The first three of the 41 new carriages for Irish Rail’s existing intercity railcar trains arrived in Dublin Port yesterday — these carriages will inserted into the middle of existing train sets to make them longer, which will add seating, bicycle, and flexible storage capacity.
The images of the railcars arriving show one larger-than-usual door for a middle-of-train carriage — this is to provide access to the ‘multipurpose’ area.
The intercity railcars are the type of trains used on most intercity routes. The existing railcars have limited bicycle space compared with the trains serving the Belfast-Dublin and Dublin-Cork routes.
The carriages are being built by the same manufacturer as the original railcars, Hyundai Rotem in Korea, and are expected to enter service from “early 2023 on Intercity and Commuter routes”.
The €150 million investment in class 22000 carriages will bring the fleet to 275 of these railcars, these then operate in train sets. The new carriages will add existing train sets — so, if a train currents runs with 5 cars it will run with six instead.
On bicycle capacity, Irish Rail’s website states: “The existing train already has capacity for 2 x bicycles. These additional new carriages have a further 2 nominated bicycle spaces (with locating straps) in the multipurpose area. However this multipurpose area can accommodate a variety of uses for example such as a larger group of bicycles and cyclists provided they are attended during the journey or families with buggies and so on.”
The carriages are diesel multiple unit railcars to make them compatible with the existing fleet. It is planned to partly-electrify these trains using batteries and Irish Rail said the carriages “come ready for hybrid battery fitment when available in the near future.”
Below is an image previously shared of the rough layout of the new carriages — the new carriage is the bottom layout with the existing middle carriage layout shown above it. The new multipurpose area is highlighted in the red squared area, shown to the left of the new layout. The screenshot was posted to Twitter in 2019 by Rail Users Ireland: