DART+ DART+ South West Preferred Option
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DART+ South West Preferred Option

The preferred option for the DART+ South West is as presented in the following sections: 

General Linear Works

The Project will require modernisation and modifications to the existing railway line. 

There are a range of general linear works required along the full length of the Project to enable the electrification of the line and the upgrade of the existing network. These are:

  • Overhead electrification equipment which will be required along the full extent of the railway line from Hazelhatch & Celbridge Station to Heuston Station and through the Phoenix Park Tunnel Branch Line up to Glasnevin Junction, where it will link with the proposed DART+ West Project. The equipment will be similar to the overhead electrification equipment currently used on the existing DART network.
  • Signalling upgrades and additional signalling infrastructure.
  • Telecommunications infrastructure including buildings. 
  • Ancillary equipment cabins.
  • Works to the Permanent Way (or track or railway corridor) including all ancillary installations such as rails, sleepers, ballast interfaces with existing utilities, boundary treatments, drainage works, vegetation management and other ancillary works.

In addition, there are several discrete project elements , which are required along the full length of the line, including: 

  • Six electrical substations will be required at intervals along the rail line to provide power to the network.
  • Where existing bridges do not provide the necessary clearance for overhead electrification of the lines or lateral clearance for four tracking, options are being considered on a case-by-case basis, these include:

        -    Provision of specialist electrical solutions for the OHLE with reduced clearance;

        -    Lowering the rail track under the bridge;

        -    Modification of the existing structure;

        -    Removal of the existing structure and provision of a replacement structure; or

        -    A combination of the above.

  • Retaining walls supporting widening of the rail corridor and replacement bridges.
  • Overhead electrified line protection works at bridges.
  • Construction compounds.


Hazelhatch & Celbridge Station to Park West & Cherry Orchard Station

The works carried out in this section under the original Kildare Route Project between 2006 and 2009 provided the main groundwork for DART+ South West Project, including the installation of the four-track section and the upgrade or replacement of several structures on this section of the route, including ten road overbridges and footbridges, meaning the electrification works can be run under the existing bridges with no / minimal intervention to the bridge structures. Works along this circa 11km section comprise of general linear works only.

Existing Four Track System

Park West & Cherry Orchard Station to Heuston Station

The section between Park West & Cherry Orchard Station and Heuston Station requires electrification and widening to four tracks. Extending to four tracks in this area will require an increase in the width of the existing rail corridor outside of lands owned by Córas Iompair  Éireann,  potentially interfering with property rights (on a permanent and / or temporary basis).

Following an option selection process that included developing and evaluating  a number of options at each location, the Preferred Option for each location was established. These are described below.


Park West to Le Fanu Road Bridge

Increasing to four tracks in this section requires the realignment of the existing tracks and an increase in the overall railway corridor width. The Preferred Option replaces Le Fanu Road bridge with a longer span or spans to facilitate the additional width required for the additional tracks. To overcome the lack of height available for the electrification infrastructure, the road level will be raised in combination with lowering the rail track.

The proposed replacement bridge will be a modern structure that will provide segregation for pedestrians, cyclists and improved sightlines and will be a significant improvement on the existing situation for all road users.

The proposed bridge is presented below in sectional elevation looking east.

Preferred Option for Le Fanu Road Bridge (Click Image to Enlarge)

Le Fanu Road Bridge and Kylemore Road Bridge

This section of the railway requires widening of the rail corridor to facilitate increasing to four tracks. The Preferred Option replaces Kylemore Road Bridge with a longer span to facilitate the additional track width. To overcome the lack of height available for the electrification infrastructure, the road level will be raised in combination with lowering the rail track. The Preferred Option is designed to include passive provision for a potential future railway station at this location.

Retaining walls are required to the north and south of the corridor to allow the widening of the corridor while minimising the impact on the adjacent properties. The raising of the road level will also mean that retaining walls will be required along the road to the north and south of the railway. 

The proposed bridge is presented below in sectional elevation looking east.

Preferred Option for Kylemore Road Bridge (Click Image to Enlarge)

Kylemore Road Bridge to Sarsfield Road Bridge (including Inchicore Works)

The railway in this area (between Kylemore Road Bridge and Sarsfield Road Bridge) comprises two mainline tracks which are joined by two additional short tracks (or sidings) connected to the Inchicore Depot. 

The existing tracks through the area would not provide the required four tracking while maintaining the functionality of the depot. Therefore, the laying of additional tracks is required, which in turn requires the realignment of the existing tracks and an increase in the railway corridor width in this area. 

The Preferred Option provides a new pedestrian bridge with sufficient height and width to meet the requirements for four-tracking and electrification. The extent of works may potentially interfere with property rights in the immediate area but further design development and technical and construction related solutions will seek to minimise this. 

The proposed pedestrian bridge is presented below in sectional elevation looking east towards Heuston Station.

Preferred Option for Khyber Pass Footbridge (Click Image to Enlarge)

Sarsfield Road Underbridge to Memorial Road Bridge

This section of the railway between Sarsfield Road Underbridge and Memorial Road Bridge consists of three tracks. It is proposed to increase the number of tracks at this location to four tracks and to electrify two tracks on the northern side of the corridor. This will require the replacement of the existing bridges in this area.

