Designing the Connolly and Spencer Dock stations as part of the DART+ West project
The Irish government has launched an ambitious project to improve the public transport system, significantly increasing frequency and replacing diesel trains with high-capacity electrified DART trains, making it more sustainable and reliable.
IDOM is developing the DART+ West project for Iarnród Éireann/Irish Rail, which consists of the transformation of the existing line between Dublin city centre and Maynooth. The scope of the project includes the refurbishment of Connolly, Ireland’s busiest station, and the creation of a new station, Spencer Dock, in the centre of Dublin’s new business district.
The tracks and platforms of Connolly Station, built in the mid-19th century, sit on a vaulted structure. The proposal creates a new access to the station via Preston Street. The pedestrianisation of this street, to make it more accessible and safer, will completely change its character and the creation of a façade with vertical illuminated metal elements will help to punctuate the new access, thus creating a new urban landmark in the immediate surroundings.
The access arch leads to a transversal arch that will connect to the stairs and lifts that connect to the station platforms, serviced by DART trains. This main arch, which is larger than the rest of the structure, will also serve as the new station concourse.
Spencer Dock Station
In the case of Spencer Dock, in order to achieve a high-level passenger experience, a state-of-the-art station is proposed based on two key ideas:
- Interchange with other modes of transport. The connection to the Luas stop (city tram system) will be the most important, but a new bicycle parking area is also created and a direct access to the Sheriff Street Bridge is created where city bus, taxi and private vehicle stops will be located.
- A seamless connection between the city and the platforms, thus achieving a safe and pedestrian friendly passenger experience.
Perhaps the most important element of the building is its main entrance, designed as a large opening facing Spencer Dock, becoming a gateway to the new DART+ system from the city and, in turn, a gateway to Dublin for passengers arriving by train.