TRANSPORT Minister Eamon Ryan has described plans to order dozens of battery-electric train carriages, for delivery in 2026, as good news for Cork.
Mr Ryan secured agreement from the Cabinet yesterday for Iarnród Éireann to order 90 new battery-electric train carriages from Alstom before Christmas this year.
“Good news for Cork,” Mr Ryan said on social media. “Cabinet today approved the purchase of 90 new battery electric carriages for delivery in 2026.
“They are ear-marked for the new metropolitan rail network we are planning for Cork, as well as providing new services to Wicklow town, Kildare, and on the Dart lines.”
The Department of Transport said the order will “significantly enhance Ireland’s rail transport capacity”, with plans for their use in an expansion of Dart services.
“The adaptable nature of the carriages means there is also potential to use them at some stage in the future between Greystones and Wicklow and/or for Cork Area Commuter Rail, serving communities between Mallow, Cork, Cobh, and Midleton, subject to available funding for necessary infrastructure,” said the department.
The train order will consist of 18 modern five-carriage battery-electric multiple units (BEMUs), funded by the Department of Transport through the National Transport Authority (NTA), at a total cost of about €179m.
This is in addition to 95 new electric and battery-electric Dart carriages approved by the Government last December, entering into service in 2025.
The BEMUs can operate in electric-only mode using overhead electric wires or, through the use of batteries, in battery-electric operation in other parts of the rail network, maximising flexibility and capacity, and helping to replace and decarbonise existing diesel-fleet operations.
“This Government is continuing to do more to transform our rail and public transport systems than any other in decades,” said Mr Ryan.
“We are doing this because the scale of change we need to make is beyond compare — to provide better, more frequent and more accessible transport choices to many more people and to meet our emissions targets.”
Iarnód Éireann chief executive Jim Meade also welcomed the Cabinet’s decision. “The funding for 90 additional battery-electric carriages for Dart+ is hugely welcome, as it will enable us to bring capacity and emission benefits to current and future commuters in advance of electrification.”