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LUAS Green line - ghost stops

  • 15-05-2012 2:27am
    #1
    Registered Users Posts: 10,892 ✭✭✭✭ JupiterKid


    I had some time to kill this afternoon so I decided to take the LUAS all the way out to Brides Glen. I'd never travelled on the extended section beyond Sandyford.

    I noticed that on the Green line extension there are 2 "ghost" stops - one near Carrickmines and another near Laughanstown. I presume they were put there with development of the vicinity in mind. But they are puzzling as they are located very close to existing stops and it looks like it will be a long time before they open to passengers.

    What do others make of these "ghost" stops along the LUAS green line?


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Comments

  • Registered Users Posts: 4,594 ✭✭✭ Poxyshamrock


    Does the Luas stop there or does it just pass through?


  • Moderators, Business & Finance Moderators, Motoring & Transport Moderators, Society & Culture Moderators Posts: 61,070 Mod ✭✭✭✭ L1011


    Does the Luas stop there or does it just pass through?

    At least in the early days they did actually stop there (and then start again almost instantly), but the doors don't open - they aren't active stops, there's not full infrastructure there, no ticketing machines, etc.


  • Registered Users Posts: 10,892 ✭✭✭✭ JupiterKid


    Does the Luas stop there or does it just pass through?

    It just passed through but it did slow down as it approached the passed the stops. I can understand if they were built with future development in mind, but they are located very close to functional stops and I doubt they will be operational for a very long time given that the liklihood of development around them is minimal in the current economic climate.

    The final stop on the Green line extension at Brides Glen is elevated by about 40 feet above ground - but the immediate area has a very unfinished look of an abandoned development site. The Green line extension also crosses over the M50 twice.


  • Registered Users Posts: 13,688 ✭✭✭✭ Zebra3


    JupiterKid wrote: »
    The Green line extension also crosses over the M50 twice.

    Really? :confused: Seems very odd.


  • Registered Users Posts: 4,905 ✭✭✭ Aard


    Zebra3 wrote: »
    Really? :confused: Seems very odd.

    That part of the M50 is radial rather than orbital.


    WRT ghost stops, the only one I don't get is the Racecourse. Presumably, it'll only be used for special events, and surely for those the Carrickmines stop would have sufficed? It's only 250 meters away, about a three minutes' walk.


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  • Registered Users Posts: 10,892 ✭✭✭✭ JupiterKid


    It really does seem that these "ghost" LUAS stops were poorly planned - they are very close to functional stops and must have cost the exchequer quite a bit to build. You can also see them on the linear route map inside the trams.

    The part of the M50 that the LUAS Green line crosses twice is a radial section - the South Eastern Motorway. Basically LUAS crosses it to serve the Stepaside/Glencairn area that has seen a lot of recent housing development and then crosses back to serve Cherrywood.

    As for the ghost stops - will they become functional anytime soon? Or have they become another example of money wasted?


  • Registered Users Posts: 4,905 ✭✭✭ Aard


    @JupiterKid

    The Brennanstown stop will become functional once the development of the area between the M50 and the N11 is done. Dun Laoghaire Rathdown have the local area plan drawn up, so I guess it's just a case of waiting for an upturn in construction.

    I don't know whether or not it made sense to build the stops from the start if they were not going to be used immediately. I'd imagine though that there was an economy of scale thing going on. The other Luas stops have held up pretty well since the beginning, so I'm sure the ghost stops will be in fine working order. It's just a matter of when!


  • Closed Accounts Posts: 7,221 BrianD


    Aard wrote: »
    That part of the M50 is radial rather than orbital.


    WRT ghost stops, the only one I don't get is the Racecourse. Presumably, it'll only be used for special events, and surely for those the Carrickmines stop would have sufficed? It's only 250 meters away, about a three minutes' walk.

    Ha! That's the excuse that a RPA staff members irately told me (seems to be a touchy point with them). It's true that the M50 is radial but the section you're referring to is effectively a straight line. Just look at the route map here.

    The real reason you have such a route and ghost stations is that the Green line extension is developer led infrastructure and not properly planned infrastructure. Granted the original rail line route along the racecourse was seemingly "unavailable".

    Also why is there constant reference to Cherrywood on the announcements when the destinations are Brides Glen or Sandyford?


