Alstom secures DART+ charging contract from Irish Rail

A regular DART train stops on the Malahide train station in Dublin, Ireland. LesPalenik / Shutterstock

Rail engineering group Alstom has secured a contract from Irish Rail to provide fast-charging infrastructure for Battery Electric Multiple Unit (BEMU) trains in Dublin and Drogheda. The technology will be installed in 2024 as part of a deal valued at 28 million euros, ahead of the launch of new battery-electric DART+ trains that will enter service in 2025, a contract which Alstom won earlier.

“Alstom is pleased to partner with Irish Rail in delivering the new state-of-the-art BEMU’s charging facility,” Piers Wood, Managing Director of Alstom in Ireland, comments. “Projects such as this will deliver social and economic benefits to Irish Rail passengers and Alstom is proud to be playing a part in the first project of its kind in Ireland and the UK.”

The solution will involve installation of medium voltage connections at platforms and one siding at Drogheda. A traction substation will convert power for the facility which will allow trains to be recharged during service turnaround. Each train will be able to travel up to 80 kilometres on a single battery charge.

“This investment will allow us to accelerate the benefits of DART+ to customers on the Drogheda commuter route,” Jim Made, CEO of Irish Rail said. “With a brand-new fleet and extra capacity to be provided in just two years’ time, we are confident that this project will make a real difference to the lives of people in the Greater Dublin Area.”

The deal is part of a ten-year framework agreement between Alstom and Irish Rail for the supply of up to 750 new X’trapolis commuter rail cars for Ireland’s DART network. Firm orders have so far been placed for 37 five-car X’trapolis trains, of which 31 are BEMUs and six are electric multiple units.

The DART+ project has been funded under the National Development Plan by Ireland’s National Transport Authority.

Author: Malcolm Ramsay

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