Councillor for Lucan-Palmerstown-North Clondalkin, Derren Ó Brádaigh, has called for greater focus and urgency to address the growing need to meet rail commuter requirements in tandem with population increases and continued housing expansion in West Lucan. The Councillor has continued to bring this concern to National Transport Authority management and was commenting to a recent response received regarding specific questions poised.
Cllr Ó Brádaigh said “The feedback that I am receiving on the ground from residents and existing commuters is one of concern. Lucan commuters are increasingly worried about the delivery of much needed improvements to the local services and indeed the wider railway network into the future. Entire swathes of estates extending from Griffeen and South-East Lucan, all the way through to the newer developments in West Lucan such as Shackleton, Gandon, St Helen’s and Adamstown are already in need of a good reliable train service.
“Recently, I asked for clarity regarding Iarnróid Éireann’s plans both in the short and longer term to increase carriage numbers for services stopping at Adamstown, Fonthill and Parkwest stations. In their response, Iarnród Éireann reiterated to me, that they are taking delivery of 41 new Intercity Railcars (ICR’s). These are expected to enter service throughout 2023. As they are intermediate carriages, they will facilitate the lengthening of existing trains. While at the time of order their primary usage was envisaged to be on commuter lines, the company is reviewing proposed deployment with the NTA in the context of emerging post-Covid travel patterns, and Iarnród Éireann’s Strategy 2027 which targets service frequency improvements on several routes. Decisions on this will be made over the coming months, based on evaluation of demand across the network.
“In 2024, delivery of 95 DART+ carriages are expected, and I am informed that a further 90 carriages are scheduled for 2026. These carriages will be used across the Greater Dublin Area to allow for increased service frequency and capacity. The first 95 will be used on the Northern Commuter Lines, hopefully freeing up Intercity Railcar and Commuter Carriages for usage elsewhere on the network, and the subsequent 90 carriages will directly benefit the Heuston commuter lines, through Clondalkin and Lucan along the Kildare railway line. It is essential that these deliveries and timelines are now met, but also kept under constant review as Lucan continues to grow, with the transition in transport choices away from the motor car being actively promoted.
Regarding the long-delayed opening of the Kishogue train station, Cllr Ó Brádaigh was also commenting “Having sought yet further updates as to the opening of the Kishogue train station, I was informed that Iarnród Éireann intend to start work to bring Kishogue station into service towards the end of this year and being fully operational. There are extensive works needed to bring the station into service, including meeting present day accessibility and system requirements. Unfortunately, as we know, the station has remained idle for 14 years with the original cost of construction €6.35m and every week people continue to ask me the same question “When is Kishogue opening?” Both my colleagues and I have and will continue to press upon the importance of the delivery of a first class transport system, that addresses the everyday needs of local workers and all the inhabitants of the general travelling community.”