  • Registered Users Posts: 1,102 ✭✭✭ pigtown


    Never been on the green line and don't know the area but is this not just a case of forward planning? If these areas are earmarked for future development then the stops will be needed at some point. Surely the RPA should be congratulated for thinking ahead?


  • Closed Accounts Posts: 7,221 BrianD


    pigtown wrote: »
    Never been on the green line and don't know the area but is this not just a case of forward planning? If these areas are earmarked for future development then the stops will be needed at some point. Surely the RPA should be congratulated for thinking ahead?

    But still ultimately driven by developers and rezoning. It should be tied in with the development plan for the city and not the developers plan. So it's not really forward planning it's following the money which may nor be the best use of either public funds or how a good transport network should evolve.

    Certainly, good infrastructural planning is not without it's downside either. You can end up with infrastructure that is too early or too late.


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  • Registered Users Posts: 200 ✭✭ bbuzz


    BrianD wrote: »
    Granted the original rail line route along the racecourse was seemingly "unavailable".

    I'm sorry but your wrong there, the reason the Luas goes up towards Ballyogan is because that is where the demand is. Who in Foxrock is going to get the Luas? The extension was planned very, all meant to tie in with development that had planning permission or that was already built. But unfortunately that development hasn't happened yet.

    To be fair, DLR will probably be one if the first counties that construction will start again. And the DLR county plan was always to expand in and around Cherrywood and Carrickmines. IMO it's refreshing that for once the infrastructure is in place before the development.


  • Closed Accounts Posts: 7,221 BrianD


    bbuzz wrote: »
    I'm sorry but your wrong there, the reason the Luas goes up towards Ballyogan is because that is where the demand is. Who in Foxrock is going to get the Luas? The extension was planned very, all meant to tie in with development that had planning permission or that was already built. But unfortunately that development hasn't happened yet.

    To be fair, DLR will probably be one if the first counties that construction will start again. And the DLR county plan was always to expand in and around Cherrywood and Carrickmines. IMO it's refreshing that for once the infrastructure is in place before the development.

    I think you'll find I'm right. The land was unavailable so an alt route required.

    At the same time the demand you refer to is developer driven demand. I don't doubt it was well planned to fit in with the developers and where the levies could be obtained. Plus teh madness continues as the line will wander out to Bray.

    Yes anybody who owns land up there is delighted that they have publicly funded infrastructure available to them.

    Ah, the lands in Carrickmines ... always a talking point.


  • Registered Users Posts: 200 ✭✭ bbuzz


    So where was it "unavailable" then?

    Look at Google maps, you can still clearly see the track bed, and surprise surprise it's still there, just like it was from the canal to Sandyford.


  • Registered Users Posts: 14,784 ✭✭✭✭ Winters


    I agree with Brian D.

    The crux of our planning problems stem from zoning and land use & transportation planning being driven NOT by location and suitability of land but rather than by who owns it.

    Glencairn and Ballyogan are prime examples of this.

    We can blame the developers and it's certainly easier to do so but the real culprits are the local authority planners, councillors and the DoE.

    I split it between 20% corruption and 80% just plain incompetency.
    bbuzz wrote: »
    So where was it "unavailable" then?

    Look at Google maps, you can still clearly see the track bed, and surprise surprise it's still there, just like it was from the canal to Sandyford.

    The land was and is available. We were just told it wasn't.


  • Closed Accounts Posts: 7,221 BrianD


    bbuzz wrote: »
    So where was it "unavailable" then?

    Look at Google maps, you can still clearly see the track bed, and surprise surprise it's still there, just like it was from the canal to Sandyford.

    Look along the Foxrock side of the racecourse and you'll notice that the original route has been absorbed into back gardens. Now, €36m was reported to have been spent buying garden sheds further down the route so a CPO shouldn't be a bother here - even if they can afford good lawyers. Other than that the land is perfectly available.

    Then again choosing the original brings you to along the old route through existing developments and it would no sopping up to the developers who are depending on it for their sales pitches and to get PP in the first place.

    Now lets look at Metro West. This is like the official seal of approval for the bad developments that went on in west Dublin over the years. No planning went on out there so Metro West is being tacked to try and sort out matters. This is a pretty expensive and inefficient way of sorting out a mess.


