Dart users to benefit from one train every 10 minutes

Increase in capacity linked to advancing economic recovery and expanding workforce

Dart boost: Growing demand is steering rail services back toward their peak capacity which occurred in 2008. Photograph: The Irish Times

Dart boost: Growing demand is steering rail services back toward their peak capacity which occurred in 2008. Photograph: The Irish Times

 

Dart services are to be increased to a train every 10 minutes in a move Irish Rail has said responds to a significant rise in passenger demand as economic activity and employment grows.

In the first three months of 2015, use of the commuter services was up 6.1 per cent on the same period 12 months ago, a marked acceleration on previous years.

Such growing demand is steering rail services back toward their peak capacity which occurred in 2008.

Ongoing upgrades to a signalling system in the area around Connolly Station will allow capacity to further beef up services in line with future population or economic growth.

In the meantime, Dart users along the capital’s coastline will see trains at peak times, and possibly during other periods of the day, upped from one every 15 minutes to every 10 minutes.

“The economy is absolutely a factor,” said Irish Rail spokesman Barry Kenny.

Demand

“If you look at the last couple of years on the Dart there has been a 1 and 3 per cent increase but this year it’s been 6 per cent. When that is consistently happening across the first three months of the year it’s speaking to quite a significant shift.”

Irish Rail has also pointed to the success of the Leap Card service and Taxsaver scheme for regular commuters as a reason for the surge in rail users.

There were more than 9 million journeys on Dart, commuter and Intercity services between January and March, a 4 per cent increase on last year. The Dart though has led the way with more than 200,000 more journeys.

Shortened carriages on the service have also begun to be reversed. About 20 trains operating at peak hours have been extended, a further indicator of growing passenger numbers.

The company said increases in demand “underline the role high-capacity public transport will play in meeting the challenges of economic growth, to ensure we avoid congestion and build a sustainable future”.