Minister for Transport Eamon Ryan TD, Mayor of South Dublin Ed O’Brien, Cathaoirleach of Kildare Co Co Mark Stafford, and director at Atkins Tony Mortimer joined Iarnród Éireann CEO Jim Meade to formally open the first round of public consultation on the Emerging Preferred Option on DART+ South West at Heuston station.

The project has been funded by the National Transport Authority, under Project Ireland 2040 and the Innovation and Networks Executive Agency (INEA), with powers delegated by the European Union TEN-T core network, the DART+ South West project, as part of the DART+ Programme.

It will deliver an improved electrified network, with increased passenger capacity and enhanced train performance between Hazelhatch & Celbridge and Heuston, and the Glasnevin/Docklands area via the Phoenix Park Tunnel. 

The project will:

  • Continue the four-tracking of the rail line from Park West and Cherry Orchard Station into Heuston, extending the works completed on the route in 2010;
  • See track improvements and bridge modifications, where necessary, to facilitate electrified train services;
  • See the Phoenix Park Tunnel upgraded to allow for significant extra services directly into the city centre;
  • Include a feasibility study and concept design, undertaken for a future new station at Heuston West.

The Emerging Preferred Option is also compatible with future stations at Kylemore and Cabra, although the construction of these stations is not part of this project. 

Current project status

The first phase of public consultation on this project is now live. It is designed to present the Emerging Preferred option for provision of DART+ South West to communities and stakeholders along the route.

All are encouraged to review the full details at, which also features an interactive virtual room. A dedicated phone line, email address and online feedback form are all available at Due to the current public health restrictions, in-person consultation is currently not permitted. A series of webinars for communities along the route will commence next week.

Minister for Transport Eamon Ryan TD said: We want to encourage more people to make the switch to public transport by making it faster, more frequent and more accessible. The Dart+ South West project is critical to our overall plans for Dublin and the surrounding counties. I encourage everyone to take the time to engage in this consultation process and feedback your views on how we can create a rail service that serves the needs of all its users.”

Chief executive of Iarnród Éireann, Jim Meade, said: “DART has been one of the nation’s major public transport success stories and DART+, with DART+ South West will bring sustainable, fast and frequent train services to tens of thousands of new and existing customers. We encourage commuters, residents, communities and all stakeholders to participate in the public consultation to ensure we understand and incorporate their views in the ongoing design process.”

Anne Graham, chief executive of the National Transport Authority, said: “I very much welcome the fact that the first round of public consultation on DART+ South West is now open.

"This development is a clear indication that real progress is being made across all elements of the DART+ Programme. Thanks to DART+, passenger capacity and service frequency, travel options will be vastly improved for people across the rail network in the Greater Dublin Area in the coming years. DART+ will allow more people to make sustainable travel choices and will contribute to reducing our emissions by providing a reliable alternative to the private car. NTA looks forward to continuing to work with Iarnród Éireann in making DART+ a reality.”

DART+ South West benefits

  • Increased train frequency from the current 12 trains per hour per direction to 23 trains per hour per direction on this corridor;
  • Quadrupling of passenger capacity from 5,000 passengers per hour per direction to 20,000 per hour per direction, with higher capacity trains set to be ordered in the coming months;
  • Enhanced public transport opportunities for communities along the route for work, education and leisure purposes;
  • Facilitating the development and future growth of existing communities, which will greatly benefit from the connectivity that DART+ South West will deliver;
  • Alleviation of road congestion;
  • Building a sustainable and connected city region, supporting the transition to a low carbon and climate resilient society;
  • Facilitating people to make sustainable travel choices by encouraging a move away from private cars to a reliable, efficient and safer public transport network;
  • Improved multimodal transport connectivity through interchange with the Luas at Heuston, Bus Connects and the proposed MetroLink

(Main image: L- R, Mark Stafford, cathaoirleach of Kildare Co Co; Ed O’Brien, mayor of South County Dublin; Minister for Transport Eamon Ryan TD; Jim Meade, CEO Iarnród Éireann - Irish Rail; Tony Mortimer, director, Atkins.)