The Preferred Option replaces the existing railway bridge deck  with two parallel railway bridge decks  , one deck for the non-electrified tracks and the other deck for the electrified tracks.  The existing abutments and supporting structures below deck level will be retained. This Preferred Option also avoids works to the road alignment by increasing the track and deck levels to achieve required clearance underneath.

Heading east of the bridge the corridor will predominantly be widened to the north to add a fourth track (into the embankment between the railway and Con Colbert Road). There is potential interference to third party property rights but further design development and construction related solutions will seek to minimise this impact.

The proposed bridge is presented below in sectional elevation looking east towards Heuston Station.

Preferred Option for Sarsfield Road Underbridge (Click Image to Enlarge)

The existing Memorial Road Bridge is too short in span length to accommodate the additional fourth track, so the railway corridor must be widened and a long-spanning road bridge deck is required.

The Preferred Option replaces the bridge with a longer span bridge. In addition, the rail tracks will be lowered to facilitate the electrification infrastructure beneath the new bridge. The masonry retaining walls on the southern side would need to be strengthened due to the lowering of the track and new retaining walls would be required along the northern side.

The permanent way boundary wall along Con Colbert Road will need to be reconstructed to a higher containment standard and height, as it will be removed to provide retaining wall construction access. 

The proposed bridge is presented below in sectional elevation looking east towards Heuston Station.

Preferred Option for Memorial Road Bridge (Click Image to Enlarge)

Memorial Road Bridge to South Circular Road Junction

This area extends from Memorial Road Bridge to the South Circular Road Junction. There are two major bridge structures in this area which are part of the junction, namely South Circular Road and St. John’s Road Bridge. St. John’s Road Bridge has an adequate span length to enable a layout with the minimum four tracks requirement and is high enough for the electrification infrastructure required for DART. South Circular Road Bridge does not have adequate span length to fit four tracks and is not high enough for the electrification infrastructure to pass under. 

The Preferred Option leaves South Circular Road Bridge in place and includes the construction of a new structure to the north of the existing bridge. The new structure would be for the new DART tracks and the existing Intercity service would continue under the existing South Circular Road Bridge. The new structure requires retaining walls to be constructed on both sides beyond the junction area to the west. 

The new structure will accommodate DART trains. This means that the existing South Circular Road Bridge would not need to be electrified and the track levels can be left as they are currently. 

The proposed intervention is presented below in sectional elevation looking east towards Heuston Station. In addition, an aerial view of the Preferred Option for the South Circular Road Junction is also presented below.

Preferred Option for South Circular Road Bridge (Click Image to Enlarge)

Aerial View of Preferred Option for South Circular Road Junction (Click Image to Enlarge)

Heuston Station and Environs

A new Heuston West Station is proposed as part of the DART+ South West Project. The proposed site for the new station is located to the north west of the greater Heuston Station complex adjacent to the Liffey Railway Bridge and the Clancy Quay Development.

The design for the station takes into consideration the current development strategy and masterplan for the wider Heuston Station site and surrounding environs. The Masterplan area stretches some 500m along the south bank of the River Liffey and includes the Córas Iompar Éireann owned site on the north bank at Conyngham Road. The urban design proposals are to facilitate development of a new city quarter on the western edge of the city centre, incorporating an integrated inter-modal transport hub centred on the existing station, a new retail and commercial core, and a residential neighbourhood all with a high level of focus on open space provision and the public realm. 

Proposed Heuston West Station (Click Image to Enlarge)

The preferred station design option incorporates two open platforms, 174 m long. The station will be accessible by road, including a set-down area for vehicles, access to be provided for emergency services vehicles. Access for the public to cross the rail line to be provided by means of a footbridge; in accordance with accessibility requirements, access to the footbridge will also incorporate a ramp.

A new pedestrian access route to the Clancy Quay Development will also be provided on the western side of the station.

Preferred Heuston West Station Layout (Click Image to Enlarge)

East of St John’s Road Bridge (Islandbridge) to Glasnevin Junction

This area extends from the east of St John’s Road Bridge and northwards over the River Liffey via the Liffey Railway Bridge and under Conyngham Road Overbridge where it enters the Phoenix Park Tunnel.  

The Preferred Option for Liffey Railway Bridge features electrification and retention of the existing fixed track system. 

Cabra Road Bridge, Faussagh Avenue Bridge, Royal Canal and Luas Twin Arches and Maynooth Line Twin Arch are existing structures on this section of the line where the existing bridge height is insufficient to accommodate the rail electrification.   At these locations, track lowering, installation of a reduced height OHLE solution or a combination of both shall be employed to allow a suitable solution to be achieved. 

The clearance beneath Glasnevin Cemetery Road Bridge is also insufficient to accommodate the new OHLE system. The preferred option for this bridge to meet the necessary OHLE requirements, involves the partial reconstruction of the bridge. This option proposes to replace the bridge deck at a higher soffit level. The existing abutments would be retained, and the abutment seats would be raised as required to accommodate the new deck. The bridge parapets would be upgraded for pedestrian protection.  Track lowering could be undertaken here, however, the bridge deck would have to be renewed in any event in the short to medium term. The project is undertaking the necessary improvement works now. 

Glasnevin Cemetery Road Bridge Preferred Option (Click Image to Enlarge)

Project Sponsors

The DART+ Programme is being implemented by Iarnród Éireann as part of Project Ireland 2040 and the NTA's Transport Strategy for the Greater Dublin Area (2016-2035).

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