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The case against Metro North - is there one?

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  • Closed Accounts Posts: 6,093 ✭✭✭Amtmann


    DWCommuter wrote: »
    After so many posts, personal insults (across this forum) the REAL cost has not been verified.

    Link me to the personal insults in this forum and I'll deal with them. I haven't noticed any.


  • Closed Accounts Posts: 3,032 ✭✭✭DWCommuter


    Furet wrote: »
    Link me to the personal insults in this forum and I'll deal with them. I haven't noticed any.

    You already handled it Furet. Or at least it was handled by a mod from here anyway. Im referring to the posts directed at me when I discussed the costs of metro north in another thread. Offender was banned.

    "dc confuser" - but was obviously meant to be "dw confuser" as said poster referred to me as "dc commuter" in posts.

    We are done and dusted on that so far.;)


  • Moderators, Motoring & Transport Moderators Posts: 14,069 Mod ✭✭✭✭monument


    DWCommuter wrote: »
    But isn't 2.5 billion just the direct construction cost? What about the associated costs? Do those who build it, operate it? What about rolling stock? What about the minute details of the project? Who funds that?

    After so many posts, personal insults (across this forum) the REAL cost has not been verified. Apparently the RPA have spent 126 million on property already. I still fail to accept a figure of just 2.5 billion to deliver an operational metro.

    Can anybody stand up here and verify the figure via a detailed breakdown?

    Nearly everybody here I'm guessing will agree that transparency is a major issue with Metro North so-far. But to be fair, your posts seem to be questioning the lower price a lot more than the higher price tags.

    No it's not just the direct construction costs. Metro North is a build and operate PPP, unlike Dart Underground rolling stock is a part of the PPP cost (ie why CAF and Bombardier are part of the tender bidders) and operating the line is included in the deal (Transdev RATP and MTR Corporation on the bidding groups).

    And the "REAL cost" of any project cannot be verified until its finished. You can only come up with estimates before something is built.


  • Registered Users Posts: 123 ✭✭brandodub


    monument wrote: »
    Luas Cherrywood is at the cheaper end of the scale. It is mostly via new development and green fields.

    Luas Cherrywood/ Brides Glen goes through 50% undeveloped land (as yet-NAMA central!).

    MN corridor as has been explained earlier is perhaps the most densely populated mid northside area to the northern suburbs. This whole route uses bus transport only and is heavily oversubscribed at peak. The roads are all jammed even now. Cost benefit analysis according to an independent survey is in excess of 2/1 (RPA website). It is not a 'vanity project' linking the Airport to the city centre it is a whole new transport corridor for North Dublin offering the scope to change a modal shift in public transport use.

    Frankly the roads are done for now it needs to be priority public transport all the way. Get digging please.


  • Registered Users Posts: 8,229 ✭✭✭LeinsterDub


    My only opinion against MN is because its another form of transport to confuse people.

    People in worlds other major cities don't seem to be confused by several transport options


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  • Registered Users Posts: 2,639 ✭✭✭AngryLips


    brandodub wrote: »
    Luas Cherrywood/ Brides Glen goes through 50% undeveloped land (as yet-NAMA central!).

    Okay, to use the costing for Luas Line C (Red line extension to Docklands) where the cost of the project was €90m for the 1.5km extension, and assuming Metro North would cost a modest €2.5b to build (which is way less than previous estimates), we would still get at least 41km worth of Luas for the same price as Metro North. In other words, the city would get enough Luas to nearly triple the size of the network. Where is the CBA for that?

    Similar arguments about traffic gridlock were used against Luas Red and Green lines in their planning and construction phase but, as both lines have since proved, the gridlock never materialised.

    If one of the main arguments in favour of Metro North is that it will serve Dublin Airport then that could be achieved with a spur to the newly completed Dunboyne line. Because such a spur would be mostly through greenfield the cost would be a fraction of MN while maximising underutilised infrastructure in place on the Maynooth/Docklands lines.


