Re: Re: transport 21
Do you not see any advantage in building a fully segregated metro system that can run trams as often as needed, as long as needed and without any interference from bad driving, congestion, pedestrian conflict, parades or emergency services requiring access to nearby buildings? .
Agreed Metro North is better than Luas in engineering terms; you could however say that instead of buying new trains for use on the Dublin to Cork rail line that they should have built a new TGV spec line. Everything comes back to annual subvention cost per passenger and if the Luas Section serves Stephens Green to Ballymun it would be an investment that was just about proportionate in terms of balancing ridership and cost.
What you’re suggesting is adding even more trains to an already over-crowded northern line operated by a very poor company. You’re also suggesting running even more on-street trams which will have more in common with the congested and slow red line than the green line which benefits from an existing right of way. .
I disagree that Irish Rail are a poor company they have in recent years when investments were made in renovating dilapidated track on a large scale for the first time since the 1920’s delivered a more reliable service in line with a more reliable network. I would point to Frankfurt where the on street tram network is extensive and heavily used; trams are inappropriate for journeys of over 10kms but used as part of an intergrated system they play a very useful role.
The system you propose is also limited in it’s expansion possibilities so even if densities improves to the levels you require, the trams can’t be lengthened nor the frequencies increased because of the impact on other street traffic..
The trams will only serve small sections of population such as Ballymun to the existing Red and Green lines. Tallaght would get a Dart connection and at existing frequencies of 3-4 minutes at peak Luas is working well below its operating capacity if continental comparison is used. The only capacity constraint Luas has always been what the Dublin Chamber of Commerce imposes on it; Dawson Street was clearly a step too far.
Finally, I’m not sure how Irish Rail planned on bringing a heavy rail line above ground into the airport without massive conflicts with the M1, R132 and the airport’s ground transportation system. The station would either be nowhere near the terminal buildings (ala CDG1) or a tunnel would have to be dug to get it underneath the buildings which would have huge cost. Perhaps the whole line from east of the M1 to the terminal would have to be tunnelled and since most of the cost of tunnelling is the entry points, it would be hugely expensive for the distance covered.
The cost of €400m by Irish Rail clearly factors in the engineering challenges of reaching Dublin Airport; the cost of the Pace extension is €160m for a 7.5kms extension; the distance from Dublin Airport to the existing Northern line is about 6.5kms in a line that passes south of the carpark complex between Swords Road and the M1; add a kilometre for curves and you have the same length of line as Pace but a budget that is 2.5 times the scale. Taking the distances considered acceptable at Heathrow to make terminals 1 and 3 from Heathrow Central and a walk from the end of Terminal 2 to Terminal 1 are extremely modest. In terms of the buildings all you have down there are the redundant Air-Cargo terminals built in 1987 which are hopelessly dated and Air Lingus don’t even do Cargo anymore since they morphed into a low cost carrier.
What does however concern me is the effect of teh Green party ammendment to the Nama legislation levying an 80% tax on land rezonings. Most of the route of MN north of Swords is Zoned Green Belt and policy GS2 in the development plan seeks to prevent the merging of Swords, Malahide, Donabate together.
The problem is that the MN passenger forecasts are predicated on 46% of passenger numbers joining the service before Swords; if developers have to hand 80% of their profits over in tax to have the land rezoned from Greenbelt then nothing will be built.