DART celebrates 25th anniversary

Railway chiefs are on track to celebrate Dublin’s Dart system which marks its 25th anniversary in service today.

Railway chiefs are on track to celebrate Dublin’s Dart system which marks its 25th anniversary in service today.

Since its launch on July 23 1984, Dart, a railway line running along the coast of Dublin, has become one of the country’s greatest public transport success stories with more than 420 million journeys made by passengers.

To mark the anniversary, goodie bags will also be handed out at city centre stations, with five containing golden tickets for a year's free travel.

A free concert is also being on staged for 200 people on board a special service featuring Jerry Fish and the Mudbug Club, David Kitt, The Chapters, and comedian Eric Lalor.

Iarnród Éireann said celebrations will continue with free concerts in Pearse Street station for the next two Fridays.

Budding poets can also see their work featured alongside world-renowned poets on trains, while commuters will be able to sample the dishes of some of the city’s top restaurants at stations next month.

“Because Dart is such a significant part of the daily lives of so many people, the company wanted to celebrate its 25 years in ways that involve commuters and will speak of the unique place Dart has in Dublin’s landscape,” said a spokesman.

“Fun, music, poetry, dining and celebration are all featuring throughout the summer months.

“We’re particularly looking forward to rewarding five loyal Dart customers with free travel for a year.”

A symbol of the capital, the brightly coloured green rail service has featured in movies, televisions shows, and is the only public transport ever taken by Ross O’Carroll Kelly.

The Dart fleet of 154 carriages runs just under 15.5 million km a year between 30 stations in Dublin.

The busiest day in its history was the July 4, 1996 when 250,000 people visited the USS JFK Naval Ship which sailed in to Dun Laoghaire.

The firm plans to expand its service along the Northern line, Maynooth and Hazelhatch and become part of Dart Underground, a 7.5km line running underground from Docklands to Inchicore.

“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,” added a spokesman.

“The total number of passenger journeys per annum on the Dart and Commuter network will increase from 33 million journeys to over 100 million journeys.”

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