  • Registered Users Posts: 9,770 ✭✭✭Bottle_of_Smoke


    Been living in Netherlands for a month and I wish even 10% the amount being spent was put into making Dublin a cycling city. I cycle 7km every morning to work and it feels like nothing on a cyclepath

    Anyway'I'm just worried Kevin Myers is gonna suicide bomb metro north if its ever built




  • Personally I dont buy the new price tag. Seems convient that the price should suddenly drop as soon as it looks like the MN is on the chopping block ..."but looks, we're getting it at half the price now!!" :rolleyes:

    Rather, I would like to see the 2.5bil used to finish the motorway network, especially the Atlantic corridor which would result in a lot more westward investment and job prospects

    I know I'm talking a losing battle here but there's my 2 cents


  • Closed Accounts Posts: 13,549 ✭✭✭✭Judgement Day


    DaCor wrote: »
    Personally I dont buy the new price tag. Seems convient that the price should suddenly drop as soon as it looks like the MN is on the chopping block ..."but looks, we're getting it at half the price now!!" :rolleyes:

    Rather, I would like to see the 2.5bil used to finish the motorway network, especially the Atlantic corridor which would result in a lot more westward investment and job prospects

    I know I'm talking a losing battle here but there's my 2 cents

    Yes, let's take all the money that's saved from cancelling MN and piss it away building more roads. Do the words Peak Oil mean nothing to you? Any future that the country has must be based on sustainability and not the outdated road based policies of 1970s type thinking. And don't tell me that we will all be driving electric cars as the building of a car (whether petroleum or electric powered) in terms of the energy needed and the plastic (from oil) for many of the components still makes it an extremely wasteful use of a scarce resource - comparable with burning peat in a power station. Sorry for the rant - I need feeding. :D


  • Registered Users Posts: 19,245 ✭✭✭✭road_high


    Could we not run very frequent direct buses to/from the Airport to city centre via the Port Tunnel? Seems the obvious solution to me. Use what we already have.


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  • Moderators, Business & Finance Moderators, Motoring & Transport Moderators, Society & Culture Moderators Posts: 66,409 Mod ✭✭✭✭L1011


    mfitzy wrote: »
    Could we not run very frequent direct buses to/from the Airport to city centre via the Port Tunnel? Seems the obvious solution to me. Use what we already have.


    Doesn't serve Swords, Ballymun, DCU, the Mater (and future NCH); doesn't deal with the rather heavy traffic congestion getting *to* the Port Tunnel around ferry times, doesn't interconnect with any other form of transport, doesn't get the journey time from the airport down to acceptable levels (even if its a fraction of what the Airlink can take).

    Very, very badly researched letter in the Indo today, sent in a rebuttal but its probably a bit late to get printed.


  • Closed Accounts Posts: 6,093 ✭✭✭Amtmann


    So are the objectors here objecting on the basis of cost, or because they don't like the MN concept?

    If it's a cost issue, I presume you are in favour of construction at a future date. Yes or No?

    Or are there shades of grey?


  • Registered Users Posts: 369 ✭✭Empire o de Sun


    DaCor wrote: »
    Personally I dont buy the new price tag. Seems convient that the price should suddenly drop as soon as it looks like the MN is on the chopping block ..."but looks, we're getting it at half the price now!!" :rolleyes:

    Rather, I would like to see the 2.5bil used to finish the motorway network, especially the Atlantic corridor which would result in a lot more westward investment and job prospects

    I know I'm talking a losing battle here but there's my 2 cents

    I'd say the economy of north dublin is larger, and needs this more than a motorway for road with less than 10000 AADT


  • Registered Users Posts: 784 ✭✭✭zootroid


    I really cannot get over the opposition to this project. But it seems to me that any time there is a project such as this, there are always objectors. People were against the motorway network as it would "carve up the countryside". People were against the luas saying it would lead to traffic chaos if trams had to share the streets with cars. These fears have been (in the main) proven wrong. MN will do the same.

    Given the traffic problems Dublin has, an underground system is essential. You could spend the money on more buses, or additional luas lines, but they still compete with cars for space on the streets.

    2.5 billion is a lot of money, but it will be worth it. The oldest underground line in London is almost 150 years old. So MN will have plenty of time to pay back the investment. How would London survive had they decided not to build an underground network? It certainly wouldn't have enjoyed the growth it has. And I think it will be the same with Dublin


  • Closed Accounts Posts: 6,093 ✭✭✭Amtmann


    zootroid wrote: »
    2.5 billion is a lot of money, but it will be worth it. The oldest underground line in London is almost 150 years old. So MN will have plenty of time to pay back the investment.

