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Greens welcome new large scale DART fleet order

Date: 13 December 2021

Green Party TD for Wicklow Steven Matthews has welcomed the announcement of the largest and most sustainable ever order of electric carriages for Ireland’s railway network. An initial 95 carriage order has been placed for the electric units which includes battery electric trains and up to 750 carriages over the next ten years.

They are due for delivery from mid-2024, entering service in 2025, and will include a number of Battery Electric powered trains, which will deliver more capacity for commuters in advance of electrification of the lines upon which they will operate.

Discussing the announcement, Deputy Matthews said:

“The inclusion of Battery Electric units is significant for Wicklow as these units can be deployed to routes prior to extending the overhead wires. With my proposal for the DART extension to Wicklow Town now included in the NTA transport strategy it makes sense to deploy battery electric trains to the Wicklow route in advance of the constructing the overhead wires.

“Breaking it down technically, the battery trains have approximately an 80km return trip capacity on a full charge so the service could extend beyond Wicklow Town. The way the batteries work is that charge as they run under the overhead wires, their regenerative braking system adds further charge, and they can also be fast charged at a suitable plug-in point along the line.

“The improvement in public transport is a priority for me for Wicklow residents and we are seeing that being delivered now through new rail carriages, electrification of the line to Wicklow Town and the roll out of many new bus routes across rural Wicklow under the Connecting Ireland scheme. Public transport is a key priority for me as a Green Party TD and we want to provide more routes; we want to provide higher frequency and to give people that alternative to move away from car reliance. The announcement of 95 units is a vital step in the right direction.

“Wicklow has long been neglected in terms of public transport resulting in huge commuter congestion and traffic misery on the N11 and N81 and a lack of transport options for students and those trying to access public services or even recreational opportunities. I am determined to see Wicklow and its residents get the public transport systems they deserve and will continue my work with our Green Party Transport Minister Eamon Ryan to see that delivered as soon as possible across urban and rural Wicklow, concluded Deputy Matthews.

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