Luas faces delay until 2005 – Offical

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    • #706414

      Luas faces delay until 2005 – rail agency

      31/08/03 SB Post

      By Sean Mac Carthaigh, Political Reporter

      Dubliners may not be travelling on the Luas until 2005, and the project is in danger of degenerating into a bitter row between client and contractor, the state agency in charge of building the light rail system has admitted.

      Frank Allen, the chief executive of the Railway Procurement Agency (RPA) wrote to Eoin Ryan TD, the head of the Oireachtas Committee on Transport, saying the body did not know when the project would be finished or how much it would cost.

      He said he feared a “collapse into mutual recrimination between client and contractor” that could last “several years”.

      This weekend, Ryan warned

      that the Luas faced the prospect becoming “a fiasco”, and demanded urgent action by the RPA.

      In 1996, the government said the Luas would be built for »220 million (e279 million), and that it would be in operation by 2001. Two years ago, the cost had more than doubled to €635 million and the start date put back to 2003.

      Now, sources say the cost is headed for €1 billion, and that the two unconnected lines will not be in service before 2005.

      Ryan wrote to the RPA earlier this month expressing alarm at traffic delays, missed construction deadlines and poor site management.

      In his letter of reply, Allen said he shared Ryan’s fears about missed deadlines, and added: “RPA is endeavouring to receive credible assurances regarding schedules to completion.” He said the RPA was now trying to avoid the project being derailed because of a bitter row over who was to blame for delays.

      Playing fast and Luas

      31/08/03 00:00

      By Sean Mac Carthaigh, Political Correspondent

      The state agency in charge of building the Luas light rail system does not know when it will be finished or how much it will cost, and fears a “collapse into mutual recrimination between client and contractor” that could last “several years”.

      A letter from Frank Allen, chief executive of the Railway Procurement Agency (RPA) to Eoin Ryan TD, chairman of the Oireachtas Committee on Transport, reveals that the project is now in deep trouble.

      Ryan this weekend warned that the Luas was in danger of becoming “a fiasco” and demanded that the RPA adopt a hands-on ap-proach. His committee is likely to summon key players to Leinster House

      to explain themselves.

      Ryan wrote to the RPA earlier this month expressing his alarm at the way the Luas project had evolved. He pointed to:

      unnecessary traffic delays & missed construction deadlines

      failure to deal with disrupted businesses

      poor site management & lack of concern for pedestrians

      the `hands-off’ approach of the RPA

      In the reply, Allen said he shared Ryan’s fears about missed deadlines, and added: “This does give us cause for concern about the reliability of the contractor’s completion dates for the overall project.”

      Allen said AMB JV, the contractor, had claimed that many delays had been caused by factors outside its control, such as additional requirements by local authorities, and archaeological finds.

      “RPA is endeavouring to receive credible assurances regarding schedules to completion,”Allen said.

      Such discussions and negotiations were part of all large infrastructure projects, he said, and the RPA was trying to maintain a balance between penalising underperformance and cooperating with the contractor to get the job finished.

      He said that he believed that AMB JV had the experience and skills to complete the job “within the timeframe that the contractor has indicated to us”, but said this would require “maximum commitment and application of resources”.

      But the RPA chief raised the spectre of the project being derailed by a row. “Major infrastructure projects sometimes collapse into mutual recrimination between client and contractor, with the merits of the arguments being resolved by an arbitrator several years hence,” Allen wrote. “We are trying to avoid such a situation.”

      Ryan this weekend characterised the letter as “remarkable”.

      “I am amazed that such a major piece of infrastructural work has been allowed get to this situation,” he said.

      “There seems to be complete lackof hands-on management on the ground – and no concern about the effect it is having on the city.

      “I can’t understand why, when certain milestones were reached, action was not taken.”

      Ryan said the Luas was now “headed for a fiasco”.

      In the short term, Ryan said, there should be an urgent review, concentrating on how to minimise the disruption to the city.

      “For example, there is never anyone there, on the ground, to move traffic,” he said. “There should be 50 trained people, who know what is going on, and are on the ground at major roadworks in Dublin, to move traffic.

      “We would be far better off with a designated corps like that than the proposed traffic police.” He said the Luas failures could have a knock-on effect for other projects.

