IRISH Rail (IÉ) and Alstom have unveiled a 1:1 scale mock-up of a car from the new train fleet that Alstom is supplying under the Dart+ Programme, which will see the Dublin Area Rapid Transit (Dart) network grow from its current 50km to more than 150km.
The mock-up, based on Alstom’s X’trapolis commuter train design, was unveiled in the presence of Irish minister for transport, Mr Eamon Ryan, IÉ chief executive, Mr Jim Meade, Alstom UK and Ireland managing director, Mr Nick Crossfield, and Alstom Ireland managing director, Mr Piers Wood, at IÉ’s Inchicore works in Dublin.
Funded under the National Development Plan by the National Transport Authority, Dart+ will double capacity and treble electrification on the Greater Dublin Area network.
IÉ awarded Alstom a 10-year framework agreement in December 2021 for up to 750 new X’trapolis cars for the Dart network, with firm orders now placed for 37 five-car trains including a 15-year support services contract. The orders comprise 31 BEMUs equipped with batteries to operate on non-electrified routes and six EMUs.
“Thanks to input from our customers and drivers, and the work of the IÉ and Alstom teams, we can now experience what the future of Dart+ transport will be like,” Meade says. “The sample car we see on display is modern, comfortable and customer-centred and we look forward to having these cars in use on our network serving new and existing communities for generations to come.”
Each 82m-long Dart+ train will have space for 550 passengers with barrier-free gangways, low-level floors, and an automatic retractable step to maximise accessibility. Other features include dedicated cycle and family areas; charging facilities for mobile phones at shoulder level as well as for e-bikes and e-scooters; and advanced CCTV.
The 31 five-car BEMUs will be capable of travelling for distances of over 80km under pure battery power, replacing older diesel rolling stock on non-electrified lines. Energy stored in the battery system will be replenished via fast charging stations at terminals and through regenerative braking.
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