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Dublin Metrolink - alternative routes

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  • It’s the old harcourt street line alignment. The alignment is still more or less there - goes through the Kilmacud Crokes pitches and then down the back of the racecourse. Didn’t think there was any plan on reinstating it though.
    prunudo wrote: »
    I know the other metro thread is more active lately but something caught my eye regarding Coillte's new Dublin mountain initiative.
    If you look at the graphic in the link below they have the existing Luas greenline but there also appears to be a dotted line along cutting out the on street parts along Ballyogan rd.
    Is this an oversight, someone jumping the gun or is/was there a plan to tunnel a metro as far the Carrickmines p&r?


    https://www.facebook.com/Coilltenews/photos/a.203402459692517/3356541341045264/?type=3&sfnsn=mo

    Maybe someone more tech savvy could post the actual graphic, cheers.




  • salmocab wrote: »
    Yeah Dunville is the real problem child of that section. They should have come up with a compromise a long time ago, the residents do have some validity to their objections I feel but it shouldn’t be part of scuppering the whole thing. Keeping even car access and making vans go round would be enough I think. 2.5 mtr clearance should be enough, drop the road a meter or so and raise a bridge a couple of meters. It’s a lot of engineering but nothing insurmountable. If it was done at the same time as the tie in it would probably have not made any real difference to the program.
    How is (was) it a real problem?

    This is a tiny single lane level crossing. Cars have to take turns to get over it and during peak Luas times the barriers are lowered every five minutes so its capacity is tiny. It probably handles not much more than 500-600 car crossings a day.

    And it goes nowhere on the Beechwood side - the one-way restrictions effectively (or deliberately) prevent any through-traffic, it's basically a pure local access road.

    I mean if a lightly used local-access suburban single lane level is a "real problem", there's no hope for infrastructure development in Dublin.

    Let's face the only reason it was a real problem was because of the wealth and political power of the locals in that area. I'm pretty sure if we were talking about closing a similar minor suburban road, say in a housing estate in Santry or the like, you think you'd have a political crisis with party leaders (E Ryan for example) getting directly involved, raising questions in the Dail, organising local meetings, etc? This isn't reverse snobbery btw - I lived in the area for years.

    Entertaining this sort of NIMBYism with expensive and massively disruptive projects - like raising the trackbed of an otherwise PERFECTLY functioning rail line - is not something I'd like to see at all.

    You know that the trackbed was lowered in the first place at considerable expense, partly in response to locals' concerns that they'd lose privacy in their back gardens? And now we should raise the trackbed again to facilitate people driving a 100m to pick up some porcini or whatever from Mortons.




  • gjim wrote: »
    How is (was) it a real problem?

    This is a tiny single lane level crossing. Cars have to take turns to get over it and during peak Luas times the barriers are lowered every five minutes so its capacity is tiny. It probably handles not much more than 500-600 car crossings a day.

    And it goes nowhere on the Beechwood side - the one-way restrictions effectively (or deliberately) prevent any through-traffic, it's basically a pure local access road.

    I mean if a lightly used local-access suburban single lane level is a "real problem", there's no hope for infrastructure development in Dublin.

    Let's face the only reason it was a real problem was because of the wealth and political power of the locals in that area. I'm pretty sure if we were talking about closing a similar minor suburban road, say in a housing estate in Santry or the like, you think you'd have a political crisis with party leaders (E Ryan for example) getting directly involved, raising questions in the Dail, organising local meetings, etc? This isn't reverse snobbery btw - I lived in the area for years.

    Entertaining this sort of NIMBYism with expensive and massively disruptive projects - like raising the trackbed of an otherwise PERFECTLY functioning rail line - is not something I'd like to see at all.

    You know that the trackbed was lowered in the first place at considerable expense, partly in response to locals' concerns that they'd lose privacy in their back gardens? And now we should raise the trackbed again to facilitate people driving a 100m to pick up some porcini or whatever from Mortons.

    I said it was the real problem child of that section, not quite the same as your suggesting. In fact I even said a lot of the objections were nimby although I don’t think they all are. I’ve worked in that area quite a bit over the years and on occasion use that luas stop a bit still and I can see how it would be awkward for a lot of people to lose that crossing as it lets traffic going to rathmines or toward Rathgar avoid the Main Street in ranelagh. I also said they could have come up with a compromise. I’m well aware they lowered the track bed and in fact that crossing was originally a bridge on the harcourt line.
    You’ve taken what I said out of context.