      “One of the worrying things is that there are many proposals for major infrastructural work in Dublin and around the country, and if we don’t learn from what has happened here there will be no appetite to complete them,” he said.

      “For example, there is the proposal to build an extra lane on the M50,” Ryan said. “We have to convince people that these things can be done with minimum disruption. That is an absolute priority. We need to know we’re not going to get ourselves into this fiasco again.”

      The train due at platform one is late and over budget

      In 1996, the government aid the Luas would be built or »220 million (e279 mil- ion) and be in serviceby 2001. In 2001, formerMinister or Public Enterprise Mary O’Rourke conceded that the cost for the project had more han doubled to over »500 million (e635 million).

      She predicted that trains would begin to run in 2003. As 2003 approached, the Minister for Transport, Seamus Brennan, said the budget had swelled to €675 million.

      “I trust that everyone concerned will do all in their power to ensure no further delays will take place and that he construction of the system s completed at the earliest possible date, so that commu- ers will have access to ser- vices in the early months of 2004,” he said. & In February 2003, The Sunday Business Post reported that the most conservative current estimate for he Luas was €800 million, and that this could easily bloat to €1 billion.

      This newspaper also reported that only the Sandyford to St Stephen’s Green line had any hope of being operational by mid-2004.

      The letter dated August 26 from RPA chief executive Frank Allen indicates that Dubliners may not get to use the Luas until 2005 – if the project doesn’t “collapse into mutual recrimination” to be resolved in “several years”.

    • #735268
      J. Seerski

      Yeah, I’m sick of this sad country. Can anything be completed (a) correctly; (b) on time????

      Why oh why do we put up with second best?

    • #735269

      Get the Dutch to move in and run this pathetic country. That’s what I say. A banana republic is all it is, run by half-wits.

    • #735270

      I hate to say but the sub-contractors ARE Dutch – Ballast Nedham.

      The main contractors are Anasaldo Breda, Italians in a joint ‘effort’ with an Australian company. The operators Will be Connex- French. The people responsible are the RPA, a quango set up by Mary O’Rourke. I hate to say it but I think the RPA should be dissolved, they have handled this all terribly!

    • #735271

      Oooppps !

    • #735272

      Not sure about the accuracy of this article. The director of the RPA was on only a few weeks ago saying that ALL construction would be finished by Christmas, with training of drivers etc. running up until summer 2004.

      I don’t think the RPA would have publicly announced this deadline without being at least half sure they could meet it, knowing all the stick they would get otherwise …

      there are only 3 kilometers of track left to lay on the tallaght line, work at the red cow is finished, I don’t see how this new 2005 deadline could be accurate … I could finish the bloody thing myself in that time …

    • #735273


      Will ye ever stop been so quck to criticise and give Ireland some credit.

      I don’t believe this article, it is not an item in any of the national papers and as the previous poster stated they wouldn’t announce info unless they were 100% certain.

      Just look at what’s happening in Ireland at the moment.

      A major road network is being entered, sports facilities are beiing improved, the Luas, Dublin Port Tunnel, a metro is being planned, these are just a few.

      After decades of underinvestment, there are major infrastuctural improvements been made,

      I live in Holland and I was home last week for a weekend, and I couldn”t get over how Dublin was changing and improving.

      New buildings popping up everywhere, new bars restaurants and hotels. O’Connell St regeneration is begun, new bridges over the liffey, boardwalks, a refurbished airport, new motorway to the border, M50 nearing completion , I could go on.

      As someone living out of the country for 5 years and coming back I couldn’t believe the amount of stuff that was going on and I felt proud to see that Ireland is finally changing and progressing.

      So please stop complaining all the time. Major projects never go without a hitch and the comment about the Dutch government made me laugh. Living in Holland for 5 years now and the country is a mess. Cutbacks everywhere and some of the architecture here would make you squirm.

    • #735274
      Paul Clerkin

      The articles are from the Sunday Business Post

    • #735275

      Looks like the LUAS is rapidly and at great speed heading towards an enquiry that will be more costly and take longer than its construction !! bring over Hutton and have it done in a month.

    • #735276

      Frank McDonald and Garret Fitzgerald are discussing it on the Pat Kenny show at the mo this morning! LUAS aka FIASCO

    • #735277

      From the Irish Examiner website By Harry McGee, Political Editor
      MINISTER for Transport Seamus Brennan is to seek Cabinet approval for his ambitious underground Dublin metro system this month, a move that will signal the death knell for the LUAS transit system even before it begins operations.
      Under the proposals, the controversial LUAS system could be reduced to a single line within the next seven years and may cease to exist within 20 years.
      If, as expected, the multi-billion metro project is approved by Cabinet, LUAS will be absorbed into the metro system as quickly as possible.
      The tram project, which has cost€800 million and aroused huge controversy, will be a stop-gap measure with no role to play in the long term. One of its two lines Sandyford to Stephen’s Green could be subsumed into the metro by 2010, with the Tallaght route being turned into a metro line at a later stage.
      Mr Brennan stopped short of saying that LUAS was a mistake but added that once the metro system is fully up and running, LUAS will be “gone”.
      The first phase of the multi-billion metro project will be a link between Dublin Airport and the city centre. The minister is confident it will be running by 2007.
      But, crucially, the minister said the second phase of the project will be the upgrade of the Sandyford-Stephen’s Green LUAS line to metro. Given the schedules the minister is pledging, that could be complete as early as 2009 or 2010.
      The upgrade of the second LUAS line from Tallaght to the city centre will be a longer-term project, but Mr Brennan said a decision had not yet been reached. The problem with upgrading that route to metro, he said, was that it crossed roads at too many points and these sections would need to go underground.
      Asked whether, in retrospect, he considered LUAS to be a mistake, Mr Brennan said: “The decision to built LUAS was taken pre-Celtic Tiger. If you were starting fresh, you would plan for a metro. [We] want to end up with an integrated system and not a patchwork-quilt of rail systems. LUAS will not be there at the end of the day. LUAS is gone,” he said.
      The Rail Procurement Agency originally estimated the cost of the airport metro link at €4.8bn but that figure has been revised downwards, with some estimates now below €2bn. “The only way you can get an accurate price is to ask the marketplace,” Mr Brennan said. “I will be taking the proposal to do that to Cabinet.”

    • #735278

      I have heard that the dealy in starting LUAS (to review whether or not we should have a metro instead of LUAS) which was ordered by then Minister O’Rourke lost Ireland in the region of €350 million in EU subvention funds.

    • #735279
      Andrew Duffy

      The future upgrading of Line B to metro is hardly news; it’s been the intention the whole time. The pipe dream map published by the DTO shows Line B as a metro line. It’s obviously engineered to a much higher standard than Line A, with many sections raised above ground.

    • #735280

      Originally posted by shadow
      I have heard that the dealy in starting LUAS (to review whether or not we should have a metro instead of LUAS) which was ordered by then Minister O’Rourke lost Ireland in the region of €350 million in EU subvention funds.

      That and the fact that they wouldn’t run the line to Ballymun, despite Ballymun being a better recipient of EU Cohesion Funds. Blame the Light Rail Office (now the RPA) for that. (Not that I am a supporter of Mary O’Rourke. As an ex Eircom shareholder and former Westmeath resident, I’m gald to see the back of her).

    • #735281

      So LUAS was unsuitable for Dublin to begin with???

      Just think lads – only till 2025 to wait for the conversion of the line – and the Ballymun/Airport line opening.

      It’s aircoach for me till then!

    • #735282
      Rory W

      As an experienced PR man I’d say these articles have all the hallmarks of the car lobby in this country (not to name names but we all know who these people are)

    • #735283

      Could people please read the article, the comments are attributed to the head of the RPA, i.e the people RESPONSIBLE.

      Sraight from the Horses mouth!!!!!!!

      No one has invented this information

    • #735284

      Still, 2005 as mentioned in the piece is just silly – as of this evening Seamus Brennan is saying that it will be completed as planned(ish) in July of next year – although I note that it was set in concrete a couple of weeks ago that drivers would be trained during May for 5/6 weeks and the service operating by the end of June.
      Seamus just casually slipped in July as the operating date today – you may be sure it’ll be July 31st.

    • #735285

      I heard that the City Council are resorting to the controversial, and little known Plan B, which is to shift the entire city south by 100 miles to a ready-made greenfield site near wexford, which will initially consist of nothing but roads, trams and metros.

      My source is pretty good – he writes for the sunday business post.

    • #735286

      Originally posted by redeoin
      I heard that the City Council are resorting to the controversial, and little known Plan B, which is to shift the entire city south by 100 miles to a ready-made greenfield site near wexford, which will initially consist of nothing but roads, trams and metros.

      My source is pretty good – he writes for the sunday business post.

      Dublin car free finally. Owen Keegan’s utopia 🙂

    • #735287

      I heard too there were once plans to level the entire city centre including concreting over the river Liffey making one huge road et car park for all. The City Fathers aka Frank Feely and Co nearly had their dream materialized at one stage too!

    • #735288
      J. Seerski

      As for the Liffey idea – what about this idea…

      The easiest method of constructing an INTEGRATED transport system would involve a circular line , mirroring that of the Circular Roads. Cheapest method of construction would involve building underneath both the Royal and Grand Canals. Offshoots to various hideous suburbs.

      Also, it is possible to build underneath the liffey. Perhaps offering another means to solving the underground problem without digging up the streets…

      Simple ideas are often the best – the Luas is a complicated mess.

      The idiocy of the two lines not joining at the centre is baffling. I heard of the arguments that the Stephens Green Line would not join owing to a possible underground connection – its nonsense.

      Also, the idea that Abbey Street to Connolly Stn. is Line ‘C’ is another joke – its less than a km long!!!!!

    • #735289
      Rory W

      Could people please read the article, the comments are attributed to the head of the RPA, i.e the people RESPONSIBLE.

      Ah yes – but how did the letter become public… spin, spin, spin. Who is interested in – ahem – ‘derailing’ the project – yes the car lobby. Do not underestimate the power of PR

      The car park on the liffey idea first materialsed in the 1930s and was to run between O’Connell and Gratten Bridges.

      The only people who have made a mess of Luas are the govenrment – through their procrastination and general arsing about with the plan we could have had an integrated system up and running 6 years ago. They probably would have started 3 or 4 new lines of it by now. What this country needs is an infrastructure ministry and someone who will take full responsibility for a project. Not the fall guys in the RPA

    • #735290

      Spot on Rory, of course it’s the goverment’s (FFs) fault that’s where the book stops. Remember those LUAS trams sitting on concrete blocks outside the Dail many years ago !!…………. coming in 2003 then after that every 10 mins !!

    • #735291

      Originally posted by Papworth
      Spot on Rory, of course it’s the goverment’s (FFs) fault that’s where the book stops. Remember those LUAS trams sitting on concrete blocks outside the Dail many years ago !!…………. coming in 2003 then after that every 10 mins !!

      I remember it well. I went up to take photos in the rain with my boss and he held his umbrella over me while I did so. The days of the Celtic Tiger when bosses did that to retain staff!

    • #735292

      Listen, let’s not get away from the facts, it is seriously over budget and not on time. That is not the government’s fault. The Light rail order was made in 1998/1999.. it is nearly 2004. The RPA were given the task of recruiting and supervising contractors and selecting an operator- not the government!

      99% of people in Dublin want Luas to succeed. people are terribly frustrated with how the RPA and the conhtractors have organised it and the way they are going about it…

      What has been happening since 1998? Who coordinated this mess???? The RPA!

      People what happened before 1998 with the government was a mistake but please stop making excuses.

    • #735293

      got a leaflet in my door last night from the RPA ( live on a luas line ) again stating that all construction work on both lines would be completed by Christmas 2003 …

    • #735294

      A couple of points need clarification I think.

      The light rail orders were not completed until 2001. This was because of the odd decision by the Government to break the system into two separate lines and the rejection by the inquiry judge of the first proposals for Connolly ( which is why the ramp is being demolished as there was nowhere else left to go )

      The Government in the form of the Dept of Transport selected the operator, not the RPA, although the RPA has to manage the contract with Connex.

      The contractors were selected and the contracts signed by CIE even before the RPA as an organisation existed.

      All roadworks in the city have to be agreed with the City Council in advance and the LUAS contractors are bound by any restrictions place by the council.

      I have to say though that the RPA should be much more pro-active in terms of running the contract and informing the public. The web site is a joke. Gabriels updates ( whens the next one ? ) are a better indication of whats gong on.


    • #735295
      Rory W

      I was at the Luas presentation as part of the DTI report when it was pretty much a done deal in terms of the lines planning

      The year 1990

      Completion 1995 at the latest

      The delay – procrastination on the part of the government.

      For particular attention – Mary O’Rourke

      The government can move fast when it wants to – see the Albert Reynolds/Larry Goodman affair. If the will to do it was there it would be done.

    • #735296

      Are more lines being planned right now?
      If further expansion of Luas is happening should the trams etc not be ordered now?

      Much of the critisism of Luas at the moment is about traffic problems because of road works – for goodness sake this was absolutely inevitable – the reporting in the media has been laughable – showing sensationalist shots of traffic down Harcourt St, Oh no – they’ve wrecked the city centre – look at all the gaping wounds in the roadways – this mess will never be cleaned up – when Luas is finished the traffic is always going to be like this – etc etc.

      Wait till it’s finished!

    • #735297

      My contact in the RPA says that the design of the extension from Sandyford to Cherrywood was completed nearly a year ago but has been held up because of the Dunloe Ewart problems. They are funding half the cost on the basis of planning gain at Cherrywood. Now that Liam Carroll is involved discussions have started again.

      Also the design of the extension to Point Depot is under way as well as a line out to Finglas and Lucan.

      The RPA have also been discussing additional mid sections for the shorter trams rather than additional trams for the moment. Alstom the supplier are in big trouble so its possible the next set of trams could be supplied by someone else.

      Also hearing strong rumours about staffing difficulties and union issues with Connex.

      Seems ltheres lots happening but as I said above the RPA are very closed about their activities.


    • #735298
      Rory W

      If you also notice a lot of the stories are eminating from the Sunday Business Post – address 80 Harcourt Street

    • #735299
      Andrew Duffy

      The RPA have a nice new public foyer to their offices on Parkgate Street. It’s right beside my apartment, so I think I’ll drop in every evening on my way home from work and ask “is it finished yet? is it finished yet? is it…”.

    • #735300

      If the RPA sorted out their PR, which is a disaster, do they employ anyone??? Sorted out their website updates which are laughable, what’s wrong with a bit more info and a few pics?

      That would help…………

    • #735301

      An interesting study of the Washington Metropolitan area found this interesting results:

      WASHINGTON (September 8, 2003) – Metropolitan areas with more compact growth, a wide mix of land uses, plentiful transportation options, and which were mostly developed prior to the use of the automobile are generally less expensive places to live, in terms of the combined costs for housing and transportation, according to an analysis of consumer expenditures by the Urban Land Institute (ULI).

      The analysis, conducted by ULI Senior Resident Transportation Fellow Robert Dunphy, involved consumer expenses in 28 metropolitan areas during 2001, according to spending data released earlier this year by the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics. Not surprisingly, housing accounted for one-third of spending by U.S. households in 2001, twice the amount spent in 1972, reflecting “higher homeownership and larger and lavish homes,” Dunphy said. However, transportation costs ranked a close second to housing, at 19 percent of the average household budget, more than food and clothing combined. The average household spent more than $7,600 annually on transportation, of which $7,200 was for buying and maintaining cars and trucks. In comparison, an average of $400 was spent on public transportation, which included expenditures for air fares.


    • #735302

      Power Cables threaten to strangle St Patrick’s Festival

      I think this story in the Indo this morning is hilarious. It amazing nobody thought about this when the line was being designed. Aparently dehooking the lines for the festival would be too much and there is no way the parade can be rerouted to miss O’Connell St. It will be interesting to find out what solutionis proposed.

      I also took a walk along the city centre length of the Tallaght line. It looks very impressive when its finished…especially down near Collins Barracks. You can also see a number of stops almost complete (apart from furniture) at Collins and Chancery.

    • #735303

      agreed yeah, i love the way it cuts through the bottom of Smithfield – really gives that part of town a completely different feel to what it used be like in the old days. Good observation.

    • #735304
      Paul Clerkin

      my feelings on the track through smithfield

    • #735305
      Rory W

      loved the comment from the other article in the indo about how luas would halt traffic on O’Connell street every two and a half minutes as it crosses the street.

      That would be like having traffic lights on the street then…

    • #735306

      JJ, where would a finglas/lucan line join the existing “network”?

