National Transport Authority (NTA) and Transport Infrastructure Ireland (TII) have announced details of what is described as the ‘emerging preferred route’ for the new MetroLink service, which will run from Estuary north of Swords to Sandyford to the south to serve Dublin Airport and the city centre.
Transport Infrastructure Ireland CEO Michael Nolan said: “What we are publishing here is the ‘Emerging Preferred Route’ (EPR), rather than the final route. Having examined in detail the various alignments and options, the EPR is the one that we feel is the best fit for the project. But we remain open to looking at other proposals, and if people or communities feel there are better ways of doing it, we will of course be happy to consider any alternatives put forward.”
Public consultation on the project is getting under way immediately with MetroLink scheduled to be operational in 2027.
The Transport Strategy for the Greater Dublin Area (2016-2035) envisaged a rail link from the south city centre to Swords. It also envisaged the upgrading of Luas Green Line to metro standard, which would link up to the metro services running north to the airport and beyond, to provide Dublin with “a high capacity, high-frequency cross-city rail corridor”.
Under the National Development Plan 2018-2027, Metro North and Metro South will now proceed as one project known as MetroLink. There will be 25 stations in total, 15 of them new.
National Transport Authority CEO Anne Graham said: “There are very significant benefits associated with MetroLink, particularly in terms of the integrated transport system that it will bring about for Dublin.
“For example, thanks to MetroLink, there will finally be a rail link to Dublin Airport, and with easy interchange with other modes including bus, Dart and commuter rail, MetroLink will make it easier than ever to move into and around the capital.”
She added: “We have modelled future passenger numbers and we predict that capacity for 15,000 passengers per direction per hour during the busiest peak times will be required along this corridor. We don’t believe that a bus system or a standard Luas line would be able to accommodate that number of passengers and that is why MetroLink makes so much sense.”
MetroLink will have the capacity for 30 trains per hour in each direction.