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First oral hearing on proposed MetroLink to take place

Details of the proposed rail link between Swords and Dublin city centre will be outlined at the first oral hearing into the MetroLink project.

The hearing by An Bord Pleanála, which allows discussion and examination of issues that may arise before a planning decision is made, is expected to last around five weeks.

An application for the construction of the MetroLink was lodged last September by Transport Infrastructure Ireland.

It proposes a high-capacity, high-frequency metro railway linking Swords in north Dublin to Charlemont in Dublin’s south city centre in 25 minutes.

The stops have been named Estuary, Seatown, Swords Central, Fosterstown, Dublin Airport, Dardistown, Northwood, Ballymun, Collins Avenue, Griffith Park, Glasnevin, Mater, O’Connell Street, Tara, St Stephen’s Green and Charlemont

TII said the modern and efficient rail link will see trains running every 90 seconds and will be capable of carrying up to 20,000 passengers per hour in each direction and 53 million passengers a year.

Currently, the Luas Green Line can carry 9,000 passengers per hour in each direction.

There will be 16 new stations built as part of the project and most of the 18.8km route will run underground with fully automated driverless trains, a first for Irish public transport.

MetroLink plans to serve communities in Swords, Ballymun, Glasnevin and Ranelagh and it said it will connect key destinations including the Mater and Rotunda Hospitals, Dublin City University and Trinity College Dublin.

It said it will also link Dublin Airport, Irish Rail, DART, Dublin Bus and Luas services to create what TII said will be “a fully integrated public transport network”.


View proposed MetroLink map


The project’s design team has produced more than 3,000 separate drawings and has delivered 2,500 information packs to property owners that will be impacted by the project.

The stops have been named Estuary, Seatown, Swords Central, Fosterstown, Dublin Airport, Dardistown, Northwood, Ballymun, Collins Avenue, Griffith Park, Glasnevin, Mater, O’Connell Street, Tara, St Stephen’s Green and Charlemont.

The project will also involve the construction of a new 99m long bridge over the M50 and a 260m long viaduct over the Broadmeadow and Ward River.

The oral hearing will provide a platform for any objectors to the project to outline their concerns

A 3,000-space multi-storey park and ride facility near the M1, a proposed first stop at Estuary Station and a maintenance depot located near the proposed Dardistown Station will also part of the project.

It has been reported more than 300 submissions have been made on the Draft Railway Order (DRWO) since it was lodged with An Bord Pleanála in September 2022.

Documentation lodged with the DRWO says that construction work is intended to commence in 2025 with an opening year of 2035.

The oral hearing will provide a platform for any objectors to the project to outline their concerns.

Trinity College Dublin and the Office of Public Works, which has responsibility for St Stephen’s Green, are expected to outline their concerns about the impact the project could have on the respective sites.

A rail link between Dublin Airport and the city centre was first mooted around 2002 and the project became known as Metro North.

It was resurrected again in 2018 and rebranded at MetroLink with a proposed completion date of 2027 and a estimated cost of €3 billion.

Around €300m has been spent on Dublin’s various Metro projects to date.

Last year, Secretary General of the Department of Transport Ken Spratt said that the spend on the current MetroLink project to the end of March 2023 was €115.3m.

At that time, Mr Spratt said that €9.5 billion was considered the most likely cost for MetroLink project.


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