  • Truth be told, I think all the sound and fury over Dunville Avenue is a bit misplaced. There was no indication that the NTA or TII found the arguments to keep it open to be convincing, and in my opinion, it seemed like they were very much ok with closing it.

    I think that NTA and TII realised that in the end, they didn't need to take a position on this, as by that stage, they had already found that sewer under the canal, which threw the entire southside project into doubt. If the NTA and TII were ok with CPOing 70 apartments in the city centre, with multiple other properties along the route also on the chopping block, then they would also be ok with closing a small road. The only reason they don't correct the record now is because doing so would drag them back into an argument over something that isn't going to come to pass for years.




  • salmocab wrote: »
    I said it was the real problem child of that section, not quite the same as your suggesting. In fact I even said a lot of the objections were nimby although I don’t think they all are. I’ve worked in that area quite a bit over the years and on occasion use that luas stop a bit still and I can see how it would be awkward for a lot of people to lose that crossing as it lets traffic going to rathmines or toward Rathgar avoid the Main Street in ranelagh. I also said they could have come up with a compromise. I’m well aware they lowered the track bed and in fact that crossing was originally a bridge on the harcourt line.
    You’ve taken what I said out of context.
    Ok - read it as a general rant about the Dunville Avenue furore rather than a specific attack on your position.

    But I even disagree with taking much of a middle ground here - which objections specifically do you think merited scuppering half a metro project?

    I mean why are we even musing about about complex, expensive, disruptive engineering solutions as the answer here? The solution is for politicians grow a bit of backbone and to reject infantile and misinformed NIMBYism - instead of trampling over each other to pander to any whinging disgruntled minority. And to have mature media which sees its mandate to inform and present facts instead of constantly seeking to create public outrage or indignation - effectively Jeremy Kyle wannabees even though many in the Irish media seem to actually believe that they are far superior.


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  • CatInABox wrote: »
    Truth be told, I think all the sound and fury over Dunville Avenue is a bit misplaced. There was no indication that the NTA or TII found the arguments to keep it open to be convincing, and in my opinion, it seemed like they were very much ok with closing it.
    You're right of course but it still doesn't inspire confidence that the NIMBYism around Dunville Avenue had such an impact - on the media and in political system.




  • gjim wrote: »
    You're right of course but it still doesn't inspire confidence that the NIMBYism around Dunville Avenue had such an impact - on the media and in political system.

    We have seen the same reaction in other spheres, like the sudden emergence of the retirement age as a political issue in the 2020 GE when it was decided long ago. Or the pursuit of the property bubble by all the political parties prior to the 2007 election just before the whole economy imploded.

    Populism is a simple strategy when anything else requires a level of thought not available to the general voter.




  • gjim wrote: »

    But I even disagree with taking much of a middle ground here - which objections specifically do you think merited scuppering half a metro project?

    I’ve explained that that route gives an out to people heading vaguely south west that would be closed off to them, everyone that gives out about this claims it’s access to Morton’s that’s the issue when the reality is that almost all the cars using that crossing aren’t stopping in Morton’s. It’s a very useful route out of an area that other wise only accesses the Main Street in Ranelagh. I just think we’re at a point where if someone objects to anything it gets classified as nimby when some are perfectly reasonable objections.
    Now none of this merited scuppering half a metro project nor in fact did it. I’m confident if the sewer issue had of not arisen and they decided to go ahead that something would have got sorted.




  • Nobody has explained how to address the Green Line's capacity problems if its not upgraded to Metro.




  • D.L.R. wrote: »
    Nobody has explained how to address the Green Line's capacity problems if its not upgraded to Metro.


    Intend to keep buying more and more 55 metre trams. And to run frequency as much as possible. The public will have to make do with that level of service.


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  • D.L.R. wrote: »
    Nobody has explained how to address the Green Line's capacity problems if its not upgraded to Metro.

    That's easy the people that objected to the upgrade living closer to the city may invest in bikes and runners because when Cherrywood is finished there will be no place on the tram when it gets to them




  • roadmaster wrote: »
    That's easy the people that objected to the upgrade living closer to the city may invest in bikes and runners because when Cherrywood is finished there will be no place on the tram when it gets to them

    The people who objected probably aren't using it at peak times so won't notice that it is well over capacity and won't be affected by it.




  • roadmaster wrote: »
    That's easy the people that objected to the upgrade living closer to the city may invest in bikes and runners because when Cherrywood is finished there will be no place on the tram when it gets to them

    In fairness it’s unlikely that too many of the regular users objected. Not everyone in Ranelagh objected but unfortunately we live in a place that listens to the noisy minority because the majority don’t say anything.




