First tracks laid for initial phase of reopening of Dublin-Navan rail line

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THE FIRST tracks of phase one of the reopening of the Dublin-Navan railway line were laid yesterday.

The 7.5-km double-track line begins at Clonsilla where it will branch off from the Maynooth-Dublin line and ends at a park and ride facility at Pace near Dunboyne, Co Meath. The line is due to open next year.

The service will offer through trains from Pace, located beside the M3 motorway, via Clonsilla to the Docklands station in Dublin.

Trains will initially run half-hourly at peak times but this is expected to build to 15-minute intervals as demand increases. Offpeak services are initially to be hourly but this too may increase as demand rises.

Trains will comprise commuter rolling stock.

The reopening of the line will also facilitate the development of the Hansfield Strategic Development zone, which will feature a new railway station.

According to Iarnród Éireann design work has also commenced on phase two of the project, the section from Pace to Navan.

An application for a railway order for phase two is due to to be lodged in mid-2011, following public consultation with residents, landowners and interested parties along the route.

A preferred route that is mostly on the alignment of the old Navan rail line has been chosen.

The Clonsilla to Navan line was closed in 1963 and Dunboyne has not been been served by rail since 1947.

Under phase one a new Dunboyne station is to have a park and ride facility for up to 300 cars.

The re-opening of the line to Navan, as an electric railway, was initially due to have been completed by 2015, but it is expected there will be some slippage with this timing.

Speaking as he inspected the work yesterday, chairman of CIÉ Dr John Lynch said the company was “delighted at how well this key project is progressing and the laying of the first track is a significant milestone to rebuild and reopen the line . . . which will be enormous benefit to commuters in the wider Meath area and west Dublin”.

Separately the Railway Procurement Agency confirmed yesterday that the Luas extension to the Point will open in the first two weeks of December.

The extension from Connolly Station to the point will have stops at George’s Dock, Mayor Square, Spencer Dock and the Point.

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