Yes. The DART+ South West will provide capacity for up to 11 additional services per hour and per direction - four will finish service at Heuston and seven will follow the Phoenix Park Tunnel Branch Line towards the Docklands area.
Passengers who regularly travel on the Cork Mainline train service will benefit from more frequent and reliable service when the project is finished. There is currently a maximum of 12 trains per hour in each direction. After DART+ South West is completed, services will increase subject to demand to 23 trains per hour per direction (i.e. maintain the existing 12 services, with an additional 11 train services provided by DART+ South West).
Also, the type of train you will be travelling on will be different. They will be a DART type electric or battery-electric train. These trains are more environmentally friendly than the current diesel-powered trains which will contribute to reducing greenhouse gas emissions from the transport sector and supports the Governments Climate Action Plan.
The utilisation of DART trains as far as Hazelhatch & Celbridge will increase the passenger carrying capacity from approximately 5,000 to approximately 20,000 passenger per hour per direction. 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+ South West will integrate with other public transport modes (other DART+ projects, Bus, Luas and 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.
The Kylemore Road Bridge replacement proposals for DART+ South West will be compatible with the future provision of Luas across Kylemore Road Bridge in terms of accommodating the necessary loading and providing the flexibility to extend the bridge laterally in the future.
Despite the impacts of Covid-19 on public transport and passenger numbers as a whole, Iarnród Éireann, and the National Transport Authority remain firmly committed to the DART+ South West Project and supporting the implementation of Project Ireland 2040 and the National Planning Framework. DART+ South West is required to secure the long-term sustainability of public transport post-Covid life in the Greater Dublin Area and will ensure that Ireland meets its many ambitious long-term national climate change targets and in transportation going forward.
The National Transport Authority published the draft Transport Strategy for the Greater Dublin Area 2022-2042 in November 2021. The draft Strategy identifies that forecast demand for travel, when considered in tandem with the need to reduce transport emissions, has shown that, over the lifetime of the Transport Strategy, there will be a requirement to further extend DART services to key locations in the GDA. An extension of the DART service on the Kildare Line to Naas / Sallins will provide additional capacity to this area, including to a planned regional Park & Ride site in this vicinity.
The railway along this section comprises two main line tracks which are joined by two sidings used to access the depot and for train storage. The Project requires two additional operational DART tracks as well as the existing tracks to facilitate the required increase in capacity.
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).