The Minister for Transport Eamon Ryan says that the Cabinet has given the go-ahead for Dublin’s MetroLink rail project.
A statement from the Department of Transport said that a planning submission for the project would be lodged in September, with construction earmarked to start in 2025. It said that the system could be in operation “in the early 2030s”.
MetroLink will consist of a fully segregated railway, most of which will be underground, running from north of Swords to Charlemont in the south of Dublin City Centre.
Project to ‘transform’ transport
The route will include 16 stations, and will serve communities such as Swords, Ballymun and Glasnevin, as well as the city centre, Dublin Airport, and other major employment, education, and transport centres.
When the service begins operating, there will be trains every three minutes during peak periods, and the system will be capable of carrying up to 20,000 passengers an hour in each direction. Services such as Dublin’s Luas Green Line can carry around 9,000 passengers per direction per hour.
Minister Ryan described MetroLink as a “once-in-a-generation” project that would “massively transform” Dublin’s public-transport system.
‘Too early’ for precise cost
“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,” he said.
“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,” he added.
The department’s central scenario for the cost of the project is €9.5 billion, though it warns that it is too early to give a precise project cost, as it has yet to go through the planning and procurement stages.
Around three-quarters of the cost during the construction phase will be paid for by the exchequer, with one-quarter financed by a Public Private Partnership (PPP).
The department, however, says that an analysis shows that MetroLink will deliver benefits to the Irish economy and society to the tune of €13.7 billion over 60 years.