IRISH Rail (IE) has appointed Arup as multi-disciplinary design consultant for electrification and modernisation of the 86km Dart+ Coastal route, from Drogheda north of Dublin to Greystones in the south.

The work is part of the Dart+ Programme, funded by the Irish National Transport Authority (NTA), as part of the Project Ireland 2040 initiative. When complete the project is expected to increase passenger capacity on the route by 50%.

The Dart+ Coastal project includes

  • electrification of the 37km line from Malahide to Drogheda at 1.5kV dc; the section south of Malahide is already electrified
  • upgrades to existing infrastructure between Drogheda and Greystones to support increased train frequency. This will include upgrading junctions and station turn-back facilities, removal of level crossings, modifications to bridges and other structures combined with signalling, telecoms and power supply upgrades, and
  • modifications to existing depots at Drogheda and Fairview (Dublin) to support the new fleet

Arup will work closely with IE’s Dart+ Delivery Team to create a design for the electrification extension and associated works, along with the design of modifications on the existing Dart line to provide for the required increase in service levels. Permissions for the necessary works will be subject to a Railway Order being approved which will follow extensive public consultation with communities and individuals along the route. Construction on Dart+ Coastal is expected to commence from the beginning of 2024, subject to securing the Railway Order. Electrification and other work is scheduled for completion in 2027.

The award of the of Dart+ Coastal design contract means that all aspects of the Dart+ Programme are now underway. They are;

  • Dart+ West: Maynooth / M3 Parkway line, modernisation and electrification plus a new Dart EMU depot proposed west of Maynooth. This project will start its second round of public consultation during the second quarter of this year.
  • Dart+ South West: modernisation and electrification Dublin Heuston to Hazelhatch line. This project will also commence its first round of public consultation in the second quarter of this year, and

tendering for the new Dart fleet of trains is underway and an order is expected to be placed later this year according to IE.