Iarnród Éireann, supported by the National Transport Authority (NTA) are beginning what is being described as the ‘largest and greenest fleet order in Irish public transport history’ today as they seek interest from manufactures for 600 electric / battery-electric powered carriages over a 10-year timescale.
The DART expansion is a €2bn investment under Project Ireland 2040 which will see the capacity of the rail network transformed through investment in up to 300 new carriages, according to Irish Rail.
These electric powered carriages will add to new routes as well as replacing old carriages with extra in reserve for when demand increases.
Irish Rail expect “virtually every major global train manufacturer” to express interest in the project.
“The commencement of the tender process for our new fleet is the first major step in the DART expansion project, which will revolutionise public transport in the greater Dublin area, providing an even more frequent and environmentally sustainable commuting option for new and existing communities,” said Jim Meade, Chief Executive of Iarnród Eireann.
It will also provide greater capacity for Intercity and regional commuter services as carriages currently utilised in the greater Dublin area will become available for other services.
Added Anne Graham Chief Executive Officer of the National Transport Authority:
“The procurement of this fleet is the first step in the delivery of Dart Expansion, a programme that will attract some €2bn in NTA funding in the coming decades.”