Project Specific FAQs
Click on a logo below for the Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs) related to that DART+ project.
As well as Iarnród Éireann being committed to this project, it is provided for in the Programme for Government, the National Development Plan and the Transport Strategy for the Greater Dublin Area. Ultimately all projects are dependent on Exchequer funding for financing. Government approval of the DART+ Programme Business Case and authorization for submitting the Railway Order application for DART+ West was given at the end of 2021. Subject to receipt of Railway Order approval from An Bord Pleanála, the project will go ahead.
Maynooth line customers will benefit from more frequent and reliable services after the project is finished. There is currently a maximum of 6 trains per hour in each direction. After DART+ West is completed, services will have the ability to increase to 12 trains per hour per direction, subject to demand. The capacity projections have been amended since public consultation no.1, based on more detailed railway operating modelling. Also, the type of train you will be travelling on will be different. They will be a DART type electric trains. These trains carry more passengers and are more environmentally friendly than the current diesel-powered trains, contributing to reducing greenhouse gas emissions from the transport sector and supports the Government’s Climate Action Plan. The utilisation of DART trains on the Maynooth Line will increase the passenger carrying capacity from c.5,000 to 13,200 passenger per hour per direction subject to passenger demand.
The project will link good quality public transport to sustainable land use management and can also assist in local regeneration, economic development and support the development of new communities along the route. This is a key objective of Project Ireland 2040 and the National Planning Framework. The integration of public transport with sustainable land use planning will reduce the dependency on private car use and ultimately support reductions in greenhouse gas emissions from the transport sector. DART+ West will integrate with other public transport modes (Bus, Luas and the proposed MetroLink) as well as walking and cycling infrastructure. This will have a positive effect on transport patterns and lifestyle choices. The provision of sustainable transport network supports options for where people live, work, study, access services and use public amenities. It can promote more active and healthy modes of travel by supporting people to walk or cycle to public transport links for onward transfer to their end destinations.
We will endeavour to maintain weekday passenger services during the construction phase. However, some of the construction works will be undertaken during night time and weekend periods in order to maintain day time passenger services. The public will be advised in advance of any planned disruptions to services and alternative bus services/connections that will be provided when passenger services are impacted. Details of the likely phasing and any potential disruptions to services will be identified as the project progresses.
A multi-criteria analysis (MCA) mechanism was developed on the basis of “Department of Transport Tourism and Sport (DTTAS), Common Appraisal Framework (CAF) for Transport Project and Programmes March 2016” for options assessment. It includes the following six appraisal criteria as follows:
• Accessibility and Social Inclusion, and
• Physical Activity.
Multi-Criteria Analysis – MCA can be used to describe any structured approach to determine overall preferences among alternative options, where the options should accomplish multiple objectives. The term covers a wide range of techniques that share the aim of combining a range of positive (benefits) and negative (costs) effects in a single framework to allow for easier comparison of alternative options in decision-making (CAF, 2016). The Options assessment process for DART+ West was a two-stage multi-criteria analysis. The first stage, MCA1, identifies options that are not feasible and options which are obviously inferior to others based on the six appraisal criteria. The second stage, MCA 2, is a more detailed assessment of the higher ranked (feasible) options from MCA1. In the case of the Coolmine Level Crossing, eight Options, in addition to the Do Nothing and Do Minimum options, were assessed as part of MCA 1. Four of these options were deemed feasible and more advantageous compared to other options based on the CAF criteria. The Do Nothing and Do Minimum options were not deemed feasible. The options brought to MCA 2 were Option 1, Option 3 with Footbridge, Option 4 and Option 6. Following a detailed MCA 2 assessment it was deemed that Option 3 with a footbridge was the emerging preferred option on the balance of the CAF criteria compared to other options considered.
The DART+ West project does not depend on any other project in order to advance. It will interface with a number of proposed rail and public transport projects including MetroLink, Bus Connects, other DART+ projects. The project team is working closely with the relevant agencies in order to ensure that projects are developed in a consistent manner and to be consistent with each other.
In order to maintain services during the day, the majority of on track construction works along the railway line itself will take place at night. Works outside of the live railway corridor can progress during the day (i.e. construction of bridges associated with level crossing replacements, the construction of the depot, substations, construction compounds). Every effort will be made to avoid, reduce, and/or mitigate negative impacts, however, there is likely to be some disturbance experienced for those in close proximity to the railway line caused by noise, lighting or fencing/hoarding erected associated with the construction activities. The types of construction work required at each specific location will determine the type of impact that may affect the area/your property. However, there will be general linear works required along the full length, such as:
- Overhead electrification equipment along the full extent of the railway line. This will be similar in style to that currently used on the existing DART network.
- Modifications to the existing rail bridges such as modifications to the structure, track lowering or a combination of both.
- Substations will be required at a number of specific intervals along the rail line to provide power to the network.
- Signalling upgrades and additional signalling will be required to the upgraded infrastructure.
Interfaces with existing utilities, boundary treatments, drainage works, vegetation management and other ancillary works will be required along the length of the project. Upon appointment of a construction contractor a dedicated Community Liaison Officer will be put in place to communicate details of upcoming works and every potential mitigation will be put in place to minimise the disruption that may occur.
During the operational phase, trains will operate at a higher frequency, but greenhouse gas emissions will reduce significantly. As part of the environmental impact assessment, all likely significant effects during both the construction and operational phases will be identified and detailed. Where necessary mitigation measures will be introduced if deemed necessary.