of the line. I encourage communities along the DART+ Coastal North route to engage with the consultation process and have your say in shaping the DART+ Programme.”
Key infrastructural elements of the DART+ Coastal North Project include:
- Significant upgrades to Howth Junction & Donaghmede Station to provide a more accessible, user friendly and customer focused station for all rail users
- Extension of electrification from Malahide to Drogheda MacBride Station (approx. 37km)
- Reconfiguration of the existing track layout and associated infrastructure in the vicinity of Drogheda MacBride, Malahide, Clongriffin and Howth Junction & Donaghmede Stations as well as the provision of sections of additional track, station turnback facilities
- Infrastructure that will enable the operation of both a DART shuttle service on the Howth Branch, at such time that future passenger demand warrants its use, and/or the continued operation of a direct through service to/from Dublin City Centre.
- Construction of a new platform at Drogheda MacBride Station;
- Undertaking upgrades to existing signalling, telecoms and power supplies to support the planned increase in train services, including the introduction of new electrical substations at key locations alongside the line.
- Bridge improvements/modifications as required, modifications to existing depots at Drogheda and Fairview to support the new train fleet
- Ancillary civils, drainage and power work to cater for the changes.
Expected passenger capacity uplift
The scale of service uplift will vary across the extend of the route from Drogheda to Dublin City Centre. The following increase in services is expected to be delivered by DART+ Coastal North across a three hour AM peak period for inbound/southbound services to Dublin City Centre:
- A more than doubling of service and passenger capacity from Drogheda to the city centre by increasing the number of trains from 11 to 24, an increase in capacity for commuters from 12,500 – 26,600.
- Delivery of a 50% increase in service and capacity from Malahide to City Centre through an increase from 20 to 30 trains. This will mean an increase in capacity from 23,300 – 33,800 passengers.
- A potential doubling of service frequency and capacity on the Howth Branch from 9 to 18 trains through the possible introduction of a shuttle train service between Howth and Howth Junction & Donaghmede stations. This would provide an increase in passenger capacity on the Howth Branch from 10,800 – 21,600 passengers per 3-hour peak period.
DART+ Coastal North Public Consultation
The Public Consultation, which commences today for the DART+ Coastal North project, presents the ‘Preferred Option’ for the project design and is the second non-statutory public consultation seeking the public’s feedback for the project.
The knowledge and insight of customers, residents, and businesses adjacent to the route, as well as other stakeholders, will inform the design and help Iarnród Éireann to shape the project plans, ensuring that it will be beneficial for customers and the communities it will serve.
All are encouraged to review the full details at www.dartplus.ie, which also features an interactive virtual room. A series of in-person consultation events as well as a public webinar to present the Preferred Option will be held over the coming weeks for those who would like to learn more about the project.
DART+ Coastal North PC2 is open from 9th May until Friday 23rd June 2023.
Consultation: in-person and webinar events
We want to engage with communities along the route in an interactive way and will hold a series of in-person consultation events as well as a public webinar to present the Preferred Option for those who would like to learn more about the project.
Each consultation meeting will present the preferred option and members of the project team will be happy to answer questions from residents along the route.
- In-person event No.1 – The Marine Hotel, Sutton. 16th May 2023, from 16:00hrs to 20:00hrs
- In-person event No.2 – The D Hotel, Drogheda. 18th May 2023, from 16:00hrs to 20:00hrs
- In-person event No.3 – St Sylvester’s GAA Club, Malahide. 23rd May 2023, from 16:00hrs to 20:00hrs.
- Public Webinar – 30th May 2023 at 19:00hrs. To register to attend the webinar, please email email@example.com to register your interest and be issued with a link to join.
Details of the latest design proposals and the upcoming consultation events can now be viewed at www.dartplus.ie.
Benefits of DART+ Coastal North
- Increase peak passenger capacity and increase train frequency between Dublin City Centre and Drogheda MacBride and Howth Stations facilitating frequent and reliable transport to the surrounding communities.
- Enhance public transport opportunities for work, education, and leisure purposes.
- Facilitate the development and future growth of existing and new communities that will greatly benefit from the connectivity that the DART+ Coastal North project will deliver.
- Help alleviate road congestion.
- Build a sustainable and connected city region, supporting the transition to a low carbon and climate resilient society.
- Facilitate people to make sustainable travel choices by encouraging a move away from private cars to a reliable, efficient, and safer public transport network.
- Improve multi-modal transport connectivity through the development of the wider DART+ Programme.
- Improve journey time reliability.
The option selection and design development works that have been undertaken has led to the development of the ‘Preferred Option’ which is the focus of this public consultation stage. Once the public consultation process is complete, all feedback and submissions received will be reviewed and assessed as part of the next stage of the design development. Following a full appraisal of the feedback, a public consultation report will be prepared to document this process. All information gathered by the project team will be used to inform the design development of the project which will be the subject of the Environmental Impact Assessment (EIA) and Appropriate Assessment (AA) (if required), and ultimately the Railway Order application will be submitted to An Bord Pleanála by the end of 2023.
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