    This is the absolutely key point for me. 2.5 billion for MN is not like putting 2.5 billion into Anglo. Look what you get for it, and for how long you get it.

    Build it now at the cheaper rate.
    Create the thousands of construction jobs.
    Eliminate millions of car journeys per annum from the streets.
    Prepare Dublin for the rest of the century.

    I have heard no serious objections here, only vague ones with no alternatives posited.
    DWCommuter wrote: »
    As for a case against metro north....I fear, if it is built, some Irish Government in the future, will find yet another "concept", talk and talk, build a "bit" of it and then rush off to further investigate the standards our European neighbours have reached while we languished in a sea of inertia and metro north was left as an isolated example of what could have been.

    So the case against it is the political culture itself. I have no faith in it and its the soul reason this country's public transport system is dire. We define success as over crowded luas trams, when they are just an example of how few efficient modes of public transport exist.

    I do not understand this post. I've read and re-read it, but I'm not sure what you're saying. I think you're saying that if it's built, it is all that will ever be built, so we shouldn't build it. Is that right?


  • Registered Users Posts: 13,803 ✭✭✭✭Zebra3


    The case against it is purely political.

    Is there votes in it for those that sign off the project and ensure it goes ahead?

    Or worse, is it a vote loser for those with the vision to proceed with the project?


  • Moderators, Business & Finance Moderators, Motoring & Transport Moderators, Society & Culture Moderators Posts: 66,409 Mod ✭✭✭✭L1011


    MYOB wrote: »
    Very, very badly researched letter in the Indo today, sent in a rebuttal but its probably a bit late to get printed.

    They published someone elses, longer and less ranty pro-Metro letter today:
    http://www.independent.ie/opinion/letters/metrorsquos-pros-far-outweigh-cons-2374964.html


  • Registered Users Posts: 10,673 ✭✭✭✭senordingdong


    I'm just against all the political back patting that's involved with it, but that's all.

    Think this country needed a metro a long time ago.

    EDIT - I'm also against the routes planned but that's not really a big issue.


  • Registered Users Posts: 2,639 ✭✭✭AngryLips


    zootroid wrote: »
    I really cannot get over the opposition to this project. But it seems to me that any time there is a project such as this, there are always objectors. People were against the motorway network as it would "carve up the countryside". People were against the luas saying it would lead to traffic chaos if trams had to share the streets with cars. These fears have been (in the main) proven wrong. MN will do the same.

    Given the traffic problems Dublin has, an underground system is essential. You could spend the money on more buses, or additional luas lines, but they still compete with cars for space on the streets.

    2.5 billion is a lot of money, but it will be worth it. The oldest underground line in London is almost 150 years old. So MN will have plenty of time to pay back the investment. How would London survive had they decided not to build an underground network? It certainly wouldn't have enjoyed the growth it has. And I think it will be the same with Dublin

    On the one hand you're acknowledging that Luas didn't create gridlock on our streets and on the other you're implying that additional Luas lines will lead to gridlock because it is competing for road space. I think both of the existing Luas lines prove that, with adequate traffic management, traffic will not be affected.

    Another point is that you're comparing apples with oranges here; there is a population difference between Dublin and London of over twelve million, that's several times the population of the entire island of Ireland. This is the difference between future-proofing and gold-plating. Plenty of other European cities with similar populations sizes to Dublin rely quite successfully on overground light rail and for the price of Metro North we'd get a whole lot more Luas than just one line to Swords. Even if you look at Copenhagen, Helsinki and Lisbon, similar cities that all have underground networks, you'll see that these cities are all at least nearly one and a half times the size of Dublin. If the suggestion is that Dublin is somehow 'different' to its European peers here then that just smacks of the typical Irish need to come up with a uniquely Irish solution to a common and not particularly Irish problem.

    Metro North is a relic of the Celtic Tiger, it's time to put it to sleep along with Anglo and everything else exorbitant about that era.


  • Registered Users Posts: 10,673 ✭✭✭✭senordingdong


    I think the metro would be good for forward planning.
    Especially to give deciated lines to current and future satellite towns.


