Frequently Asked Questions
The DART+ West project is an exchequer funded railway improvement project specifically intended to improve public transport for communities along the route. This in itself is a significant local community benefit.
DART+ West programme is seeking to significantly increase the frequency and capacity of train services on the Maynooth and M3 Parkway lines. This can be achieved by changing to electrified, high-capacity DART trains and increasing the frequency of trains. Delivery of this project will support the existing communities along the railway and support future sustainable development. It will serve all existing stations along the railway corridor between Maynooth Station and M3 Parkway Station to Connolly Station and Spencer Dock Station using electrical power that has a lower carbon footprint than the existing diesel trains. The frequency and quality of service that will be provided will provide a viable transport alternative to communities along the route and help encourage people to switch from private car use. This will assist in Ireland reducing greenhouse gas emissions from transport and help combat climate change. The electrification of the rail line will predominantly follow the existing railway corridor.
Information on the Dart+ West Project and Public Consultation can be found on www.dartplus.ie. All public consultation launches are further highlighted through in-station posters and a leaflet drop along the project route, briefing of elected representatives, email notification to the project database, targeted digital advertising and advertising in print media and on radio where appropriate. Public feedback will be accepted during all stages of the design development and can be submitted through the project website, e-mail address, phone or by written correspondence. For further details see the How to Engage / Contact Us section on www.dartplus.ie.
The removal of the level crossings will improve train efficiencies, will enhance safety, and will remove the delays caused by the road / rail interface. Their closure will also remove the periodic blockages on the road system, which are currently very pronounced, especially in the morning and evening peak commuter periods
Where existing usage patterns of the level crossings exhibit significant activity, alternative equivalent access is proposed in the form of bridges and roadworks. We are proposing the following interventions at each of the existing level crossings:
- Ashtown level crossing – Permanent closure with provision of a new vehicular underpass beneath the canal and railway together with a new universal accessible bridge for pedestrians, vulnerable users and cyclists at Ashtown Station.
- Coolmine level crossing – Permanent closure with diversion of vehicular traffic to existing bridge crossings of the railway and canal at Castleknock Road (east of Coolmine) and Diswellstown Road (west of Coolmine) with associated road junction improvements. A new pedestrian and cyclist footbridge will be provided at the existing level crossing.
- Porterstown level crossing - Permanent closure with diversion of vehicular traffic to existing crossing points at Diswellstown Road and the new road bridge at Barberstown with associated road junction improvements. A new pedestrian and cyclist footbridge will also be provided at the existing level crossing.
- Clonsilla level crossing - Permanent closure with diversion of vehicular traffic to existing crossing points at Diswellstown Road and the new road bridge at Barberstown with associated road junction improvements. A new pedestrian and cyclist footbridge will also be provided at the existing level crossing.
- Barberstown level crossing – Permanent closure with provision of a new vehicular bridge over the canal and railway linking the Barnhill – Ongar Link Road to the R121 Kellystown Road.
- Blakestown level crossing – Permanent closure. Levels of pedestrian and vehicular traffic do not justify provision of replacement infrastructure.
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.