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http://www.irishrail.ie/news_centre/general_news.asp?action=view&news_id=388


25 years of DART! Join in the celebrations!

by Corporate Communications

Iarnród Éireann has announced a series of events to celebrate the 25th anniversary of the DART service.

On 23rd July 1984, the DART service began operating, and since that date, it has become one of the country’s greatest public transport success stories. It is an icon of Dublin, and has played a crucial role in the life of Dubliners over the 25 years, with almost half a billion passenger journeys made.

Because DART is such a significant part of the daily lives of so many people, Iarnród Éireann is marking 25 years of DART in ways that involve our commuters and will speak of the unique place DART has in Dublin’s landscape. Fun, music, poetry, dining and celebration will all feature throughout the summer months.

A unique advertising campaign to mark 25 years, featuring the work of renowned artists Graham Knuttel and Rasher, has just been launched across billboards around the city.

A series of special concerts entitled The Platform will be held at Pearse Station on Fridays throughout the summer, to allow commuters to share in the celebrations. These begin this Friday 10th July at 17.00hrs, with Captain Magic Wonderland.

Commuters also have the opportunity every day to win free travel on the DART for a month, with the Evening Herald, in Railing in the Years, which tests your knowledge of news and events across the 25 years of DART. A draw will take place amongst daily winners for free travel for a year!

The actual day of the 25th anniversary, Thursday 23rd July, will be one of celebration and goodies galore for commuters, and a unique event entitled DART 25 Live, with prominent contemporary Irish music acts and comedians will be held on board a special DART train in the evening. Acts performing will be Jerry Fish and the Mudbug Club, David Kitt, The Chapters, and comedian Eric Lalor. Tickets for this unique event will be available as part of a joint promotion with radio station Dublin’s 98. http://www.dublins98.ie/competitions/dart_25_live.php

DART will also team up with the Restaurants Association of Ireland in August to host Dining by DART in city centre stations, allowing commuters sample the signature dishes of some of Dublin’s best loved restaurants at their stations.

The popular Poet’s Corner feature, which has entertained DART customers for 22 years, is now giving budding poets amongst commuters the opportunity to be featured in Poet’s Corner, alongside Nobel Laureates and other renowned writers. Details are available here. http://www.irishrail.ie/news_centre/general_news.asp?action=view&news_id=349

If you haven't seen it, here's a chance http://www.rte.ie/player/#v=1051426 to watch RTÉ's special edition of Capital D, from 2nd July, marking the 25th anniversary of DART.

With 25 years under its belt, DART is set to embark on a new phase of expansion over the coming years. Under Transport 21, DART is set to be extended to the Northern line, Maynooth and Hazelhatch between now and 2015. Also in 2015, DART Underground, a 7.5 kilometre line running underground from Docklands to Inchicore, serving underground stations at Docklands, Pearse, St Stephen’s Green, Christchurch and Heuston, will open. This will allow the number of trains on all lines to increase dramatically, as well as connecting all rail modes together – DART, Commuter, Intercity, Luas and Metro - into an integrated network.
 

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The Anniversary of the DART



July 24, 2009

TWENTY-FIVE years ago this week, the first delighted passengers stepped aboard new electric trains running between Howth and Bray around Dublin Bay. The Dart – an acronym for Dublin Area Rapid Transit – had been inaugurated and, with it, a new era for public transport in the capital. It could not have been more welcome. After all, we had abandoned the city’s extensive tramway network in 1949, closed down the Harcourt Street railway line and the wonderfully atmospheric Howth tram in 1959, and came to rely on cars, buses and increasingly dilapidated diesel trains in the years that followed.

So the arrival of the Dart represented a quantum leap in the delivery of reliable public transport in Dublin – at least for those fortunate enough to live along the line. That the new service started in very grim times made it all the more remarkable, and it was also one of the early building blocks in helping to redefine Dublin as a European capital city.

Recession in the 1980s, combined with public spending cutbacks, put paid to CIÉ’s plans to extend the Dart to Tallaght and Blanchardstown, with the then Fianna Fáil minority government deciding that future investment in public transport would be limited to buses and diesel trains. This was unfortunate. Although this 1987 decision ultimately spared the Temple Bar area from demolition, it deprived Dublin of the possibility of acquiring a suburban rail network that would have served significant catchment areas of the city. Since its main rail stations were built in the mid-Victorian era, each by a different railway company, the city has been without the essential element of interconnection that would transform disparate regional rail services into an integrated system. This missing link is finally being addressed by CIÉ’s plans for “Dart Underground”– a tunnel linking Heuston Station with Spencer Dock, at an estimated cost of €2 billion. Even in these difficult times, this project must be progressed.

While Dubliners are waiting for it to materialise, perhaps in 2015, they can still enjoy what the Dart has to offer – not just for daily commuting to and from work or school, but also for leisure trips to the seaside at Malahide, Portmarnock, Howth, Killiney, Bray and Greystones. It is also by far the most attractive way of introducing visitors to Dublin Bay, with the Hill of Howth dominating panoramic views from trains between Merrion Gates and Dún Laoghaire. Dart’s cultural impact has been significant too, whether in popularising poetry or giving its name to a new type of accent peculiar to the southside that Ross O’Carroll O’Kelly would find awfully familiar.

Coincidentally, this year also marks the 175th anniversary of Irish railways. It would be ironic if the railway anniversaries this year were to be marked by a Government decision to accept the McCarthy Report’s recommendation to close three more lines, serving Ballina, Nenagh and every town between Limerick Junction and Rosslare, merely on the basis that they are “lightly used”.
www.Irishtimes.com
 
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