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  • Closed Accounts Posts: 13,549 ✭✭✭✭Judgement Day


    zootroid wrote: »
    I really cannot get over the opposition to this project. But it seems to me that any time there is a project such as this, there are always objectors. People were against the motorway network as it would "carve up the countryside". People were against the luas saying it would lead to traffic chaos if trams had to share the streets with cars. These fears have been (in the main) proven wrong. MN will do the same.

    Given the traffic problems Dublin has, an underground system is essential. You could spend the money on more buses, or additional luas lines, but they still compete with cars for space on the streets.

    2.5 billion is a lot of money, but it will be worth it. The oldest underground line in London is almost 150 years old. So MN will have plenty of time to pay back the investment. How would London survive had they decided not to build an underground network? It certainly wouldn't have enjoyed the growth it has. And I think it will be the same with Dublin

    Apart from all the other things that I would rather see money spent on there is a serious difference in terms of population between Dublin and London. Even back in the 1850s, when the underground started to develop, London's population was over 3 million and today is circa 8 million and the lines were, until the 1930s, built and run by a myriad of private companies. The underground was not drawn up on the back of an envelope by civil servants and consultants like Metro North and the Inter-connector. When I see some serious attempt to use existing assets like the Phoenix Park tunnel then I will have more faith in these 'grand' projects.

    It seems glaringly obvious, to me anyway, that the line through the Phoenix Park tunnel could be used by tunnelling from Ossory Road Junction near the Royal Canal to terminate beneath Connolly at a tiny fraction of the cost of the Interconnector and would have many of the same benefits - then I'm not an engineer or a consultant! Get out your markers and try it on a system map - you know like one of our planners. I'm sure that somebody here can tell me why it's impossible or would cost too much. :rolleyes:

    Tried to link to the Google map for the area but I've forgotten how to - sorry.


  • Registered Users Posts: 1,208 ✭✭✭HivemindXX


    AngryLips wrote: »
    I think both of the existing Luas lines prove that, with adequate traffic management, traffic will not be affected.

    The Luas may not have a terrible effect on traffic but the red line between St. James and Connolly is very slow compared to other sections and this is due to the amount of cars and pedestrians in close proximity to the line.

    Keeping the speed of the trams up is a significant benefit of going underground.


  • Closed Accounts Posts: 6,093 ✭✭✭Amtmann


    Just on this whole point of crayons and drawing lines on a map, whether it be for roads or metros: surely, at some point, this is exactly what happens when designers, you know, design.
    They draw a line on a map of roughly where they think something needs to be placed and go from there. I'm not sure why people comment on the phrase "draw a line on a map" so contemptuously. I don't make this remark on foot of Judgement Day's post above; it's just something I've noticed a lot on this forum and on C&T and Roads.


  • Registered Users Posts: 10,673 ✭✭✭✭senordingdong


    HivemindXX wrote: »
    The Luas may not have a terrible effect on traffic but the red line between St. James and Connolly is very slow compared to other sections and this is due to the amount of cars and pedestrians in close proximity to the line.

    Keeping the speed of the trams up is a significant benefit of going underground.

    A good point.
    I'm amazed at how quick you get around on foreign metros, the speed is a huge factor.


  • Registered Users Posts: 2,639 ✭✭✭AngryLips


    I think the speed limit of on-street Luas was reduced shortly after the service launched for health and safety reasons. There is no reason it can't be increased to conform with speed restrictions placed on vehecular traffic.


  • Registered Users Posts: 10,673 ✭✭✭✭senordingdong


    AngryLips wrote: »
    I think the speed limit of on-street Luas was reduced shortly after the service launched for health and safety reasons. There is no reason it can't be increased to conform with speed restrictions placed on vehecular traffic.

    I know the green line zips along once it's out of the city and off the roads.
    I don't know about the red but I'd expect the same. Ofcourse the problem there is that the red has much more tracks running on regualr roads.


  • Registered Users Posts: 888 ✭✭✭Telchak


    Something i've noticed from the naysayers... Whenever a figure of nearer the €2billion mark is mentioned, there's usually a comment asking for proof of this figure, that it is just hearsay. However, if the RPA have kept cost estimates confidential, then were is the €5/6billion figure coming from? Seems to be based on no more the lower estimates, except it is mentioned more often in clearly biased newspaper articles.


