MetroLink preferred route reveals shorter line, major changes

by Padraig Conlon
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After listening to Dubliners’ views, the Government has revealed significant changes to the city’s proposed underground train system, MetroLink.

The link will begin in Swords and connect the airport to the city centre in 20 minutes, where it will link the transport hub with the Luas, BusConnects, DART and Irish Rail services.

Original plans to go south to Sandyford were scrapped, meaning the new line will instead terminate at Charlemont.

The station in Ballymun will be moved under the site of the old shopping centre, where plans are in place for a new mixed-use quarter following demolition of the old centre.

Plans to use Na Fianna GAA club pitches in Glasnevin for construction were also shelved.

Instead, a smaller underground station will be built on the nearby grounds of Home Farm FC.

At O’Connell Street, the proposed station will now be underneath the old Carlton cinema, where a shopping centre is planned.

The NTA say this is being done to reduce the impact on bus, Luas and vehicular traffic on the street.

At Tara Street, residents and apartment owners in College Gate, which will be demolished to make way for the new station, will be offered compensation while the NTA say it will work with Dublin City Council to find another site for the Markievicz Swimming Pool and Leisure Centre.

St Stephen’s Green station will still be located on the east side of the green, but will be moved slightly from Merrion Row to allow Hume Street to remain open during construction, easing the impact on traffic.

It will also be further west under St Stephen’s Green to avoid closing the road during construction and to avoid a major sewer that would require diversion.

Commenting on the emerging preferred route, Minister for Transport Shane Ross told Dublin Gazette: “I am pleased that the NTA have responded to what we had to say.

“In particular, the prospect of a two- to four-year disruption to the Green Line has been averted.

“Also, major upgrading of the Green Line, which has already begun, will address current and future overcrowding issues in the form of more frequent and longer trams, until at least 2040, when it is expected the tie-in with Metro will have commenced.

“However, this is still a ‘preferred route’, and the NTA will again be in consultation with local communities, businesses and individuals who are affected.

“There will be eight public consultations in the coming six weeks, and I strongly urge those who have any concerns about the current proposals to make them known.

“As is evidenced by the changes already introduced due to public consultation, [citizens’] engagement is providing a new exciting transport system that will greatly benefit our city and communities,” said Minister Ross.

The new route is available for public consultation and the NTA expects to make an application to An Bord Pleanala for MetroLink next year.

Its construction is expected to take six to seven years.

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