As described in the answer previously provided, DART+ is a programme comprising five separate but complementary projects which are at differing stages of development. Of those five projects, two – DART+ Fleet and DART+ Coastal North – are of particular relevance to the current Northern Line.
This week, following Government approval, Iarnród Éireann has signed a new ten-year framework with Alstom to provide new trains for DART. This DART+ Fleet project will benefit the current Northern Line as 65 of the 95 units ordered this week are for delivery to the Northern Line and will enter service by 2025. These new DART trains will bring Northern Line passengers a greater level of comfort and accessibility than existing fleet and also mean a consistent use of DART fleet across the Northern Line to Drogheda by 2025.
In relation to the overhead electrification as part of DART+ Coastal North, the next significant milestone in that project is next year’s launch of the non-statutory public consultation process. That process will inform the overall development of the project. Once the non-statutory public consultation process has been completed I would expect the DART+ Coastal North project to be submitted for Decision Gate 1 approval under the Public Spending Code, just as the DART+ West project was recently submitted and approved by Government. I look forward to seeing citizens and public representatives input into those non-statutory consultation processes next year.
Ultimately cost and schedule estimates for DART+ Coastal North will not be set until Decision Gate 3 stage and the focus at the moment is on the consultation processes next year and also welcoming the new DART+ Fleet to the Northern Line by 2025.