  • Registered Users Posts: 674 ✭✭✭etchyed


    AngryLips wrote: »
    On the one hand you're acknowledging that Luas didn't create gridlock on our streets and on the other you're implying that additional Luas lines will lead to gridlock because it is competing for road space. I think both of the existing Luas lines prove that, with adequate traffic management, traffic will not be affected.
    They prove nothing of the sort. Why do you continue to ignore the fact, which was put to you after your first post in this thread, that both the green and red lines are exceptions not easily replicated?

    The vast majority of the green line runs on a former rail alignment, meaning it did not take road space from cars when it was built. Apart from the painfully slow city centre section, the red line runs along a canal, in the middle of a dual carriageway and on otherwise available sections of land. Much of its route to Tallaght is pretty useless, serving very underpopulated areas.

    Where in God's name do you propose to build 6 (or whatever figure you've come up with) more Luas lines with the requisite separation from traffic to ensure they can run at anything close to green line speeds?


  • Closed Accounts Posts: 3,032 ✭✭✭DWCommuter


    Originally Posted by DWCommuter
    As for a case against metro north....I fear, if it is built, some Irish Government in the future, will find yet another "concept", talk and talk, build a "bit" of it and then rush off to further investigate the standards our European neighbours have reached while we languished in a sea of inertia and metro north was left as an isolated example of what could have been.

    So the case against it is the political culture itself. I have no faith in it and its the soul reason this country's public transport system is dire. We define success as over crowded luas trams, when they are just an example of how few efficient modes of public transport exist.

    From Furet:

    I do not understand this post. I've read and re-read it, but I'm not sure what you're saying. I think you're saying that if it's built, it is all that will ever be built, so we shouldn't build it. Is that right?

    I'll explain in more detail Furet.

    Historically speaking, Ireland has a poor record of developing and implementing rail based public transport projects in full and in accordance with the original plans. This is due to political interference and the use of such projects as vote enhancing tools. Furthermore in recent times its getting dictated by the Governments reluctance to overhaul or shut down CIE. That is why we now have the RPA. It is never or at least rarely in the greater interests of the public which these projects will assist.

    Example one - The DART

    Conceived in the 70s. Only part of it built in the 80s. Financed by loans after the Government redirected EEC funding. It put a financial strait jacket on CIE that had a negative impact on rail services. Generally accepted as a hugely successful system, but due to political interference over the years, it has been constrained by the introduction of other commuter services rendering it less effective. While politicians "campaigned" for these other services, they provided no funding to make sure the DART network could sustain its original timings and effectiveness. Extended to Greystones, purely and simply on the basis of a bye election. Now relying on the interconnector to claw back its potential. The interconnector is effectively a reworking of the original Dublin Rail plan of the 1970s. Still not built.

    Example two - The Luas

    Originally conceived in the early 1990s as a cheaper alternative to further develop CIEs 1970s rail plan for Dublin. Taken out of CIE hands when the RPA was created. Delayed by an incoming Government in 1997. Recently extended at the whims of property developers and soon to be operating through green fields, empty office blocks and a derelict dockside that may never have any development/tenants near them. At the same time key areas of the city still suffer from heavy traffic congestion and woeful public transport.

    Then we have Metro. Conceived in the mid 90s by the DTO if I'm not mistaken, greenlit in 2002 and phase one (Airport to Shanganagh with branch to Blanchardstown) promised by 2007. The second phase promised by 2016 was a line from Blanch to the city centre via clondalkin and Tallaght.

    Eight years later, nothing is built and the plan is down to just one line. Therefore I'm putting forward the view that if its built, it will never be extended and the tradition of having a bit of a tram system, a bit of a DART system and a bit of a metro system will continue. Thats why I conclude that the biggest case against the metro is in fact those entrusted to deliver it - The Government.

    For the record, Im not against MN. But Im not convinced it will be built and I genuinely believe it will never be extended. The points above should go some way to confirming why I believe that. Finally and slightly OT, I not happy about the developer links to MN and this probably stems from my dislike for Fianna Fail. While the RPA claim the route was arrived at after public consultation, there is evidence that the route runs through lands owned by discredited developers and Fianna Fail supporters. Here's just one example.

    http://www.tribune.ie/article/2009/mar/01/bailey-brothers-sitting-on-a-pot-of-metro-gold-in-/


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  • Registered Users Posts: 10,673 ✭✭✭✭senordingdong


    Eye opening stuff.


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