Iarnrod Eireann (Ireland’s rail network) is currently seeking planning permission for a massive underground rail development under Dublin city. The underground DART (Dublin Area Rapid Transit) is expected to cost over $4.5 billion.

The new line is expected to run from Inchicore to the Docklands and it is hoped that the line will carry over 64,000 commuters and hour with over 20 trains travelling in each direction every hour.

The new rail route will connect with the Luas, Metro North, Kildare line and the Northern rail system.

Iarnrod Eireann plan to excavate two tunnels over 24 meters below ground level.

There are also plans for tunnel's to stretch underneath the river Liffey and connect with the Northern rail service.

The underground DART system will also have stations in Christchurch, Stephen’s Green and Pearse Street.

Iarnrod Eireann said that the entrance structures will be "distinctive identifiable landmark structures" and would be on a par with underground rail services around the world. 

Iarnrod Eireann is currently planning for the large demand for the service which is expected in the future. The recession is an ideal time to commence such a project as the labor and other costs will cost only a fraction compared to similar projects that were undertaken in recent years. 

It is expected that the project will be a public, private partnership (PPP), which means it will be partly funded by the Irish Government with the remainder of costs being provided by the private sector.  

If planning permission is approved, work will commence in 2011 and would be expected to be completed by 2016.