  • Registered Users Posts: 15,820 ✭✭✭✭ LXFlyer


    So are you suggesting that it would be better to serve a handful of houses in the Foxrock village area rather than the large housing developments in Leopardstown?


  • Closed Accounts Posts: 7,221 BrianD


    lxflyer wrote: »
    So are you suggesting that it would be better to serve a handful of houses in the Foxrock village area rather than the large housing developments in Leopardstown?


    On the balance of things, the original route would probably serve as many people in the catchment area. Not sure the cost of the circuitous route justifies what it will serve,


  • Registered Users Posts: 14,784 ✭✭✭✭ Winters


    lxflyer wrote: »
    So are you suggesting that it would be better to serve a handful of houses in the Foxrock village area rather than the large housing developments in Leopardstown?

    I would suggest that the land on that side of the M50 should never have been developed and that all the new housing developments should have been located on the old alignment.

    Hindsight..


  • Registered Users Posts: 15,820 ✭✭✭✭ LXFlyer


    BrianD wrote: »
    On the balance of things, the original route would probably serve as many people in the catchment area. Not sure the cost of the circuitous route justifies what it will serve,

    I'd seriously question that. Most of the housing along the old alignment between Leopardstown Road and Carrickmines is of the large and frankly rich variety with residents who are public transport averse.

    Beyond that is the Stillorgan QBC - would many people trek even further to the LUAS when there would be no room for parking when they have a high frequency fast bus service beside them?
    Winters wrote: »
    I would suggest that the land on that side of the M50 should never have been developed and that all the new housing developments should have been located on the old alignment.

    Hindsight..

    Other than beyond Carrickmines there is nowhere along the original alignment that you could put any of that housing.


  • Closed Accounts Posts: 7,221 BrianD


    But the planning is fundamentally flawed.

    As it happens this general area of south C. Dublin has a relatively low population density. This would suggest that it is under developed and the realistic expectation is that, at the right time, that development will appear. So one would imagine that transportation should be planned as part of a master plan.

    However looking at the route, the line seems to "sort out" some development across the M50 meaning that we have a line that literally goes "around the houses". Not great routing from a travel time perspective. There is also a plan to extend out to Bray. Is this beneficial, I think not. MAinly because it's being touted by politicians as an alternative to the DART. That money would be better spent on investment in the DART for Bray. Of course the original rail line did go to Bray but that was not 'light rail'.

    Also the levy system doesn't work. On one level it makes sense but it really dictates how transport will develop. The flaw is that in the boom years there was no problem getting the levy money - just add it on to the crazy money that a bank has lent the developer. It's a real case of dancing along to the pipers tune.


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  • Registered Users Posts: 15,820 ✭✭✭✭ LXFlyer


    I'm not defending the original planning in any way, but given all the development had been built to the west of the M50 it would have been nuts to build the LUAS in close proximity to the existing QBC while not serving the Leopardstown Valley/Ballyogan Road areas.


  • Closed Accounts Posts: 7,221 BrianD


    lxflyer wrote: »
    I'm not defending the original planning in any way, but given all the development had been built to the west of the M50 it would have been nuts to build the LUAS in close proximity to the existing QBC while not serving the Leopardstown Valley/Ballyogan Road areas.

    And in one way you are right but it also shows up the problem. You have a big chunk of development that has been permitted and it only makes sense to serve it and hence you end up with the current route. The routing is after the fact.


  • Registered Users Posts: 179 ✭✭ Rock of Gibraltar


    This idea that no one in Foxrock would use a Foxrock luas stop is just preposterous, Foxrock is full of professionals who work in the city. Just look at the number of people at the Foxrock and White's Cross bus stops in the morning.
    But surely the point of this line is to primarily serve Cherrywood.

    The sensible option for this line would have been for it to continue along the old alignment with stops on Leopardstown Rd and Foxrock Village. So that you have a much faster more direct service to Cherrywood.
    Then have a spur from Sandyford up through Ballyogan, with future alignments protected to serve future development in the area.
    I can't imagine it would cost that much more considering you'd save the cost of the second bridge over the M50.


