Metro North is coming – in 2027

by Gazette Reporter

AFTER decades of waiting and numerous disappointments, Swords will get its long-awaited Metro North – albeit an optimised version.
The precursor to Metro North was first proposed by An Foras Forbartha in 1972.
Minister for Transport Paschal Donohoe announced that as part of the transport Capital Plan, an optimised Metro project worth €2.4bn would commence in 2021, with completion expected around 2026-27.
The project will be a 16.5km light rail line connecting St Stephen’s Green to Swords, via Dublin Airport.
There will be 14 stations between Swords and St Stephen’s Green, and almost 8.5km of the route will run in a tunnel from St Stephen’s Green to Griffith Avenue, and under the airport.
The route will travel through Drumcondra, the Mater Hospital, DCU and Ballymun, before going on to Dublin Airport and Swords, offering a journey time of 19 minutes from O’Connell Street to the airport, and 31 minutes from O’Connell Street to Swords Estuary.
The project is coming in cheaper than originally envisioned as a result of a number of design changes, one of which is that it will not be a tunnel all the way – there is some overground around the Ballymun Road and there are some savings because there are fewer stations.
Other main cost reduction elements of the new Metro North are a reduced length of elevated structure by surface running in Swords; one less city centre station, by replacing O’Connell Bridge and Parnell Square stations with a single station at O’Connell Street; and smaller stations with shorter platforms, matching the reduced-length vehicles.
According to the National Transport Agency, the project delivers the highest benefit to cost-ratio of all of the options assessed.
Deputy Alan Farrell (FG) has said the announcement is great news for the north county.
He said: “I am delighted that New Metro North has been chosen as the transport option to serve the transport needs of Swords, Dublin Airport, and the surrounding areas in the long-term.
“Finally, we have certainty in relation to the future of public transport to serve the north county.”
Cllr Darragh Butler (FF) was more sceptical, saying that while he welcomed the announcement, he won’t get overly excited as he believes this to be nothing more than an election promise.
Dublin Airport Authority chief executive Kevin Toland said: “A rail link to the city centre is an essential element of Dublin Airport’s long-term growth plans, and we welcome the fact that the new Metro service will be underground at the airport, as this will allow an efficient transfer of passengers from the Metro to the terminals, and vice-versa.”

Related Articles