Irish Rail orders electric trains for DART+ from Alstom
Alstom has received a further order from Irish Rail, locally known as Iarnród Éireann (IE), for 18 more battery-electric trains under an existing framework agreement. It is part of a greater plan to procure up to 750 electric rail cars for the new regional DART+ network set to open in the Dublin area in 2025.
This further order for DART+ (Dublin Area Rapid Transit) valued at around €160 million, will see 18 battery-electric trains of type X’trapolis added to the initial order of 19 units and bring up the Alstom fleet on order with Irish Rail to 37 – 31 as battery-electric.
The expansion of the DART fleet is funded by Ireland’s National Transport Authority and is an investment that will double the capacity and treble the electrification of the Greater Dublin Area network, so IE. First tenders were announced in May 2019 as part of the envisioned €2 billion investment under Project Ireland 2040.
Iarnród Éireann CEO Jim Meade said today: “As this welcome acceleration of funding for our DART+ Fleet is confirmed, the benefits of the framework agreement with Alstom become ever more apparent. We can respond swiftly, with this further major order of units under the agreement, to deliver transformative change for our services and for our customers.” He added that this would bring the total number of carriages to 185.
The Alstom X’trapolis headed for Ireland are capable of journeying more than 80 kilometres outside the electrified DART network under pure battery power. Alstom will further build the 82-metre trains to have space for 550 passengers. Other features include dedicated cycle and family areas, enhanced passenger features such as charging facilities for mobile phones, e-bikes and e-scooters
Alstom will also continue to support the DART+ fleet for a period of 15 years, providing technical support and spares and deploying its HealthHub and TrainScanner technologies for predictive maintenance.
Ireland is not the only country looking to Alstom to help rail transport move off the diesel train. Deutsche Bahn in Germany and rail operators in France have opted for Alstom trains that come electric or powered by hydrogen. Also Italy expects the company with headquarters in Saint-Ouen-sur-Seine, France, to deliver fuel cell trains. The manufacturer also cites England and the Netherlands as further interested countries.