Ireland’s Dart Fleet Gets a Polish Upgrade: Battery-Electric Trains Arriving Soon

May 12, 2024
2 mins read
A Dart train at Clontarf Road railway station, Dublin City, Republic of Ireland(Source: alstom)
A Dart train at Clontarf Road railway station, Dublin City, Republic of Ireland(Source: alstom)

Irish people have got a new Prime Minister. Additionally, they will soon have new battery-electric Dart trains. The Dart trains in Ireland will feature new accessible ramps and will be battery-powered. There will also be charging outlets for passengers. Indeed, the new Dart trains of Ireland are set to be “revolutionised.”

These new trains are being manufactured in Poland by a company called Alstom. They are expected in Dublin in a few months, signaling a modernization of the decade-old Dart fleet. There is considerable anticipation among those who have been working behind the scenes on these new trains. The trains are being produced at Alstom’s factory in Katowice, Poland. The first carriage is almost finished. According to one member of Alstom’s staff, the Irish trains will be “the envy of Europe.”

Although the technology used in these vehicles is already popular in Germany and Italy, the scale of implementation in Ireland is notable. There will be several tests before the trains begin carrying passengers. Initial tests will be carried out in Poland, but the final test will occur on Irish tracks, which have a wider gauge. 

Piers Wood, Alstom’s Country Managing Director for Ireland, stated, “We can only do that testing when the train is in Ireland, and we can only do it at night, so the time we have for doing that testing is somewhat limited. That is why it takes a number of months to get the train to service.” He added, “But when the train does come to service, and I’m a regular user of the Dart at the moment, it will revolutionise the way that people travel.”

The first order for the new fleet was placed in 2021. It includes six five-car electric trains that will operate from the city center northwards. There will be three extensions to the existing Dart line: out to Maynooth during the M3 Parkway, to Hazelhatch, and to Drogheda. Drogheda will be the location where the new battery trains get charged, which is estimated to take about an hour.

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Jane Cregan, Irish Rail Deputy Director of Communications, outlined, “They will operate as a Dart electric train as far as Malahide, and from Malahide to Drogheda they will operate under batteries, and then when they get to Drogheda, there will be a quick charge, a turnaround and then they will operate on battery as far as Malahide and back onto the wires again.” Jane added, “It’s revolutionary for us because it gives us great opportunities to run more and more frequent services. It’s also more sustainable than diesel transport.”

The new trains will feature multiple folding-up seats, and dedicated spaces for wheelchairs, bicycles, and children’s buggies. There will also be charging ports for the new trains. Piers Wood commented, “It’s a much more airy, spacious train.”

The very modern train will be used on the Dart+ programme in Dublin. It can potentially be extended to Cork in the future, according to one official. The new facilities provided by the new trains include 204 seats, capacity for 551 people, 20 priority seats, 2 wheelchair spaces, 2 bicycle areas, and 2 family areas. 

Mathew Murnane, a graduate engineer who studied at University College Cork, remarked that the new trains are fantastic and very modern because he is working with disciplines on the train to ensure everything goes smoothly.

The new Irish trains will be “the envy of Europe” as they are both electric and run on batteries. Leo Varadkar, a former PM of Ireland, is proud of the new vehicles as it was during his premiership that the order was placed for these new trains.

Tejal Somvanshi

Meet Tejal Somvanshi, a soulful wanderer and a staunch wellness advocate, who elegantly navigates through the enchanting domains of Fashion and Beauty with a natural panache. Her journey, vividly painted with hues from a vibrant past in the media production world, empowers her to carve out stories that slice through the cacophony, where brands morph into characters and marketing gimmicks evolve into intriguing plot twists. To Tejal, travel is not merely an activity; it unfolds as a chapter brimming with adventures and serendipitous tales, while health is not just a regimen but a steadfast companion in her everyday epic. In the realms of fashion and beauty, she discovers her muse, weaving a narrative where each style narrates a story, and every beauty trend sparks a dialogue. Tejal seamlessly melds the spontaneous spirit of the media industry with the eloquent prose of a storyteller, crafting tales as vibrant and dynamic as the industry she thrives in.

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