    • #735307

      Now the staple of the parade, that massive yellow sun that floats through the streets will have to go.
      What a pity.
      Interestingly, all the delaying and messing around about Luas not going overground between Stephen’s Green and O’ CllSt has at least saved – if thats the word – the parade along this part – College Green & Westmoreland etc.

    • #735308

      Primetime have a special report on the Luas tomorrow evening – Tuesday – at 9.30 on RTE 1

    • #735309

      I read your piece on Smithfield Paul. I went on a tour the other week with the DCC Area Manager around the HARP area. It was quite interesting, lots of first hand info on projects like the Markets etc. DCC seem to be hoping that the new DIT campus at Grangegorman will dramarically increase the ‘footfall’ on Smithfield and give it a much improved atmosphere. The new development on the left side of the square will include a bus park underground which will allow more tourist to visit as well. Its all very much in the future but when you listened to him you could appreciate how gradual the whole development of the area is and ust hw hard it has been to get the area developed. Interestingly, that staple of the Smithfield area – Bargintown – have planning permission in to redevelop their (very lucrative) site for apartments and retail. Hurry on down to Bargintown…

    • #735310
      Paul Clerkin

      Hardly worth waiting for I suspect. AFAIK they were responsible for developing some of the awful buildings at the bottom of the square.

    • #735311

      The DCC guys was full of praise for the council housing development just off Blackhall Place (??? or is it Queen St). Anyway its the garish illuminous socks group of buildings. Comments anyone: I though it looked pants.

    • #735312

      Originally posted by Graham Hickey
      Primetime have a special report on the Luas tomorrow evening – Tuesday – at 9.30 on RTE 1

      I saw this. Not much to it, other than Ireland’s chief ticket collector (yes, that is Garret Fitzgerald’s hobby) coming out with his usual nay saying about LUAS.

      From a man who delivered nothing in terms of public transport and presided over a bankrupt economy, you think he would disappear quietly.

      BTW, I have never voted for Fianna Fail. This is not a party political rant.

    • #735313

      Just to be clear, Garret Fitzgerald inherited an already bankrupt economy from a Fianna Fail government which, if memory serves me, cancelled domestic rates leading to the downgrading of local democaracy in favour of centralised politics.

      In truth we are all responsible for the previoous and current mess.

    • #735314
      MB OMaoileoin

      Personally, I think an underground metro would have been a better option from the start but there seems little point critising the Luas project at this late stage (in any case most of Line B is segregated anyway). However, what I don’t understand is why having decided to go ahead with it the plan did not include a connection between Line A and Line B (which should have then run on to the airport) at this stage in the project.

      One other point: why has nobody thought to include a station/s at UCD on the “dream” metro/luas map – thousands of people must travel there every day from all over the city for most of the year.

    • #735315

      Garrett has for years been opposed to Luas, although I think he’s the only person in this country who has ever come close to the idea of a ‘statesman’ I have to point out that a lot of his arguements over Luas have been proven incorrect or rather not taking into account other factors that render his points irrelevant.
      There was a notable absence of his previous criticisms last night as a result.

      I loved the bit where he spoke with an engineer at the Red Cow and asked how pedestrians were supposed to get to the station – to which the engineer replied ‘well, over there’.
      Garrett – “what you mean across the motorway?”
      Engineer – “well mumble mumble……………..”
      (Dissolve to black)

      I thought I’d delve back a bit and follow tdevelopment of Luas from it’s inception in 1990 – although it was mooted in the 80s.

      1990 – The Dublin Transportation Initiative was formed to try & solve the city’s transport problems – A light rail system is immediatly on the cards.

      1992 – the DTI’s interim report is published, light rail is the staple mode, and various lines are proposed.

      1994 – Final report published – lines pretty much in their current form are decided upon.

      1997 May – After 3 years of consultations with civic groups and 100s of bodies etc Min for Transport Alan Dukes puts up £100m for building Tallaght line and money for designing Ballymun line.

      1997 July – Fianna Fail come into Govt with PDs and despite earnest protests from Dukes not to interfere – they unravel the whole process to find the feasability of going underground.
      Luas team are furious after 3 yrs of work – FF promise a massive report will at last settle the underground issue once and for all – and spend £200,000 on a study by WS Atkins of the UK.

