Thu, 18 Aug 2022

Ireland MetroLink gets Cabinet OK for planning

Robert Besser
07 Jul 2022, 21:22 GMT+10

DUBLIN, Ireland: Ireland took a large step forward this week in making plans for construction of the MetroLink rail project in Dublin.

An announcement by Minister for Transport Eamon Ryan confirmed that the Cabinet has approved the concept of the rail line.

Ryan presented the MetroLink Preliminary Business Case to the Cabinet on 4 July 2022.

As developed, the plan will transform public transport in Dublin, and connect commuters with national rail links.

The first of its kind in Ireland, MetroLink will consist of a fully separate railway most of which will operate underground running from north of Swords to Charlemont in the south of Dublin City Centre.

Plans call for 16 stations to serve the communities of Swords, Ballymun and Glasnevin, as well as the City Centre, Dublin Airport, and major employment, education and transport centers.

Ireland remains one of the few countries in Europe without a metro in its largest city or a rail connection to its main international airport.

Ireland's National Development Plan 2021-2030 includes MetroLink as one of its strategic investment priorities.

"This project in various guises has been on the table now for two decades, but the government's decision on the MetroLink Preliminary Business Case marks a significant milestone. Now this exciting transport megaproject starts to become a reality. We are giving the green light to a transport system that will be integral to the city and the country's sustainable development in this century, and into the next," said Ryan, as quoted by Intelligent Transport.

Estimates state that MetroLink will provide over 1 billion passenger trips by 2050. More than 175,000 people and 250,000 jobs will be accessible to the stations by foot.

There will also be interchanges with other public transport systems, such as DART and Luas.

"There is widespread agreement as to the importance of progressing the MetroLink project as a means of connecting communities, businesses, transport hubs and education settings across Dublin. Our task now is to ensure that the scheme progresses in a timely manner, with protecting the interests of the taxpayer as a central tenet of the project," added Michael McGrath,
Minister for Public Expenditure and Reform.

The Department of Transport has recommended the MetroLink project be approved as proposed by Transport Infrastructure Ireland (TII) and the National Transport Authority.
A very early cost estimate is placed at 9.5 billion euros.

The procurement process is expected to begin in 2023, with construction of MetroLink to start in 2025 and operations to begin in the early 2030s.

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