Thursday 24 June 2010

Permission sought to link up Luas lines

PLANNING PERMISSION is to be sought for a Luas line linking the existing Sandyford and Tallaght lines in Dublin.

An application for the new BX line, running 5.6km from the Luas Green line at St Stephen’s Green to the Iarnród Éireann Broombridge station, is to be lodged with An Bord Pleanála by the Railway Procurement Agency.

The forecast journey time between the Green line terminus and the Broombridge station is expected to be approximately 24 minutes, with 20 trams an hour serving each direction during peak periods.

The BX line is to run from St Stephen’s Green to O’Connell Street via College Green before doubling back and travelling along Marlborough Street across a specially constructed bridge over the river Liffey to Hawkins Street.

Stops along this line will be located at Dawson Street, Westmoreland Street, O’Connell Street, Marlborough Street and College Street.

Using the BX line, members of the public will be able to transfer between the Green Luas line and the Red Luas line at Middle Abbey Street. The proposed line would also form part of Line D which will run from O’Connell Street to Broombridge via Broadstone and Grangegorman. Stops along Line D include Parnell Street, Dominick Street Lower and Broadstone.

At Broombridge, the Luas line will interchange with Iarnród Éireann’s Maynooth railway line services.

However, it would be “quite some time before the lines materialise”, a spokesman for the Railway Procurement Agency said. He said the earliest any works on the new lines could start would be a year away, as “it takes about a year for a railway order to be granted”.

Dublin Chamber of Commerce has said the city centre would face an eight-year construction period if the new Luas, Metro North and Dart projects were not properly integrated.

Chief executive Gina Quin said it was critical that construction works were managed effectively so the projects were delivered together as quickly as possible, while ensuring the city remained fully open for business.

“The benefits of these major transport projects are clear,” Ms Quin added.

“They will transform the way in which people move around and through Dublin, but we need to be sure that construction is controlled from day one so that it is still easy for residents, commuters, shoppers and tourists to get into and around the city centre in particular.”

According to the environmental impact statement, construction on the new lines is expected to take approximately 33 months once started, with a period of testing required.

Irish Times

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