      1998 April – 9 months later (delay later) report is published – it unequivically supports overground system – it will carry more passengers, will cost less, and underground would prob entail a public private partnership, and would take much longer to build.
      Estimated cost overground £500m – roughly what CIE had come up with previously.

      1998 May – 1 month later Mary Harney & Mary O’ Rourke come under pressure form car lobby and various other anti-Luas groups that had formed, & despite promises of Atkins being the final final report that would settle the issue – they proceed to ignore the £200,000 study and devise their own scheme to go underground from Stephens Green to Broadstone, costing an extra £300m. Without – costing £400m.
      As a result of more delays & planning ahead, EU funds of £114million for the project must be used elsewhere around the country.
      CIE are left to pick up the pieces and start planning some sort of underground system.

      1998 Nov – Public inquiry into Tallaght line is held in just over 20 days and findings published before end of year.

      1999 March – after 3 further months, O’ Rourke gives the go ahead at last for Tallaght (Line A)
      It begins work in Feb of 2000, and is to be finished by Feb 2003.

      1999 Nov – go ahead given for Line B, it is to start work in early 2000 and be finished by June of 2003.

      1999 – At this stage planning is still going on for Line C to Connolly and 6 Ballymun routes are being considered and planned (still)
      The cost of the project (I think the 3 lines we have now) is £671million which translates into the 700 and something million euro that Min Brennan speaks of today.
      Also in 1999 test holes are bored in the city centre to accertainsoil types for underground- findings reveal theres a lot of rock down there – hence likelyto mean more money please.

      At this stage however it is hoped that with the lines under construction at last – when they are finished – public and political perception will sway massively in favour over overground link from Green to North, and hence no underground will be needed – hence little work to date has been carried out on the underground option.

      1999 December – Public inquiry is carried out for Line C and judge rules in favour of residents of IFSC that the line must stop at Store St until an alternative link to Connolly is found – hence bye bye ramp later on.

      2001 – Finsihing projections of project are moved back to Christmas of 2003.

      2002 – Finishing projections are moved back again to June 2004

      2003- Finishing projection for one line (I think Tallaght) is moved to July/August 2004.

      2003 16thSept – Red Cow officially becomes the laughing stock of Europe.
      Even Marian Finucane picks up on the stilts/Simpsons mono-rail similarities.

    • #735316

      Some snappy facts:

      The trams will be 3.27 metres (11 feet) high.

      The electricity supply overhead will operate at 750V DC.

      Each tram is capable of up to 70kmph.

      Lines A & C will use 30 metre trams, while B will use 40 metre.

      Each 30metre will hold up to 235 people, with only 60 of them seated.

      235 people is the equivilant to 168 cars apparently.

    • #735317

      Looks like Brennan wants to push the Luas back until 2005 by going ahead with the bridge on stilts at the mad cow roundabout. Indo

      I can understand that building a new bridge will delay the project if they waited for it to be finished before opening the line. But surely they can use the “old” bridge they have just built while the stilted version is being built! Therefore keeping the project on track so to speak.

    • #735318

      With regard to the Luas extensions to Lucan, I’ve been told that the connections could be as far out as Bluebell on the Naas Road or potentially at Blackhorse.

    • #735319

      Press Release

      LUAS – Look Back in Horror

      Date: 22 September, 2003

      From: Derek Wheeler, PRO, Platform11

      Issued by: Platform11 Press Office

      LUAS: The Facts

      Essentially what should have been a straightforward, light rail transport project for a mid-sized European city has turned into one of the most remarkable and bizarre episodes in the history of public transport planning, political interference and incompetence in European railway history. Quite simply in plain language, the Railway Procurement Agency, an organisation that is essentially a fostered grandchild of CIE, is not up to the job and should be removed from the LUAS project immediately. CIE in any name, shape of form, is pathologically incapable of delivering public transport in Ireland that works for the society and economy of Ireland while delivering value to the Irish taxpayer. This coupled with the on-going reality that Irish politicians cannot view rail transport in this country as anything other than a political football has led to this mess.

