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DART+ South West Railway Order application lodged with An Bord Pleanála

22 March 2023

Second DART+ Line has now reached Statutory Planning Phase

Iarnród Éireann has today lodged a Railway Order application with An Bord Pleanála to seek permission to extend the electrified DART network from Hazelhatch and Celbridge to Heuston Station and the South city via Phoenix Park Tunnel.

The statutory public consultation period will then commence on 29th March and will run until 16th May, a period of seven weeks. Following the DART+ West Railway Order (Maynooth/M3 Parkway to Dublin) being lodged with An Bord Pleanála in July 2022, DART+ South West is the second line in the DART+ Programme to reach this stage.

Funded by the National Transport Authority, under Project Ireland 2040, the DART+ South West will provide a greatly enhanced and more sustainable transport option for communities in Hazelhatch and Celbridge, Adamstown, Clondalkin and Fonthill, Parkwest and Cherry Orchard, a new station at Heuston West and Drumcondra. This will be achieved through infrastructure works resulting in higher frequencies and electrification, and new trains, to increase passenger capacity from the current 5,000 to 20,000 per hour per direction.  The design phase of the project was supported by a grant from the EU Structural Development Fund.

The planned infrastructure improvements include:

  • 20km of electrification and re-signalling of the Hazelhatch and Celbridge Line to Heuston and the south city via Phoenix Park Tunnel
  • Construction of a new station at Heuston West to serve the community of Clancy Quay and Island Bridge
  • Four-tracking of the rail line from Park West and Cherry Orchard Station to Heuston to enhance capacity
  • All civil, bridge and ancillary works as necessary to accommodate the project
  • Upgrading of the Phoenix Park Tunnel
  • New electric DART carriages for the DART+ Programme will be deployed on Hazelhatch and Celbridge services

There have previously been two rounds of non-statutory public consultation on this project, with revisions to the proposals arising from feedback received. These changes including the provision of a new station at Heuston West.

Potentially directly impacted landowners and occupiers within the lands referenced in the Railway Order Application were contacted directly in advance of the lodgement of the order on 22nd March. The Railway Order application website is live from today and features all of the Railway Order documents. Hard copies of the documents will be available to view at the locations listed below. The website also gives details of how to obtain hard and soft copies of all or some aspects of the order. Members of the public, prescribed bodies and directly impacted landowners and occupiers are welcome to make submissions from 29th March to 16th May. It is anticipated when the consultation period closes, an oral hearing will be held into the application by An Bord Pleanála.

Subject to receiving An Bord Pleanála approval and funding allocation it is anticipated that construction will commence in 2025 and be completed in late 2029.

Minister for Transport Eamon Ryan TD said:

“Minister Ryan said “The lodging of the Railway Order application, following the Government’s approval of DART+ South West earlier this month, is another key step on the way to delivering on this project and highlights our ongoing commitment to investing in high-quality public transport and decarbonising Ireland’s transport system. It also means that we are one step closer to linking commuter communities with Dublin City Centre with a fast, frequent new train service, transforming how people travel.”

Chief Executive of Iarnród Éireann Jim Meade said:

“Today is a great day for the communities of North Kildare and South Dublin, and the provision of DART services will transform commuting for the existing and new communities along this railway corridor. It will make travelling with us more sustainable, more frequent and more reliable. This is the second DART+ project to submit a railway order, with DART+ Coastal North and South to follow. The DART+ programme, when delivered will truly revolutionise commuting in the Greater Dublin Area and assist in meeting Ireland’s climate action targets by reducing reliance on the private car and providing sustainable high frequency, high capacity transport”

Anne Graham, CEO of the National Transport Authority said:

“The lodging of this railway order application is another indication of the real progress that is being made in developing a public transport service that will meet the transport requirements of people in the Dublin region for years and decades to come. I have no doubt that DART+ as a programme of projects will prove to be transformative for the entire region”.