Iarnród Éireann (IÉ) has received approval from the Government of Ireland for the procurement of 90 new battery-electric train carriages from Alstom.

The government has granted the approval under a procurement framework for new train carriages in a contract valued at €179m.

The train order, which will comprise 18 modern five-carriage battery-electric multiple units (BEMUs), will be financed by the Department of Transport through the National Transport Authority (NTA).

Using overhead electric wires or batteries, the BEMUs can operate in electric-only mode. They will operate in a battery-electric mode in other parts of the rail network.

The Irish rail system is anticipated to receive these new train carriages in 2026.

The new carriages are expected to significantly improve Ireland’s rail transport capacity, including the expansion of the Dublin Area Rapid Transit (DART) system in the Greater Dublin Area and Eastern region.

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Furthermore, the carriages will enable the wider DART+ Programme that is extending the existing DART service from Dublin City Centre to Drogheda to the north, Maynooth/M3 Parkway to the west, and Celbridge/Hazelhatch to the south-west.

Last December, the Irish Government approved the purchase of 95 new electric and battery-electric DART carriages, which are expected to enter service in 2025.

Ireland Transport Minister Eamon Ryan said: “I am delighted that the Cabinet agreed today to the purchase of 90 new battery-electric train carriages for arrival in 2026.

“This comes on top of the 41 intercity carriages currently arriving in Ireland, as well as the 95 carriages approved by the government last year for the DART+ Programme.”