Belfast Telegraph

New timetable to see Dart services start earlier on weekdays

Dart services are to start up to 40 minutes earlier on weekday mornings to cope with rising passenger numbers, transport chiefs have announced.

Under draft timetable changes, the busy commuter train will depart Malahide towards the city centre from 5.50am instead of the current 6.30am.

The Howth service will begin five minutes earlier, at 6am, while passengers will be able to take the Dart from Bray at 5.35am, also five minutes earlier.

Irish Rail announced earlier this year it was planning to increase the frequency of weekday Dart services from the current 15 minutes to every 10 minutes by next year.

New timetable arrangements have been published as part of a public consultation before their expected implementation in the new year.

Other changes include more commuter services to and from Dundalk and Drogheda.

The morning Belfast to Dublin Enterprise service will stop at Dundalk at the earlier time of 7.30 am and Drogheda at 7.54am.

A new express service will depart Dundalk at 7.55am, calling at Drogheda at 8.20am.

Irish Rail has urged all passengers to check the proposed timetable changes on its website.

The company said it has recorded a 5% growth in passenger numbers so far this year.

The rise in traffic is more pronounced on Dart services, with business up 8%.

Jim Meade, Irish Rail's director of train operations, said the proposed new schedules will encourage more people on to the railways.

"In particular, our proposed 10-minute Dart frequency will grow our daily service capacity by almost 25%, and make the Dart on weekdays a 'turn up and go' service from first train in the morning til last at night," he added.

The public consultation lasts until December 8 and the new timetable is to be implemented in the spring.

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