UK-based engineering and design company Arup has secured a contract from Iarnród Éireann (Irish Rail) to upgrade the Dublin Area Rapid Transit (DART) Coastal lines.
The upgrade of the network will be carried out as part of the Dart+ Programme, which involves a series of major infrastructure expansion projects.
This will create an approximately 150km rail network and triple Dublin’s city and commuter lines.
The DART Coastal line expansion, which connects the existing lines, aims to reduce dependency on private car usage and supports the sustainability goals of the country by providing an efficient public transport network.
The DART network currently connects the city centre and surrounding coastal areas covering 50km from Malahide/Howth in north County Dublin to Greystones in County Wicklow.
The upgrade work involves an extension of rail line electrification from Dublin city centre to Drogheda in County Louth, and improvements along the existing south-eastern DART line to Greystones in County Wicklow.
Under the contract, Arup’s multidisciplinary team of rail, civil, structural, bridge, traffic and transport engineers, environmental consultants and digital advisers will design and upgrade 80km of the new rail connections.
Arup director Peter Adams said: “This is rail’s time: as a user-friendly and sustainable travel mode, DART+ unlocks the potential for rail to become the key to Ireland’s sustainable mobility.
“Our multidisciplinary team is passionate about creating an efficient and seamless passenger experience.”
Scheduled to begin early this year, the design and planning phase will extend for three years to 2024 while the tendering and construction work of the railway line is scheduled to last until 2027.