  • salmocab wrote: »
    In fairness it’s unlikely that too many of the regular users objected. Not everyone in Ranelagh objected but unfortunately we live in a place that listens to the noisy minority because the majority don’t say anything.

    I think the noisy minority just rattled their jewellery.




  • salmocab wrote: »
    In fairness it’s unlikely that too many of the regular users objected. Not everyone in Ranelagh objected but unfortunately we live in a place that listens to the noisy minority because the majority don’t say anything.

    Same when it came to the Greens acceptance of PfG. If you'd listened to the Twitterati, you'd have swore it was a party for ultra left socialists... the silent majority proved its just a party that's a Green version of FG.

    Wish the silent majority, would speak up more, but we're all guilty of it.




  • Kevtherev1 wrote: »
    Intend to keep buying more and more 55 metre trams. And to run frequency as much as possible. The public will have to make do with that level of service.

    55m street trams are a terrible idea. There's a reason they don't exist anywhere else.




  • D.L.R. wrote: »
    55m street trams are a terrible idea. There's a reason they don't exist anywhere else.

    Except Budapest. They're actually slightly longer there too I think.

    The proposed Brides Glen/Sandyford to Charlemont service pattern (some will turn back there on a third, to be built platform) will mean that the Dunville Avenue crossing will have infinitesimal if any openings during peak hours.




  • D.L.R. wrote: »
    55m street trams are a terrible idea. There's a reason they don't exist anywhere else.

    Yes.

    And there's also a reason other cities generally don't have long suburban corridors carrying more than 20 trams/metro vehicles per hour - and that reason is because they develop corridors to other suburbs, and the resulting lines effectively compete against each other.

    Certainly many cities have sections where throughput is considerably higher than 20 trams per hour, but this tends to be because neighbouring suburban lines share a central section.

    I'm not aware of any unbranched tram line which is the length of Cherrywood to the Grand Canal (Charlemont) and needs a service of more than 20 trams per hour.

    The sensible thing to do is to develop other corridors.

    In the case of metrolink, building it - probably in phases - towards southwest/central suburbs would then provide a fast service to areas which don't currently have this, and (because it would have a higher capacity than the Green Line) it should also help to reduce pressure on the Green Line by hoovering up many passengers who live between those two lines.

    An extra bonus of doing this is that South Dublin County Council suburbs like Terenure, Rathfarnham and Firhouse generally have higher or considerably higher population densities than areas along the Green Line like Stillorgan, Dundrum or Clonskeagh. (For example, Firhouse has a population of 23,949 and a density of 3,754 per sq.km., while there is a population of 23,653 and a density of 3,350 per sq.km. in Dundrum. The SDCC parts of Rathfarnham and Terenure have densities which are 900-1000 per sq.km. higher than Dundrum).




  • Doesn’t work like that.

    Adding extra stations to a train network will result in an increase in traffic at all stations, all other things being equal.

    If we had loads of lines already then an extra line might relieve another. But won’t work on our system.




  • Yes.

    And there's also a reason other cities generally don't have long suburban corridors carrying more than 20 trams/metro vehicles per hour - and that reason is because they develop corridors to other suburbs, and the resulting lines effectively compete against each other.

    Certainly many cities have sections where throughput is considerably higher than 20 trams per hour, but this tends to be because neighbouring suburban lines share a central section.

    I'm not aware of any unbranched tram line which is the length of Cherrywood to the Grand Canal (Charlemont) and needs a service of more than 20 trams per hour.

    The sensible thing to do is to develop other corridors.

    In the case of metrolink, building it - probably in phases - towards southwest/central suburbs would then provide a fast service to areas which don't currently have this, and (because it would have a higher capacity than the Green Line) it should also help to reduce pressure on the Green Line by hoovering up many passengers who live between those two lines.

    An extra bonus of doing this is that South Dublin County Council suburbs like Terenure, Rathfarnham and Firhouse generally have higher or considerably higher population densities than areas along the Green Line like Stillorgan, Dundrum or Clonskeagh. (For example, Firhouse has a population of 23,949 and a density of 3,754 per sq.km., while there is a population of 23,653 and a density of 3,350 per sq.km. in Dundrum. The SDCC parts of Rathfarnham and Terenure have densities which are 900-1000 per sq.km. higher than Dundrum).


    Great post.


