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Irish Minister for Transport Joins Alstom and Irish Rail to Reveal DART+ Mock-up Carriage

Irish Minister for Transport Joins Alstom and Irish Rail to Reveal DART+ Mock-up Carriage
photo: Alstom/Irish Minister for Transport Joins Alstom and Irish Rail to Reveal DART+ Mock-up Carriage
03 / 04 / 2023

Alstom and Irish Rail have together unveiled a 1:1 scale mock-up carriage for DART+ to the Irish public in the presence of Irish Minister for Transport Eamon Ryan TD, Jim Meade (Irish Rail’s Chief Executive), Nick Crossfield (Alstom UK & Ireland Managing Director) and Piers Wood (Alstom Ireland Managing Director).

The event was held at Irish Rail’s Inchicore works in Dublin, where this mock-up carriage, based on Alstom’s X’trapolis commuter train platform, gave the assembled audience a firm indication of what Greater Dublin’s new DART+ trains would deliver for its passengers.

Alstom has a ten-year framework agreement with Irish Rail for up to 750 new X’trapolis commuter rail cars for Ireland’s DART network, with firm orders for 37 five-car X’trapolis trains including a 15-year support services contract. 31 of the ordered trains are battery-electric multiple units (BEMUs) while six are electric multiple units. The new trains will deliver more capacity and decarbonisation benefits to the local community of Greater Dublin. Nick Crossfield, Managing Director of Alstom UK and Ireland said: “We are delighted to be able to show Irish Rail and the Irish public their new DART+ train in the flesh. The trains demonstrate Irish Rail's intention to move quickly to decarbonise the commuter network in Greater Dublin, Ireland's most populous suburban area. As a global leader in innovation and provider of green mobility solutions, Alstom is there to help Ireland bring transformative change to its citizens through sustainable rail transport.”

Chief Executive of Irish Rail Jim Meade said: “Thanks to input from our customers and drivers, and the work of the Irish Rail and Alstom teams, we can now experience what the future of DART+ transport will be like.  The sample carriage we see on display is modern, comfortable and customer centred and we look forward to having these carriages in use on our network serving new and existing communities for generations to come.”

DART+ is the transformative programme that will ensure train travel is at the heart of Ireland’s sustainable transport network. Funded under the National Development Plan by the National Transport Authority, DART+ is an investment that will double the capacity and treble the electrification of the Greater Dublin Area network, facilitating sustainable mobility and development to enhance the quality of life in the capital and its surrounding counties.

What X’trapolis offers DART+ passengers

Alstom’s modular X’trapolis commuter train is highly successful, with over 6,000 railcars sold worldwide. The trains for Dublin are specially tailored for the DART+ programme.

Each 82-metre DART+ train will have space for 550 passengers with wide, walk-through gangways, a low-level floor, and an automatic retractable step to maximise accessibility for all passengers. Other features include dedicated cycle and family areas, enhanced passenger features such as charging facilities for mobile phones helpfully placed at shoulder level as well as for e-bikes and e-scooters; and advanced CCTV systems throughout the train, to enhance safety and security for customers and employees.

The ten-year framework agreement allows for up to 750 electric and battery-electric rail cars to be procured for the DART+ network. In addition to the fleet, Alstom will provide a range of services solutions, including a Technical Support and Spares Supply agreement for the first 15 years of the fleet’s operation, deploying its HealthHub and TrainScanner technologies for predictive maintenance, and providing three train simulators to support driver training. The expansion of the DART fleet as part of the DART+ Programme is funded by the National Transport Authority under the National Development Plan 2021-2030.

The 37 trains with 31 five-car battery-electric multiple units (BEMUs) ordered will be capable of journeys of more than 80 kilometres outside the electrified DART network under pure battery power, thereby taking older diesel rolling stock off those non-electrified lines. These X’trapolis trains will comprise the first modern battery fleet in Ireland, contributing to the widening of Ireland’s carbon reduction efforts through public transport. 

Energy stored in the battery system will be replenished via fast charging stations at chosen terminus locations and by recovering braking energy while the new battery-electric trainsets are on the move. 

Alstom is the pioneer of sustainable and smart mobility with a full portfolio of green mobility solutions, including the world’s first hydrogen train, the Coradia iLint, which is already in passenger service in Germany as well as battery electric trains already sold in Germany (Coradia Continental BEMU).

Source: Alstom