Cathal Dunne wrote:
As I said to you before, the RPA under-estimates demand all the time. They had to lengthen the trams on the Luas to meet the demand the RPA didn't foresee along the routes of the Red and Green Line. The same will happen with Metro North as people flock to a high-capacity, very reliable and rapid rail transport. Luas isn't future-proofed, it's jampacked at the minute and has very little spare capacity just 6 years after being completed. If we were to build your fantasy Luas line then it too would be packed in less than a decade and then we'd have to build Metro North anyway because the trams would be too full. What you're proposing is the rail equivalent of the two-lane M50. Build a lukewarm shadow of what's needed and then build what is needed 10 years later at twice the cost.
According to the proponents of the scheme in their most recent cost benefit analysis the true demand is less than 3,000 allowing for moderate growth; why would you develop a system with a 20,000 capacity when growth is predicted at 2% p.a. Forget 2004 a set of initial demand figures when the eastern European floodgate opened; the migration is now in the opposite direction. Whatever way you spin it a maximum demand figure of 3,000 intrajourney per hour cannot justify a €3bn capital spend.
Cathal Dunne wrote: If Metro North is dropped, as you so crazily hope, then that is the end of any plans for any rail line of any kind connecting the city centre to the airport and city centre for the next 20 years. They will not suddenly adopt Luas as an alternative to Metro North like you suggest, it will be completely dropped and the only discussion about rail links to the airport will be in transport engineering lectures in DIT. Even if it does come back on the agenda 20 years' hence, it will take more than 10 years to build due to our byzantine planning process. This means that Dublin, unique amongst European capital cities, will not have a rail link between its airport and the city centre. It would also mean that, again, the people of Ballymun would be denied the rail link they have been promised since the 1960s. It would also mean that Swords continues to suffer with a sub-standard bus service which breaks down at the first signs of snow.
It doesn't have to be this way and, hopefully, by the end of this year, it won't be as Metro North will have cleared all obstacles and be set for boring in 2012.
Dublin City Centre is 25 minutes by Aircoach from the airport; Heathrow to Oxford Circus cannot be done in less than 40 mins and that assumes you hit everything on the nail. The passenger loadings are Luas so should the specification be.
Cathal Dunne wrote: Lucan via Bluebell was actually going to be Luas, not Metro actually, and the RPA has fleshed this out with the Luas Line F proposal. The certainly do call for a Metro line from Shangannah to the Airport and Swords, but the map clearly indicates that what they were proposing was a lot heavier than a Luas line. If they were proposing a Luas line then it would be indicated on the map as other Luas lines are charted there too. This illustrates that the DTO abandoned any Luas line to the airport proposal and upgraded this to a Metro. Therefore these transport exports disagree with you and your fantasy Luas line.
That is not what the map says; it also lists unsegregated light rail. The Luas proposal for Ballymun was government policy until 1997 it is therefore credible.
Cathal Dunne wrote: You also need to consider Ballymun. The local residents have expressed a clear preference for an underground rail line through their area. You would also need to go underground at the airport because you couldn't have trams criss-crossing the apron. You also need to consider the need for grade separation around Swords which requires sections of elevated rail and cut-and-cover tunnels. This is all manageable when we're building a railway line with 17,000 maximum capacity, another story when we're doing it for your low capacity fantasy Luas line. And don't tell me that the demand doesn't exist there for a Metro line.
Ask anyone what their preference is between an on street tram or an underground and unless they intend to use it will say underground; that does not address a rationale on a cost benefit basis. The airport needs a limited amount of tunnel and the only location on the route where you can justify an underground station; Swords with the M1 built now has the road space to accomodate Luas. The design capacity is actually 20,000 the demand less than 3,000.
Cathal Dunne wrote:The way you go on you'd swear it'd just be one man and his dog on the metros going from Stephen's Green to Swords. The fact is that cities with lower populations and lower population densities than Dublin also have underground Metro lines which are well-patronised. Another fact is that DART and Commuter rail services are in huge demand in the same Dublin through which metros will travel. They had to double capacity on the DART service to keep pace with demand as people responded to its high-speed, high capacity nature. Add to this that the 90m metros will have only 2/3rds the capacity of a DART train and there is no doubt that metros will be packed once they start running.
When the RPA can't get demand above half that of a Luas line capacity then what other conclusion can you draw other than nice idea but unaffordable when the IMF are running the country.
Cathal Dunne wrote:Martin Cullen and Noel Dempsey did not slow down the DART Underground project, it's due to CIÉ incompetence that it's taking so long. They originally proposed starting the tunnel at Heuston and boring from both ends. This changed when they added in Inchicore and decided to only bore from that end. They themselves imposed the delay when they changed the plans for DART Underground. Noel Dempsey only found out about the delay through the media. The point remains that DART Underground has only begun the railway order process, Metro North has one, CIÉ has only begun the tendering process, Metro North will have finished that by the Summer. MN is shovel ready, DART Underground is not and therefore should get the priority over the next year. Once DART Underground is finished its preliminary work by 2013, we should proceed with it too.
It is well known the CIE were not given the resources to design the DART underground project on demand; the project had a finalised route in 2004 but took many years to receive the resources. For the entire period until the IMF's arrival the public were completely misled into believing both projects were fully funded; when it mattered DART underground was not funded and a route with a demand of 3,000 maximum hourly intra journey demand was funded to a capacity of almost 7 times what is required.
Celtic Metro Group (Barclays Private Equity Ltd, Mitsui & Co Ltd, Grupo Soares da Costa S.G.S. S.A., Obrascon Huarte Lain and Iridium Concesiones de Infraestructuras, S.A),
A lot of Spanish names in there; I can't see Spanish banks doing anything other than defending their balance sheets in the context of Portugal looking like it will be IMF'd within the next 2 weeks and Spain then being lined up for the CDS tug of war that will define the Euro's future. Barclays private equity probably won't do it; leaving Mitsui as the only credible player; will they still build it for nothing?
Celtic Metro Group
MetroExpress (Global via Infraestructuras S.A., Macquarie Capital Group Ltd, Allied Irish Banks p.l.c. and Bombardier Transportation (Holdings) UK Ltd). Contacts for the consortia listed on RPA website.
So it is actually funded by a nationalised bank; the more you look at this project the more it is a complete fiction.