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  • The people who objected probably aren't using it at peak times so won't notice that it is well over capacity and won't be affected by it.

    The people who objected would probably keel over if they cycled or ran, because of the likely age profile.




  • Putting hard rail straight through suburbia, eh no thanks




  • And still, nobody has adequately explained how to address the Green Line's capacity problems if its not upgraded.




  • Continuing from the other thread where I was suggesting something like to link ML with the southern section of the Green Luas:
    534782.jpg

    Pete_Cavan wrote: »
    What you have drawing is clearly going directly under buildings on Adelaide Road. Those buildings have a half basement level and then foundations below which you need to pass under before the top of the tunnel. The Metrolink Preferred Route document shows an indicative tunnel diameter of 9.2m. The track level would be at least 10m below ground there. No chance you would be able to get up to the canal bridge level in the space available. Thats with little or no space under building foundations, there is a reason why top of the tunnel in the city centre is to be 17+m below the surface.
    Which buildings? I've already said that the Georgian next to the church would have to be demolished (keeping the facade ideally). Maybe its neighbour would also require the same treatment.

    The 9.2m is for the single bore tunnel diameter - you don't need 10m above the trackbed in a cut n' covered section.




  • Also continuing:
    MJohnston wrote: »
    The gradient there would be difficult enough on its own, as would the heavy curve. Combine them both and I'd say that's well outside of design limits.
    Maybe - I took my 5% estimate from https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_steepest_gradients_on_adhesion_railways - the DLR for example has a gradient of 5.88% on one section although yes I don't know whether such gradients are possible with curves.

    I'd just like to know whether this option was considered at all by the ML team? Pete says he thinks it was but I never remember hearing anything about it.




  • gjim wrote: »
    Also continuing:

    Maybe - I took my 5% estimate from https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_steepest_gradients_on_adhesion_railways - the DLR for example has a gradient of 5.88% on one section although yes I don't know whether such gradients are possible with curves.

    I'd just like to know whether this option was considered at all by the ML team? Pete says he thinks it was but I never remember hearing anything about it.

    Something very similar to your suggestion was considered by TII as Option 2(a) as part of the emerging preferred route. You can see the full report here: http://data.tii.ie/metrolink/alignment-options-study/study-2/metrolink-1-gl-tie-in-options-appraisal-report.pdf




  • Something very similar to your suggestion was considered by TII as Option 2(a) as part of the emerging preferred route. You can see the full report here: http://data.tii.ie/metrolink/alignment-options-study/study-2/metrolink-1-gl-tie-in-options-appraisal-report.pdf

    Looks like they only considered solutions which bring trains up to street level on Earlsfort Terrace and then up a ramp over Adelaide Rd to Charlemont.

    They don't appear to have considered a cut and cover from the end of the bored section at SSG East all the way along Earlsfort Tce, under Adelaide Rd and then up to street level before climbing the ramp to Charlemont. Perhaps this is too severe a gradient for Metro vehicles, it's about 120m from Adelaide Rd to the existing ramp, which is already quite steep?




  • donvito99 wrote: »
    Looks like they only considered solutions which bring trains up to street level on Earlsfort Terrace and then up a ramp over Adelaide Rd to Charlemont.

    They don't appear to have considered a cut and cover from the end of the bored section at SSG East all the way along Earlsfort Tce, under Adelaide Rd and then up to street level before climbing the ramp to Charlemont. Perhaps this is too severe a gradient for Metro vehicles, it's about 120m from Adelaide Rd to the existing ramp, which is already quite steep?

    Actually they consider something almost exactly like it as a "variation" of option 3 - see option 3C - described on page 43:
    From the north, NMN tunnels will be bored to Earlsfort Terrace, at a suitable location between the Conrad Hotel/NCH and Hatch Street junction, where the road is approximately 22m wide. The tunnel portal and TBM receiving shaft will be formed in cut and cover within the public road space, with limited impact on surrounding buildings. During construction, the road will be closed to traffic in both directions and the footpaths will have to be temporarily accommodated within the NCH grounds.
    The tracks will then rise in a cut and cover section beneath the Earlsfort Terrace, Hatch Street and Adelaide Road junctions, to then rise in open retained cut, immediately south of Adelaide Road, on the west side of the Adelaide Road Presbyterian Church, tying in to the existing Luas Green Line ramp, immediately north of Charlemont Stop.

    All the options numbered 3 (there are 4 I think) involve joining the existing line north of Charlemont bridge and to be honest a few of them sound horrendous involving segregated but at grade or elevated sections on Georgian streets.