  • Registered Users Posts: 15,820 ✭✭✭✭ LXFlyer


    Most of the clientele for the Stillorgan QBC is coming from east of the corridor at that point I would respectfully suggest. However I would make the point that I was referring to the houses along Torquay Road and Brighton Road in my post above. People east of that point already have a QBC that works.

    I don't agree that the main point is to serve Cherrywood. The main point is to provide transport for the conurbations along the route.

    Frankly putting a LUAS line that close parallel to an existing high frequency QBC would be a waste of resources.


  • Registered Users Posts: 947 ✭✭✭ xper


    BrianD wrote: »
    Look along the Foxrock side of the racecourse and you'll notice that the original route has been absorbed into back gardens. Now, €36m was reported to have been spent buying garden sheds further down the route so a CPO shouldn't be a bother here - even if they can afford good lawyers. Other than that the land is perfectly available.
    Yeah, I was in a garden in Shankill many years ago where the owner and a couple of neighbours had made a land grab of the alignment running past the end of their gardens. I don't know if such acquisitions gain legal standing after a time but it may make the land not so much 'unavailable' as 'hard to get' maybe. And, yes, I would not be surprised if the green line planners' thinking was heavily influenced by the experience of the long drawn out legal battle to acquire parts of gardens owned by wealthy, well connected Foxrock residents (and one ambassador's tennis court) for the N11 widening between Whites Cross and Donnybrook Church a number of years ago.
    Now lets look at Metro West. This is like the official seal of approval for the bad developments that went on in west Dublin over the years. No planning went on out there so Metro West is being tacked to try and sort out matters. This is a pretty expensive and inefficient way of sorting out a mess.
    I won't argue whether Metro West is the best solution or not for its area (its fairly moot anyway now) but 'the mess' is there. It was built, they came. You have to provide services of some sort, even if it is inevitably going to be less than ideal because of the cards you've been dealt.
    BrianD wrote: »
    But the planning is fundamentally flawed.

    As it happens this general area of south C. Dublin has a relatively low population density. This would suggest that it is under developed and the realistic expectation is that, at the right time, that development will appear. So one would imagine that transportation should be planned as part of a master plan.
    Development will no doubt occur in the Cherrywood and Carrickmines area in due course but the area around Foxrock village is most likely going to remain an affluent, low density area for a long, long time and I doubt Leopardstown racecourse will disappear. I don't think detouring from this stretch of the old Harcourt line in favour of a more densely populated area to the west of the motorway, albeit at the obvious cost of lengthened travel time.
    However looking at the route, the line seems to "sort out" some development across the M50 meaning that we have a line that literally goes "around the houses". Not great routing from a travel time perspective.
    Sortign out has to be done. Although, no I don't think its great routing. It could certainly do with one less stop to quicken things along.
    There is also a plan to extend out to Bray. Is this beneficial, I think not. MAinly because it's being touted by politicians as an alternative to the DART. That money would be better spent on investment in the DART for Bray. Of course the original rail line did go to Bray but that was not 'light rail'.
    Well, I've come to the conclusion that the proposed extension past the west side of Shankill to the proposed Fassaroe development area west of Bray is just too long for light rail. If the line got Metro-ed, then maybe, but I still think you'd have to drop a few stops.

    What I do think might work as a short stand-alone line is the proposed spur from the proposed Fassaroe development through the proposed Bray Town Centre development to the DART station. It could also run south from Fassaroe to wrap around the west side of the town (might need a pricey viaduct!) and along the southern cross route which would connect a huge swathe of Bray's residential area to the new centre and the DART station which is awkwardly placed in the north-east corner of the town. Crayon drawing, I know. God knows if/when all that development will happen though.
    lxflyer wrote: »
    I'd seriously question that. Most of the housing along the old alignment between Leopardstown Road and Carrickmines is of the large and frankly rich variety with residents who are public transport averse.
    ... and a big resident-free racecourse on the west side and Foxrock golf course in the catchment area too.

