PVC King still advocates his Luas line idea yet it is fundamentally flawed because there is no roadspace for it. The Luas Green Line could only be built because the Harcourt St. line hadn't been touched and the Luas Red Line was only possible because CIÃ‰ had set aside land around Tallaght for an abandoned rail project. Similarly, the Luas D line to Broombridge is only possible because it's using the trackbed of the Broadstone rail line. No such space exists on the Northside for a Luas line to the airport. Therefore we have to go underground and therefore we opt for Metro North.
The Red Line operates perfectly well between St James Hospital and the Point Depot; it even does so crossing many far busier roads than the linked Luas would need to once DCC did their bit on working withv Dublin Bus to give back OCS and College Green. You will note if you bothyer to read back through the thread that the problem of Phibsboro and a tunnel being required at that location is acknowledged. Critically the length of tunnel to resolve that issue would be hundreds of yards and not kilometers with complex underground stations.
Given that it is the RPA who is responsible for both Luas and Metro, don't you think they would've come up with a Luas line plan if it was worthwhile? CIÃ‰ proposed a spur to the line at Malahide to the airport as an alternative to Metro North as they are in the business of expanding IarnrÃ³d Ã‰ireann and DART. The RPA are in the business of expanding Luas and yet they aren't proposing a Luas line to the airport. That ought to tell you something PVC. When even the agency whose raison d'etre is to develop Luas services isn't proposing one to the airport you know it isn't an option.
No the RPA are not competent; look at their delivery of phase 1 Luas; and their proposal to move a railway order for Metro West in the full knowledge it will not be built for at least 15 years. In the boom such mistakes were affordable; the party is over.....
You're also mistaken when you say it's "over-specified". On the contrary, Metro North is quite spartan - the RPA have straightened out the route, standardised and simplified station design and adopted cheaper construction techniques from the Madrid Metro in order to make this project even more cost-effective. An over-specced Metro would be one proposing chandeliers for stations and marble tiling for the tunnels.
When assessed on a population catchment basis it is vastly over-specified; digging kilometers of tunnels and expensive underground stations to serve a largest town of sub 30,000 is ludicrous when compared to Tallaght with a population of close to 100,000 very well served by Luas.
However, I welcome the fact that even you have dropped the ridiculous €5 billion figure as the total cost of the whole project. This nonsensical figure was made up with no attendant justification by Frank McDonald and its great to see people are now realising that MN will cost quite a bit less than that. The fall in the cost of Metro boosts the cost-benefit ratios even further and makes the project ever more compelling.
We don't know what it will cost; but we do know the demand analysis is complete fiction; even at €3bn it adds at todays rates over €220m a year in debt servicing costs at the Risk Free Rate. On marketwatch this evwening it was said that Ireland deserves a credit rating equivelent to Greece.
There will be an election very very soon; the next government will have their Pappendreou moment and Metro North will be binned just a swiftly as the current government who have an unprecendented voter intention ratio of less than a quarter of the electorate; there is clearly a gradual awakening to the sheer chaos that big ticket thinking has brought upon the nation. As a people the Irish were once so good at living within their means and didn't get shafted by exotic financing packages. Back to basics get the deficit down, get people back to work and leverage trading opportunites with the emerging economies.