Irish Rail are on track with the appointment of Arup as design consultants for the DART+ Coastal route from Drogheda to Greystones, a Fine Gael TD has said.
Deputy Fergus O’Dowd said: “I very much welcome today’s news regarding the appointment of the consultants for this much anticipated project.
“Work is well in train now for electrification of the line from Malahide to Drogheda, the upgrade of infrastructure to increase frequency of services and modifications to the Drogheda Depot.
“Irish Rail will be introducing a hybrid electric-battery fleet which will enable the commencement of DART services to Drogheda in advance of the full electrification of the line, the fleet would operate using the overhead power line when available, but can also operate long distances on battery power only where the line is not electrified.
Deputy O’Dowd continued: “This is another important step in delivering the overall DART+ Programme which will be the single biggest investment in the rail network ever.
“In terms of public transport, the arrival of the DART to Drogheda in the coming years will greatly improve commuter links to the capital including high frequency DART to and from Drogheda to Dublin at very short intervals at peak times.
“With this much improved accessibility to public transport I will be pressing Irish Rail to look at the viability of opening a Drogheda North station and the reopening of the Dunleer Train station.
“New commuter services connecting North and mid Louth to Drogheda and onwards will transform our commuter transport options in our county and will assist in encouraging direct investment in job creation in County Louth.
“Increased capacity and shorter waiting times, especially at rush hours, will make a huge difference to the life of commuters.
“It would also be hugely advantageous to motorists who are currently choosing to drive to Dublin due to overcrowding and delays on the train, cutting commuting times and hours lost spent in traffic.
“DART+ will allow more people in Drogheda and East Meath to make sustainable travel choices and will contribute to reducing our emissions by providing a reliable alternative to the private car.”