    Fun fact: After a promotion at my last workplace, my new boss strongly suggested that it was not good for my managerial aspirations to be seen travelling to work by bus. Didn't portray the right image to the team, you see! He lived in Foxrock village. We parted ways in due course!:rolleyes:
    This idea that no one in Foxrock would use a Foxrock luas stop is just preposterous, Foxrock is full of professionals who work in the city. Just look at the number of people at the Foxrock and White's Cross bus stops in the morning.
    Yes, look at them, using the city's best QBC to get to work quicker than the LUAs could get them there. They're catered for. The equivalent N11 alignment has a much more densely populated catchment area (say 20 min walking distance) than the bypassed stretch Harcourt St line even though they're less than a mile apart. My, eh, 'case study' above aside, I am sure a high percentage of Foxrock village residents would take a tram into town but there is just not that many of them compared to the area that the green line has actually been built through.
    The sensible option for this line would have been for it to continue along the old alignment with stops on Leopardstown Rd and Foxrock Village. So that you have a much faster more direct service to Cherrywood.
    Then have a spur from Sandyford up through Ballyogan, with future alignments protected to serve future development in the area.
    What's done is done but, actually, if at some point in the future, the Green line does get Metrofied, running that down the original Harcourt St line and turning the Sandyford - Ballyogan stretch into a tram-only spur might be something to look at.


    Lastly, I see DLR Co Co have nearly completed their pedestrian/cycleway along the Harcourt St alignment between Brewery Road and Leopardstown Rd. Just a short stretch, I wonder will it go further or would that get into that nasty compulsory purchase territory.


  • Registered Users Posts: 1,102 ✭✭✭ pigtown


    xper wrote: »

    Well, I've come to the conclusion that the proposed extension past the west side of Shankill to the proposed Fassaroe development area west of Bray is just too long for light rail. If the line got Metro-ed, then maybe, but I still think you'd have to drop a few stops.



    What's done is done but, actually, if at some point in the future, the Green line does get Metrofied, running that down the original Harcourt St line and turning the Sandyford - Ballyogan stretch into a tram-only spur might be something to look at.

    I've often wondered what the difference would be if the/any line was Metroed. Is it just a bigger train?


  • Registered Users Posts: 2,644 SerialComplaint


    xper wrote: »
    Fun fact: After a promotion at my last workplace, my new boss strongly suggested that it was not good for my managerial aspirations to be seen travelling to work by bus. Didn't portray the right image to the team, you see! He lived in Foxrock village. We parted ways in due course!:rolleyes:
    Was he a refugee time traveller from 1962? Didn't think dinosaurs like this still existed.


  • Moderators, Business & Finance Moderators, Motoring & Transport Moderators, Society & Culture Moderators Posts: 61,070 Mod ✭✭✭✭ L1011


    Was he a refugee time traveller from 1962? Didn't think dinosaurs like this still existed.

    Thatcher, that comment about men over the age of 30, buses and failure comes to mind. Its still a mindset out there.


  • Banned (with Prison Access) Posts: 3,129 Wild Bill


    I have not read all the previous comments, so apologies for any repetition.

    1) There are two "ghost" stops. One called "Racecourse" a few hundred metres from Carrickmines stop, located on the old Harcourt St line. This was always intended as a "race day only" stop. Why it isn't actually used on Race Days, I have no idea.

    2) The other stop was built in anticipation of development which has not yet occurred due to the property crash. Like "racecourse", it is also located on the old Harcourt St line.

    3) The current route is absolutely the correct route. In contrast to the old Harcourt Line is passes through areas of relatively high demand which are not serviced by anything like the N11 QBC which runs through Foxrock and it's ultra low-density housing.

    4) The empty zone starts where the current route rejoins the old Harcourt St line. If there is any rational criticism of the route it is that the route followed the old Harcourt line south of Carrickmines rather than turning east into populated areas. But then we are forever crying out for "forward" planning - in this case we got it! (I guess the Harcourt St railway itself was the Mother of All Forward Planning!)

    5) The reason folk refer to the extension as "Cherrywood" is because that description cover an area (or suburb) encompassing three stops; "Brides Glen" refers to a localized spot just south of the terminus.


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  • Banned (with Prison Access) Posts: 3,129 Wild Bill


    What really pees me off about the "ghost stops" is the bizarre practice of the trams almost stopping at them but not opening the doors.

    This adds at least a couple of apparently pointless minutes to the journey from Cherrywood to Sandyford.

    I'm sure there is a reason for this and I'd like to know what it is before I dismiss the Luas operators as complete idiots :cool:


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