      The Big Questions

      Why did the RPA build two unconnected lines at once? Why did they start out in the suburbs and progress the construction towards the city centre at the same time when they could have completed the Sandyford-Stephens Green line initially, and then tackled the Tallaght line? This was entirely due to interference from Mary O’Rourke (then Minister for Public Enterprise), in the face of opposition from the then Light Rail Project Office (LRPO).

      The Results of these Decisions

      This then led to massive cost over-runs as a result of:

      Having to build two separate depots (originally only one was planned at Red Cow) and duplicate facilities
      Then having to additionally upgrade the Sandyford line to Metro standard (as requested to by the department at the last minute after originally turning down this suggestion from the LRPO) .
      The extension from Balally to Sandyford was turned down by politicians originally and then they did a volte-face.

      All of these factors have led to outrageous cost over-runs which could have been avoided if the politicians had not interfered in the way that they have. The requirement to build both lines simultaneously also came from government and not the RPA.
      A Better Way

      The Sandyford line is essentially a “no brainer”. The route follows the course of the old Harcourt Street route closed by CIE in 1959. Basically, all that was required was to lay the tracks and build the stations on the intact railway route. The Sandyford-Stephens Green line could have been completed and finished in a relatively short time, and Dubliners would already be enjoying the benefits of light rail transport. The Tallaght line could have been then tackled, and the experience and knowledge acquired in building the first line could have been used during the construction of the Tallaght, to avoid the Red Cow insanity. Instead of employing two separate working crews for the two projects, one could have been used on each LUAS line consecutively.

      Best Practice

      This is how it is done everywhere else in the world. But as Platform11 has been highlighting since our inception, proven international rail transport methodology has never been understood by CIE, even when some of their offspring break away and rename themselves the “Railway Procurement Agency”. The RPA has inherited CIE’s incompetence. All that happened was some of the same old clowns started a new circus and Irish taxpayers are paying an appalling price.

      Political Interference

      On top of this the whole project has been blighted by political interference from the start. The Red Cow situation is a shining example of this. In what other country would a national transport minister be getting involved in detailed suggestions concerning “stilts”? Why did these discussions not take place at the public enquiry? The answer is that the politicians refused funding for anything more than the situation that pertained at initial design stage. To have central government involved to the degree that they have been in interfering with the work of a light rail transport project is nothing short of farcical and uniquely Irish.

      The Future

      All over the world light rail is successful and serves cities and commuters well. Perhaps the most tragic aspect of the RPA’s surreal management of the LUAS project and the politicians meddling is that they may have killed light rail transport in Ireland forever. Sadly, the incompetent RPA have made “Light Rail” a dirty word in Ireland, and considering the assault of the Irish taxpayers by the CIE-schooled managers of the LUAS project, one can hardly blame them.

      Platform11’s View

      Many Dublin schoolchildren grew up singing the street rhyme “CIE are Robbery” but it took the CIE managers putting on a different clown uniforms and setting up a new circus called the Rail Procurement Agency, to really make that children’s song a tragic prophecy. The Politicians at the same time have decided that Todd Andrews is still the mentor of choice when it comes to rail transport policy on this island and that his disastrous legacy and failure to understand precisely what railways are, and why the Irish economy/society needs them, continues to this day. Platform11 along with the tax payers of this country have had enough – we need rail transport that works for Ireland. Irish people have travelled to the continent and witnessed first hand how rail transport works and why it is important to a nation and its economy.

      Integrated transport is quite achievable. Dublin must have this it order to increase competitiveness and to improve the quality of live of its citizens.

      ENDS 22/09/03

    • #735320


    • #735321

      i heard a rumour that some japanese company said they would build dublin an underground if they were allowed to keep the profits from its use. did anyone else hear this or is it complete shit?

      anyway, whoever is responsible for running this fiasco should be publicly strung up.


    • #735322
      Paul Clerkin

      You know what? (joke intended) I seem to recall something like that.

    • #735323

      I heard something similar but was unable to verify it.

    • #735324

      Originally posted by what?
      i heard a rumour that some japanese company said they would build dublin an underground if they were allowed to keep the profits from its use. did anyone else hear this or is it complete shit?

      It is true. Can’t remember the details but the offer was made and rejected.

      There was a cost in addition to keeping the profits but it was somewhere in the region of what the two LUAS lines will cost.

    • #735325

      Mitsui I think!!

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