Construction of a train station in the growing Dublin suburb of Pelletstown will begin this year, following the sanction of funding this week.
The €10 million station, just 4km from the city centre on the Maynooth line, was granted permission by Dublin City Council last year, 20 years after it was first proposed. Irish Rail said it hoped to open the station in the third quarter of 2021.
The station beside the Royal Canal between Ashtown and Broombridge stations in Cabra was proposed in the late 1990s and in 2002 was earmarked as an “immediate priority” in Irish Rail’s greater Dublin area integrated rail network plan.
The station was granted planning permission in October 2014, but remained unbuilt due to financial difficulties in Irish Rail. The area has changed significantly in the intervening years with a large number of new housing developments in Pelletstown at the north side of the rail line, the construction of a boating facility on the canal and the planned extension of the Royal Canal Greenway cycle path.
Reflecting these changes, Irish Rail submitted an application to the council in February 2018 to amend the station plans, including changes to plans for a footbridge over the line linking Ashington Park with Pelletstown.
The footbridge, part of the 2014 scheme, would give access to the station to residents in Ashington, a more established area on the southside of the rail line. The construction of the footbridge will eliminate a detour of more than a kilometre for pedestrians seeking to walk between Ashington and Pelletstown.
Irish Rail has had ongoing problems over many years, but particularly since development took off in Pelletstown, with people trespassing on the line at this point in order to take a short cut over the tracks and the canal.
The former farmlands at Pelletstown were zoned for residential development in 1998 and the provision of the railway station, in addition to the station which was built at Ashtown, was part of the justification for allowing high-density housing in the area.
In 2000, the council drafted a plan for the development of Pelletstown with the intention of reducing “unsustainable trends towards commuting and urban sprawl” and providing “housing at higher densities”.
In 2014, the Dublin Housing Taskforce identified Pelletstown as one of six areas in the city with the potential to accommodate new large-scale housing development, but noted it was constrained by a lack of infrastructure, specifically the planned train station.