Wednesday, 18 April 2007

Longer Luas carriages coming down the track

FIRST we had the 'bendy-bus'.

Now its the turn of the 'telescoped tram'.

Commuters packed onto rush-hour Luas trams are finally getting some relief in the shape of longer trams.

The existing 30m-long trams will be 'stretched' to add on a further 10m in length.

The longer trams, 26 in all, will increase capacity by 40pc.

Yesterday, Transport Minister Martin Cullen met the mechanics involved in extending the fleet of Luas trams on the Tallaght-Connolly Station line.

Mr Cullen was accompanied by Tom Mulcahy, chairman of the Railway Procurement Agency and chief executive designate of the new Dublin Transportation Authority.

The minister was also attending the signing of the contract for 18 extra trams costing €51.2m.

Last year, a total of 26m passengers used the two Luas lines, a 16pc increase on the previous year.

The first of the extended trams are due in service next month.

Mr Cullen said the large number of passengers using Luas was also helping to reduce climate changing emissions.

Treacy Hogan
Irish Independent

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