Tuesday 24 October 2017

Private group revives plan to build €1.9bn Dublin metro service

Metro graphic

Cormac Murphy

DUBLIN'S shelved Metro project has been revived by a private consortium which says the scheme can be built for €1.9bn.

Metro Dublin is proposing a public/private partnership to construct the long-delayed underground rail line linking the city's airport with St Stephen's Green.

Detailed plans will be presented to Dublin City Council's transport committee next week outlining how it can be built for less than half the original €4.5bn estimate.

A submission to the committee describes the new plan as a 53km "mass rapid transit system" with 33 stations that would also incorporate the Dart Underground proposal.

It would run on "totally separate tracks" to Irish Rail services and operate in "the most densely populated areas" and the "commercial districts".

It could carry at least 130 million passengers a year and extend the population living "within 1km of a new high frequency rail service by 50pc to 768,000".

Three lines have been proposed -- M1 from St Stephen's Green to the Blanchardstown shopping centre; M2 from Malahide to St Stephen's Green and M3 from Adamstown to the Docklands.

The designs show M2 would start at Malahide Dart station and travel above ground as far as Swords where it would go underground.

It would surface on the other side of the town before going underground at Dublin Airport. It would run above ground for a short distance on the city-side of the airport and then travel into a tunnel, passing under Ballymun and Glasnevin.

Upgraded surface tracks would be used to take it to Heuston Station, where it would go underground again and run to St Stephen's Green.

The project would also create a "critical mass to make rail the best option for a much higher proportion of journeys than today", Dublin Metro says.

Apart from the lower cost than the original Railway Procurement Agency (RPA) plans, Metro Dublin would be built in 26 as opposed to 70 months, cover a greater distance and carry 62million more passengers a year, the group says.

"Developers will be able to develop far more intensively than is possible with the urban transport network that is in place at present," it adds.

Among the various sources of funding, some ¿200m could be raised through rates and residential taxes.

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