A development application for the €1 billion Dart+ West project, which will electrify the rail line to Maynooth in Co Kildare, will be submitted to An Bord Pleanála this week.

Irish Rail has said Dart services from Connolly/Spencer Dock to Maynooth and on to the M3 Parkway, Co Meath, could start by 2029 pending the outcome of the planning process.

The application for the railway order must be submitted on Friday, after which there will be a public consultation period from August 5 to September 30. Potentially affected landowners and occupiers will be contacted immediately before the order is submitted, according to Irish Rail.

The project, first announced 17 years ago, will double the number of trains on the line from six to 12 per hour in each direction, increasing hourly passenger traffic from 5,000 to more than 13,000 each way. However, this involves the closure of six level crossings from Ashtown in Dublin to Blakestown, west of Leixlip in Co Kildare.

The Dart West Community Coalition, an alliance of 10 residents’ groups, said they were “fully supportive” of the Dart project, but permanent road closures were unnecessary and would leave some communities cut off from essential services.

The planning board is expected to hold a public hearing on the project.


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