THE route of the planned Luas line from Dublin city centre to the new DIT campus at Grangegorman has been unveiled.
Yesterday, it was confirmed that the line will serve people living on the northside in Cabra from 2015, when the new route is expected to open.
It will form part of the city centre link-up between the existing red (Tallaght) and green (Sandyford) lines.
The Railway Procurement Agency has revealed that construction on Line D -- from the city centre to Broombridge via Broadstone -- will link up with a proposed track between the red and green lines.
The Irish Independent can reveal that Line D will begin at O'Connell Street, with a stop at the Rotunda Hospital and Dominick Street and further stops at Broadstone and at Dublin Institute of Technology's new campus at Grangegorman.
It will continue to Phibsborough and Cabra, intersect with the Iarnrod Eireann's Maynooth line, and terminate at Broombridge station.
There is capacity to extend the network to Finglas if required.
The Rail Procurement Authority (RPA) has approved the route for Line D and has sanctioned further work on the design and public consultation for the line.
An application for final permission to proceed with the construction of the line will be made in 2009.
The RPA believes that the cross-city link between the red and green lines is essential.
"The provision of a cross-city Luas line is fundamental to the development of a Luas network for the city," a spokesman for the RPA said.
"Currently, with two separate and disconnected light railway lines, interchange between both can only be effected by means of walking 12 to 15 minutes through the city centre.
"This is a disincentive to interchange and consequently demand for trips that involve a journey on both lines is not adequately met with the current arrangement."
The cross-city link will allow passengers to switch between the Luas, Metro North and the Maynooth rail line services of Iarnrod Eireann at Broombridge.
This Line D extension also represents the first segment of a Luas line which would ultimately extend to Finglas and interchange with the planned Metro West.
Formal public consultation on Line D began in September with the issue to more than 30,000 homes of the details of the route options.
Yesterday, Line D project manager Jim Kilfeather said the link would help regenerate part of the city centre, and provide increased access to Iarnrod Eireann services.
"The preferred Line D route will contribute in a significant way to the planned regeneration of Dominick Street and will serve the new DIT campus at Grangegorman.
"The re-opening of the old Broadstone railway line to Luas services, as happened with the Luas Green Line and the old Harcourt Street railway, will provide increased accessibility for the communities of Cabra and Phibsborough and offer excellent interchange with Irish rail services on the Maynooth rail line.