Trains are electric, running from a 1500 Volts DC overhead power supply. The original service provided by DART from 1984 ran from Howth, a fishing village to the north of Dublin city centre, through the city centre stations of Connolly, Tara Street, and Pearse, to the port suburb of Dun Laoghaire and terminated at Bray. Some 15 years later the electrification was extended south one stop to Greystones, and at the beginning of the 21st century from Howth Junction two stops along the Belfast main line to Malahide.
The service is provided by two-car Japanese-built electric multiple unit trains, which normally run as 6-car trains in the peak period and 4-car trains at other times. 40 two-car trainsets were purchased initially, and an extra 13 trainsets entered service in 2001. DART carries 80,000 passengers daily, and continued demand for increased capacity means that work is currently in hand (2003-4) to strengthen power supplies to allow the use of 8-car trains.
Apart from the short distance between Howth Junction and Howth, DART shares its tracks with mainline services to Belfast in the north of Ireland and Rosslare in the south east.
One of the best-known stations is at Lansdowne Road, the home of the Irish Rugby Football Union (IRFU) and the venue for Irish Rugby international matches. Further south the train stops at Sidney Parade Avenue, a street of some Georgian and many Edwardian and Victorian red-brick houses in the Dublin embassy belt.