Dublin Luas tram network expanded, public consultation launched
Posted: 28 July 2020 | Sam Mehmet (Intelligent Transport)
Larger trams to increase capacity have been introduced onto the Luas Finglas network in Dublin and a public consultation has been launched to gather views on new proposed routes.
Eamon Ryan T.D., Irish Minister for Climate Action, Communications Networks and Transport, has announced the launch of a Public Consultation for the Luas Finglas tram network in Dublin and welcomed the first of eight new Luas 55m trams into service. The larger trams aim to increase Luas capacity on some of the busiest sections of the network, particularly in light of social distancing guidelines due to the pandemic.
The Luas Finglas extension will add four new stops to the line and aims to create a key public transport connection between the communities of Charlestown, Finglas Village, Finglas west, St Helena’s and Tolka Valley and Dublin city centre.
The National Transport Authority (NTA) and Transport Infrastructure Ireland have developed an Emerging Preferred Route for Luas Finglas and are inviting comments from all stakeholders and members of the public on the proposed route.
Luas Finglas will be constructed mostly in grass track, while a cycle and pedestrian path will be constructed along much of the line, providing access between northside communities and the city centre.
New trams to increase capacity
The first of eight brand-new Luas 55m trams has just been delivered and is going into passenger service. Seven more 55m trams will be delivered in the coming months and all will be in passenger service by early 2021. Each of these new trams will carry approximately 100 more passengers than the existing 44m trams.
In addition, work on converting 26 existing 44m trams into 55m trams is now 50 per cent complete with 13 extended trams now in passenger service.
By early 2021, the number of trams in the Luas fleet will increase from 73 to 81 with 41 trams being 55m long. Combined, the eight new trams and 26 extended trams will increase capacity on the busiest sections of the Luas network by nearly 30 per cent.
Minister Ryan said: “I am delighted to announce this consultation on the Emerging Preferred Route for Luas Finglas. I encourage the public and stakeholders to take part in this Public Consultation so we can deliver a major public transport improvement to Finglas and north Dublin.
“I’m also very pleased to see the first of eight new 55m Luas trams going into passenger service and to see that half of the 44m trams have now being extended. The Government is committed to improving sustainable public transport and I am also pleased that there will be a pedestrian and cycling path along most of the route. I look forward to the Luas network and fleet growing in the coming months and years.”
Anne Graham, CEO National Transport Authority, said: “The extension of the Luas to Finglas is a clear example of the kind of progress we are making in planning to invest in ambitious and exciting sustainable transport solutions.
“I believe that Luas has the potential to be transformative for this part of the city and that it will further enhance the area for people who live here, work here, or want to run a business here. We are anxious to get feedback on this proposal, so I encourage members of the local community to engage with this consultation process and let us know what you think.”