Dart recalls track of time

Thu, Jul 23, 2009, 01:00

Railway chiefs are planning to celebrate Dublin’s Dart system, which marks its 25th anniversary in service today.

Since its launch on July 23 1984, the Dart has become one of the country’s greatest public transport success stories with more than 420 million journeys made by passengers.

To mark the anniversary, goodie bags will also be handed out at city centre stations, with five containing golden tickets for a year's free travel.

A free concert is also being on staged for 200 people on board a special service featuring Jerry Fish and the Mudbug Club, David Kitt, The Chapters, and comedian Eric Lalor.

Iarnród Éireann said celebrations will continue with free concerts in Pearse Street station for the next two Fridays.

Budding poets can also see their work featured alongside world-renowned poets on trains, while commuters will be able to sample the dishes of some of the city’s top restaurants at stations next month.

“Because Dart is such a significant part of the daily lives of so many people, the company wanted to celebrate its 25 years in ways that involve commuters and will speak of the unique place Dart has in Dublin’s landscape,” said a spokesman.

A symbol of the capital, the brightly coloured green rail service has featured in movies, televisions shows, and is the only public transport ever taken by Ross O’Carroll Kelly.

The Dart fleet of 154 carriages runs just under 15.5 million kilometres a year between 30 stations in Dublin.

The busiest day in its history was the July 4th 1996 when 250,000 people visited the USS JFK naval ship which sailed in to Dún Laoghaire.

The firm plans to expand its service along the Northern line, Maynooth and Hazelhatch and become part of Dart Underground, a 7.5 km line running underground from Docklands to Inchicore.

PA