"...thanks to MetroLink, there will finally be a rail link to Dublin Airport, and with easy interchange with other modes including bus, Dart and commuter rail."
First announced during the peak of the Celtic Tiger, plans are finally underway for an expanded metro service in Dublin. The financial crisis mauled the tiger and mothballed the scheme in 2011, but now the project formally known as Metro North and Metro South and moving forward as MetroLink has gained approval to proceed from the government. The metro service will run from Estuary north of Swords to Sandyford on the southside, serving Dublin Airport and the city centre. Currently travellers arriving at the airport have to rely on buses, taxis or cars to get into the heart of the Irish capital and can be ensnared by heavy traffic, but this expanded network will make the journey just twenty minutes into the city centre. The National Transport Authority (NTA) and Transport Infrastructure Ireland (TII) who made the announcement last week, say the system will be capable of carrying 15,000 passengers per hour in each direction.
The €3bn MetroLink will be operational in 2027, with planning permission expected to be sought in the third quarter of next year. The 26km line, will run underground in the city centre, and a public consultation on the preferred route is now underway.
National Transport Authority ( @TFIupdates ) CEO Anne Graham said: “There are very significant benefits associated with MetroLink, particularly in terms of the integrated transport system that it will bring about for Dublin. For example, thanks to MetroLink, there will finally be a rail link to Dublin Airport, and with easy interchange with other modes including bus, Dart and commuter rail, MetroLink will make it easier than ever to move into and around the capital.”
“There will be 25 stations in total, 15 of them brand new, so it will also make sustainable transport a viable option for more and more people in areas like Swords and Ballymun. We have modelled future passenger numbers and we predict that capacity for 15,000 passengers per direction per hour during the busiest peak times will be required along this corridor. We don’t believe that a bus system or a standard Luas line would be able to accommodate that number of passengers and that is why MetroLink makes so much sense. MetroLink will have the capacity for 30 trains per hour in each direction, so there is no doubt that it will greatly enhance the public transport offering in Dublin. In addition, we envisage the creation of about 4,000 jobs during construction, which is very significant for the economy in the region.” continued Graham,
Transport Infrastructure Ireland CEO Michael Nolan added: “Really what today is all about is the launch of the consultation process for MetroLink, because we want to make sure that people at local level have a say.
“What we are publishing here is the ‘Emerging Preferred Route’ (EPR), rather than the final route. Having examined in detail the various alignments and options, the EPR is the one that we feel is the best fit for the project. But we remain open to looking at other proposals, and if people or communities feel there are better ways of doing it, we will of course be happy to consider any alternatives put forward.”
- 2018 – Consultation on Emerging Preferred Route.
- 2019 – Application for a Railway Order.
- 2020 – Granting of Railway Order
- 2021 – Construction commences
- 2027 – MetroLink becomes operable