    In picking one of the options numbered 3 for the second round, they elected to take a different one (option 3A) instead of 3C giving their primary reason as:
    There are however significant environmental and logistical challenges associated with constructing a TBM receiving shaft and cut and cover section on Earlsfort Terrace. There are also significant technical challenges to be overcome in terms of the design and construction of a cut and cover tunnel section on Earlsfort Terrace and in particular the close proximity of the alignment to Adelaide Road Presbyterian Church and several buildings with basements and lightwells on the northwest corner of the Adelaide Road/Earlsfort Terrace junction.
    Which is fair enough I suppose. It doesn't seem that the gradient was a concern at all.

    Of course this was pre-ML and before the canal sewer was known about and their preferred option was the Ranelagh "inline" option - i.e. emerge south of the canal at Charlemont and rise to join the line before the Ranelagh stop which would also be my preference also if it wasn't for the sewer.

    All the options south of Dunville Av. score pretty poorly - mainly because of cost - linking with the line north of Charlemont bridge was their 2nd favourite.




  • But why bother with any of the above plans for converting the Charlemont to Sandyford section into a metro at all?

    It won't get people into or out of town (the main destination) any quicker, and it would just cause unnecessary disruption during construction.

    Broadly, the main problem with that LUAS line is that it doesn't have any support, and this is the chief reason that there is - as far as I am aware - no other tram line in Europe which seems to need such a high throughput along an unbranched section of track of the length of Sandyford to the city as this one does: other cities have developed 'competing' tracks.

    It's 15 km East-West from the DART at Dun Laoghaire to the Red Line at Tallaght, with Dundrum Green Line LUAS almost exactly in the middle, about 7-7.5 km from either, and nothing else, rail-wise, in between.

    It's no surprise to me that it's busy - in 'normal' times - given that for 3-4 km either side of Dundrum and neighbouring stations there's no rail alternative.

    A metro towards Rathmines, Terenure, Rathfarnham, Firhouse, etc. would help to alleviate this pressure, by reducing the size of the Green Line catchment to the west of Dundrum.

    These are suburbs which generally have higher populations and population densities than the suburbs on the southside section of the Green Line (according to the 2016 census figures), but also have longer journeys into town, in many cases much longer, than Green Line suburbs. It has also been identified that no obvious LUAS route is available to serve those southwest suburbs.

    Of course a metro towards the southwest would be more expensive than an unnecessary replacement of the Sandyford - Charlemont Green Line. Yet looking broadly at the figures for the planned Metrolink (3 billion euro for 19 km) and its mix of underground and overground sections, a cost of around 200 million per km for tunnelling emerges.

    I suggest removing the St. Stephen's Green to Charlemont section entirely and using that part of the 3 billion to tunnel towards Rathmines. And then, while you're doing that first bit of tunnelling, do the planning for the next 5-6 km phase (another 1-1.2 billion or so), and then do the planning for the next phase.

    In some of the outer suburbs tunnelling might not exclusively be required, but even if it is then 200-250 m per year for the 8-10 years it might take to build from Rathmines to its final destination doesn't seem huge. Especially as it should increasingly reduce pressure on the Green Line, there'd be no need to pay for new tunnel boring machines, and the cost of rolling stock would surely be lower than for the initial phase between Swords and the city.

    Something like that should provide the support that the Green Line currently needs - at least on its western side - and would also provide a rail service and significantly reduced journey times to areas of the city which have higher populations and higher population densities than the suburbs on the Green Line south of the canal.


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  • But why bother with any of the above plans for converting the Charlemont to Sandyford section into a metro at all?
    Because the current configuration is a dogs dinner and wasteful - you have a high speed/high capacity section from Charlemont to Sandford connected to an on-street, at-grade speed and capacity limited section from Charlemont to Broadstone.

    The only way to actually use the available capacity between Charlemont and Sandford involves stupid stuff like 55m trams and adding turn-back facilities near Ranelagh which just means dumping people who want to get to the centre kms from their desired destination.

    The fix is simple and obvious - connect the segregated metro-like section to the end of the METRO line that is being built and run it as a metro. Extend the on-street tram system south from Harcourt St. to wherever you want and run it as a tram line.

    Build a proper north/south metro spine connecting high density and high employment centres and build the Interconnector to provide east/west and heavy rail interconnectivity. Everything else is not only a distraction - it's a direct hindrance to developing PT in Dublin.


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