Irish governments greenlights purchase of new battery trains
The Irish government has approved funding for the purchase by Irish Rail of 90 new train carriages from Alstom. They will be used in the Greater Dublin Area and potentially also on the Cork Commuter network.
The new rolling will be put to use under the so-called DART+ programme, which calls for the expansion of the Dublin Area Rapid Transit (DART) system.
According to Irish Rail, the new purchase means additional capacity on the network, as carriages can be redeployed. The order will consist of 18 modern 5-carriage Battery-Electric Multiple Units (BEMUs) at a cost of around 179 million euros. The first units are expected in 2026.
The new rolling stock also means additional comfort and improved accessibility. Finally, new battery-powered rolling stock, which can also use overhead lines, will result in a further decarbonisation of public transport.
Last year, the government signed off on 95 new electric and battery-electric DART carriages, which are expected to enter service in 2025.
“The procurement of these battery-electric carriages is indicative of the urgency that is being shown when it comes to providing sustainable accessible transport alternatives for communities along these lines and beyond”, Anne Graham of the National Transport Associated commented on the decision.
“This government is continuing to do more to transform our rail and public transport systems than any other in decades. We are doing this because the scale of change we need to make is beyond compare – to provide better, more frequent and more accessible transport choices to many more people and to meet our emissions targets”, Transport minister Eamon Ryan concluded.