Application lodged for extension of Dart to Celbridge and Hazelhatch

Move comes just weeks after Bord Pleanála said it needed more time to decide on a Maynooth extension

A planning application for an extension of the Dart to Drogheda, known as Dart+ Coastal North, is also due to be lodged with Bord Pleanála later this year. File photograph: Cyril Byrne

A railway order application to extend the Dart electric train service from Heuston in Dublin to Hazelhatch and Celbridge station in Co Kildare has been lodged with Bord Pleanála.

Dart+ South West will serve a new station at Heuston West at Clancy Quay; Parkwest and Cherry Orchard; Clondalkin and Fonthill; Adamstown and Hazelhatch and Celbridge. Passenger capacity is set to rise from 5,000 to 20,000 passengers per hour per direction.

The application for a railway order, which is effectively planning permission for the railway, follows a similar application for the electrification of the Maynooth line, which was lodged in July 2022.

Subject to receiving approval and funding it is anticipated that construction of the Celbridge–Hazelhatch extension would commence in mid-2024 and be completed in late 2029. It is not known, however, if the application will also be beset by a planning delay. Earlier this month Bord Pleanála announced it would not be making a decision on the Maynooth extension by March as initially expected because it needed more time. It said it would make a decision on the Maynooth line, known as Dart+ West, by the end of this year.


A spokesman for Irish Rail referred questions about the time frame to Bord Pleanála. A spokesman for the board was not available, however, at the time of writing.

A planning application for an extension of the Dart to Drogheda, known as Dart+ Coastal North, is also due to be lodged with Bord Pleanála later this year. In addition to the extensions to Drogheda, Celbridge–Hazelhatch and Maynooth, two other extensions to the electric services are planned, firstly within the Phoenix Park Tunnel route between Heuston and Connolly stations, and later to Wicklow Town. The overall project is expected to cost €2 billion.

Two orders for 37 electric carriages have been placed with French global train-maker Alstom Transport for new electric trains to serve on the new routes and the first of these is scheduled to go into service in 2025, according to Irish Rail. Dart West, the Maynooth line, is the first to be constructed, and is scheduled to go to construction in 2024.

Meanwhile, the statutory public consultation for Dart+ South West is to begin on March 29th, and will run until May 16th, a period of seven weeks.

Hard copies of the railway order application can be viewed at the headquarters of Bord Pleanála, 64 Marlborough Street, Dublin, the Connolly Station offices of Irish Rail, and the planning department, Dublin City Council, Civic Offices, Wood Quay, in Dublin city centre. They are also available from the planning department in South Dublin County Council, Tallaght, as well as the planning department at Kildare County Council, and Ballyfermot and Cabra public libraries.

The chief executive of Irish Rail, Jim Meade, said the provision of Dart services will transform commuting for existing and new communities. “It will make travelling with us more sustainable, more frequent and more reliable.”

Tim O'Brien

Tim O'Brien

Tim O'Brien is an Irish Times journalist