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Trams will arrive every five minutes at peak times

TRAMS every five minutes at peak, a journey time of just 21 minutes from St Stephen's Green to Broombridge and trips from Maynooth to Dundrum for shopping will become a reality when Luas Cross City opens for business.

It will entail a 5.6km extension of the Green line, and there will be 13 stops along the route, which will be open at the end of 2017.

Some 600 people will be directly employed during the construction phase, with another 80 drivers and operational staff to be employed once it begins operations.

Ten additional trams will be purchased at a cost of €3m each, all of which will be low-floor and fully wheelchair accessible.

The line creates a Luas network linking the Red and Green lines, and will allow passengers to interchange with the Iarnrod Eireann line at Broombridge and on to Maynooth, Sligo and Longford.

If the planned Metro North and DART Underground go ahead, they will also link in to the network.

The system will be accessible to 20,000 DIT students moving to the Grangegorman campus, and 1.9km of track will run along the old Broadstone railway line. That means very little land will have to be purchased for it, keeping costs down.

"There's very little land needed, as most is from CIE at Broadstone," the RPA said. "We have no provision in the budget for land acquisition anyway. The one good thing is that the alignment at Broadstone was retained. Harcourt Street was sold for about £29,000, and it cost us €50m or €60m to get it back.

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Irish Independent