Rail Users Ireland has long called for the extension of the DART through the city centre to the Kildare, Drogheda and Maynooth lines. Department of Transport announce support for interconnector tunnel and DART extension in Transport 21. Rail Users Ireland welcomes the inclusion of the interconnector tunnel in Transport 21, the government's 10 year funding framework for transport. However we are very concerned about two issues:
- The DART will only go as far as Hazelhatch and Balbriggan, not Drogheda and Kildare as originally promised
- The interconnector tunnel (necessary for the DART extension) is only due for completion at the end of the plan in 2015, now delayed till 2018 in no small part due to government indecision
While the interconnector tunnel is acknowledged by Government and other commentators as the key to the creation of a integrated transport network in Dublin the timing given for the implementation for its implementation and various rail projects ignores the priority of different projects. Two of the most important projects for easing the chronic congestion on roads and rail lines out of Dublin, the Navan rail link and the DART extension through the city, are being left until last. There is a strong possibility that due to cost over-runs and political meddling that the most important projects may not be built at all.
As a result of this Rail Users Ireland will now be pushing to move the completion date of the interconnector forward, Iarnród Éireann themselves have stated that the project could be delivered earlier if the resources where made available. In addition we will be pushing for the inclusion of Drogheda and Kildare in the expanded DART network as per the original plans.
About the plan to extend the DART
The Dublin Rail Plan was Rail Users Ireland's central campaign in the run-up to the announcement of the government's 10-year plan for transport. In brief, the plan in its original form consisted of extending the DART to three lines:
- Kildare to Drogheda via a new tunnel going through the city centre (the interconnector)
- Bray to Maynooth
- Heuston to Dublin Airport/Howth/Malahide
With the inclusion of the metro between St Stephen's Green and Swords the airport DART link is no longer an essential element.
The Dublin Rail Plan is vital. Without it we will be left with an overcrowded, unintegrated transport system in Dublin.
What is the Dublin Rail plan?
What will the Dublin Rail Plan do for Dublin's commuters?
For a more in-depth discussion of the interconnector, read our technical guide to the Dublin Rail Plan >>