[IE / Expert] Bull’s eye: New DARTs for Dublin [updated]

This article was originally posted on 14.12.2021 – and updated on 18.12.2021 (video added; scroll down for the update).

Alstom and Iarnród Éireann (IE) signed a ten-year framework for new commuter rail cars for Ireland’s DART (Dublin Area Rapid Transit) network.  The first firm order comprises 19 5-car trains, including battery-powered ones.

Framework agreement for up to 750 cars

On 13.12.2021, Alstom signed a ten-year framework agreement with the Irish national railways, Iarnród Éireann (IE), for up to 750 X’trapolis commuter rail cars for Dublin’s DART commuter network.  The contract covers the replacement and the expansion of the DART fleet as part of the DART+ Programme funded by the National Transport Authority under the National Development Plan 2021-2030. The contract was signed at IE’s Inchicore Works.

Interior of the new Alstom built DART-train (note the ‘coming soon’ pictures on the cabin back wall) – Impression: Alstom

An initial order for 95 cars

Initially, a firm order for 19 five-car trains has been placed, valued at €270 million, including a 15-year support services contract. There will be two different versions:

  • 6x 5-car EMUs
  • 13x 5-car BEMUs (battery-electric multiple units).

Under battery power, the latter type can cover approximately 80 kilometers outside the electrified network.  Fast charging will be possible in selected locations and recuperative braking will replenish the batteries. The BEMUs will deliver emission-free connectivity and capacity ahead of the full DART+ network electrification.

Alstom will provide corrective and predictive maintenance, technical support, and spare parts for the DART fleet for 15 years. The units are due to enter service in 2025.

 Alstom’s Managing Director, UK & Ireland, Nick Crossfield said: “… and the new electric and battery-electric X’trapolis fleet is a big step for making rail even more sustainable while transforming the passenger experience in the Greater Dublin area and beyond.”

A new DART train at Clontarf Road railway station in Dublin – Impression: Alstom

Have a look around the new DART trains in this video: