Well the basic overview is (taken and edited from the EIS):
Metro North will connect the Fingal County town of Swords and the townland of Belinstown to Dublin’s City centre. The selected route for the proposed scheme serves a number of key destinations including Dublin Airport.
It will interchange with existing Luas Green Line services at St. Stephen’s Green and Red Line services at O’Connell Street. It will also interchange with DART (Dublin Area Rapid Transit) and suburban rail services at St. Stephen’s Green (via the proposed rail interconnector) and at Drumcondra following the electrification of the suburban rail line. 2,600 Park & Ride spaces will be provided at key locations along the route so the proposed scheme will benefit people from far beyond its immediate catchment area. The proposed scheme will also have excellent interchange with local and regional bus services, with bus interchange facilities being provided at most stops.
The proposed scheme will have significant reserve capacity to grow to meet Dublin’s long term transport needs. When it opens, the proposed scheme will carry around 80,000 passengers per day. This is forecast to grow significantly over time. The proposed scheme will have an ultimate capacity in excess of 40,000 passengers per hour (20,000 in each direction). This is beyond the capacity of an on-street rail system, but will easily be accommodated on MetroNorth, which can accommodate longer Light Metro Vehicles (LMVs) operating at a higher frequency.
The journey time from Swords to the city centre will be about 26 minutes, less than half the time of the same journey by car at peak rush hour. As with Luas, Metro North passengers will not have to worry about timetables. Peak time services will run every 4 minutes, and more frequently as passenger numbers grow. The proposed scheme is expected to carry some 35 million passengers a year once it is operational.
The vast majority of the route is fully segregated, including the entire route from the city centre to Swords. North of Swords there is one at grade crossing of a public road, and provision for additional crossings which will be integrated into the streetscape of the planned new town centre at Lissenhall. The design caters economically for the forecast passenger flows which are typical of a low to medium density city such as Dublin. Metro North is designed to operate using both a railway type signalling system and a line of sight system.
The proposed scheme will provide a frequent service which will be attractive for relatively short journeys within the urban area, including those which involve changing from other modes at Park & Ride car parks or bus interchanges. The maintenance of close headways to minimise passenger waiting times has been key to the success of Luas and is an important part of the system concept for the proposed scheme. The emphasis is on operating frequent services using trainsets of moderate length rather than long trains at relatively infrequent intervals. Capacity will be increased over time by increasing the peak service frequency progressively from four minutes to two minutes.
The proposed scheme will play a key role in a fully integrated public transport system for Dublin. Integration will include:
- the backbone of an urban network which incorporates the proposed Metro West line and the future integration of Metro and Luas services which will make use of the tunnel section in the future
- provision for transfer to and from domestic and international air services at the Airport
- the location and design of stops to facilitate transfer between metro, light rail, suburban rail, bus services, private car and bicycles together with good access on foot
- full provision in the design of the stops for Integrated multi-modal ticketing
You can find the rest of the overview from the EIS here:
Metro North EIS Volume 1
A more detailed overview is provided here.
A 3D simulation of the scheme is provided here (give it a little while to load, it's a 17.9 mb flash movie file).
Having looked through all of the reference designs and oral hearing evidence, I'd be happy to point you to any particular piece of information (e.g station sizes a.k.a - how many ticket machines, location of tunnel bores etc.) if you require it.
A couple of images (mostly taken from John Smith's Architectural Design presentation PDFs which you can find here)
Their picture of a typical LMV:
This shows Dardistown stop. This is indicative of a typical surface level stop. It looks like a high-spec LUAS stop. (note that there are four platforms, to allow for future interchange with... "Metro" West.)
The DCU station entrance looks rather ugly in this picture...
But, their comparison shot of the Porto Metro in Portugal (which is of similar spec) shows it can look rather decent, and there's evidently integration with bus.
The swords stop.
The terminus stop with a car park that crosses over the line.
(What is significant though is the sizing of the escalator - it's to do with amount of machinery required to operate it, and the space taken up).
Anyway, another shot of Porto Metro, to show what we can expect from escalator entrances:
The Metro North level of St.Stephen's Green station (the DART will be underneath this).
The O'Connell Bridge station. I'm guessing this station will be constructed using mining techniques (rather like I presume the Interconnector stations will be).