Creating and delivering a metro for Dublin’s future

17 December 2015  •  Author(s): Cormac Rabbitt, Managing Director, Metro Dublin

Metro Dublin is a new mass rapid transit network to serve Ireland’s capital city and the country. Cormac Rabbitt, Managing Director of the scheme, explains for Eurotransport why and how Metro Dublin propose to create and deliver a cost effective transit metro network for Dublin’s future.

Creating and delivering a metro for Dublin’s future

Metro Dublin will extend to 92km with 57 stations when eight shared stops are included. Works will involve the upgrade of 28km of existing lines, 17km of new surface lines and 45km of tunnels. It will run on grade separated tracks from the Irish Rail intercity trains. The network could best be seen as an extended Dublin urban railway network, as shown in Figure 1 on page 59.

For development purposes, Metro Dublin is divided into six contract sections as shown in Figure 2 on page 60, with the existing DART line marked ‘7’. The sections are:

  1. Glasnevin/Heuston/Docklands – 7.2km
  2. Malahide/Swords/Glasnevin – 21.2km
  3. Adamstown/Heuston/Phibsboro – 15.8km
  4. Blanchardstown/Glasnevin/Docklands – 13.5km
  5. Ashbourne/Finglas/Glasnevin – 17.2km
  6. Howth Jn/O’Connell St/Rathfarnham – 17.1km

What’s different about Metro Dublin is its gestation in a private initiative with a relatively low all-in capital cost when compared to previous proposals.

First, a rhetorical question – what could a new low all-in capital cost metro mean for you? If you are a supplier of metro systems I think that it could mean a lot. For example, if two metro lines can be built for the price of one (with better technology and management methods) then the ongoing supplier market will grow significantly for you.

Back in 1998, Metro Dublin, along with others, successfully lobbied the Government to undertake an independent examination between underground metro and over-ground tram options. Government consultants recommended the tram option. The Government rejected their recommendation and favoured a metro, because they believed that a planned Sandyford Line extension southwards to Lahaunstown (which is now a large urban development) and northwards to Dublin Airport needed a full metro…

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