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Future Track

Iarnród Éireann’s new Innovation Programme at Dogpatch Labs

Our ambition: Accelerate rail as the backbone of sustainable transport in Ireland.

Rail is one of the least carbon-intensive modes of transport. Iarnród Éireann is embarking on an ambitious programme of work over the next two decades to make rail the backbone of sustainable transport in Ireland. Working with Dogpatch Labs, Iarnród Éireann teams – from platform to boardroom will have the opportunity to work in a live entrepreneurial environment, adopt a startup mindset, and drive impactful innovation.

So, what's our destination?



Target for decreasing Iarnród Éireann’s emissions by 2030

Net Zero

Net Zero

by 2050

140 Million

140 Million

Passengers served by 2050

Future Track Explained

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Innovation underway at Iarnród Éireann

Iarnród Éireann is already making great strides in making rail the backbone of sustainable transport for Ireland.

Europe’s first diesel train modified to use clean hydrogen

Through a partnership with global decarbonisation trailblazer DIGAS, Iarnród Éireann is retrofitting a freight diesel locomotive from diesel fuel to hydrogen as a proof of concept. The purpose of the project is to showcase a more practical and cost-effective path forward to decarbonise Iarnród Éireann’s fleet of diesel locomotives.

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New hi-tech National Train Control Centre

Iarnród Éireann has made significant investment in the brand new, hi-tech, National Train Control Centre (NTCC) due to be fully operational by 2025. This state-of-the-art facility will play a crucial role in optimising Iarnród Éireann’s train services operations, increasing train performance and the availability of up to the minute accurate real-time travel information for trip planning.


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A Focus on Sustainable Transport

The innovation programme will focus on key strategic themes:

Energy Resilient Infrastructure

Enhancing rail efficiency and sustainability, ultimately leading to lower emissions.

Integrated Transport Network

Streamlining transportation systems for Ireland by integrating rail with other modes of transport, to encourage a shift from road to rail.

Improved Customer Experience

Enhancing overall satisfaction and customer experience to ultimately increase the number of passenger journeys.

“We have big ambitions to develop rail as the backbone of a sustainable transport system for Ireland, for both passengers and freight. To achieve these we need to further build our innovation capacity, encouraging and developing new ideas that can enhance customer experience and support rail decarbonisation. We're delighted to work with Dogpatch Labs who will give our colleagues an opportunity to bring new impactful innovations to life.”

Jim Meade | CEO Iarnród Eireann

‘Future Track’ hits the press

Take a look at the latest news coverage of our partnership with Iarnród Éireann

Iarnród Éireann partners with Dogpatch to launch ‘Future Track’

Iarnród Éireann staff will be able to attend an entrepreneurial programme to develop ideas about the future of rail as part of a new partnership with startup hub Dogpatch Labs.



Future Track: Dogpatch to train Iarnród Éireann in thinking like start-ups

In a bid to innovate in sustainable transport and meet its climate goals, the Irish national rail operator is looking to the start-up community for ideas and inspiration.

Silicon Republic

Iarnród Éireann teams up with Dogpatch Labs to transform rail travel

The Future Track programme is designed to drive innovation across the company, with Ianrod Eireann staff taking part to develop ideas into commercially viable projects over a three-month period. The scheme will give staff access to entrepreneurs, global sector experts, and start-ups to help develop their ideas, with projects presented to its senior leadership team at the programme’s demo day.

Irish Times