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Dublin Metrolink - alternative routes

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Comments

  • #2


    Just a bit of reality here.

    The Luas Green Line is currently hugely oversubscribed. It uses the longest trams available and so longer trams are not an option - also longer trams are slower and cause traffic congestion.

    The current proposal, as published, increases the capacity many time over. Current planning applications for housing and industry show that this extra capacity is needed. The route is designed and is ready to go to ABP. [Apart from a few small problems - a sewer, a few objectors, and a problem at St Raphaela's Road]

    It would be madness not to proceed as planned.

    A new metro line is needed through the SW route and should continue through to the NE of the city. That should be a different project, and planning should start now. The current metro plan started in the 1970s so it takes a long time.

    It is always possible to improve on a plan, but it is not an improvement to start again. We have already lost a decade over this redesign nonsense. Let us not lose another decade.


  • #2


    It is always possible to improve on a plan, but it is not an improvement to start again. We have already lost a decade over this redesign nonsense. Let us not lose another decade.

    Yes, this. I happen to think that the current Metrolink plan is far, far better than the old Metro North plan. If I was given the choice of having Metro North up and running on schedule in 2015 (or so, can't remember when it was meant to be finished) or the MetroLink running in 2027/28 on this better alignment, I'd bite your arm off to get Metro North back then.

    Again, once the first line is operational, there'll be others planned and built in a fraction of the time.


  • #2


    CatInABox wrote: »
    Yes, this. I happen to think that the current Metrolink plan is far, far better than the old Metro North plan. If I was given the choice of having Metro North up and running on schedule in 2015 (or so, can't remember when it was meant to be finished) or the MetroLink running in 2027/28 on this better alignment, I'd bite your arm off to get Metro North back then.

    Again, once the first line is operational, there'll be others planned and built in a fraction of the time.

    You could go back to the plans from the 1970s that only saw the position on the shelf along with other such plans.

    I have one bit of advice for our Green Party Minister of Transport - "Build it and build it now. Accelerate the building in any way that can be done."

    He has in the past, when looking for votes in Dunville Ave, suggested all sorts of crayon wielding routings for metro and Luas, but now is the time to build it.


  • #2


    There's been some discussion of a potential future (and I stress that it should be a future addition to Metrolink, not a modification of that project) UCD spur that connected to Sandyford and Charlemont. It's not the worst idea I've heard — it could alleviate Luas capacity issues while also serving other parts of the city that lack rapid transport.

    Where would you put it though? IMO the only route that works would have to be entirely underground. Here's my crayon attempt:

    534960.jpg


  • #2


    MJohnston wrote: »
    There's been some discussion of a potential future (and I stress that it should be a future addition to Metrolink, not a modification of that project) UCD spur that connected to Sandyford and Charlemont. It's not the worst idea I've heard — it could alleviate Luas capacity issues while also serving other parts of the city that lack rapid transport.

    Where would you put it though? IMO the only route that works would have to be entirely underground. Here's my crayon attempt:

    534960.jpg

    UCD doesn’t make sense to me. The students only attend for so many weeks a year anyway and have various start times, if a line was being built that passed that way it would be a good idea but to build a line that appears to be using The university as a justification for a route seems a stretch.


  • #2


    salmocab wrote: »
    UCD doesn’t make sense to me. The students only attend for so many weeks a year anyway and have various start times, if a line was being built that passed that way it would be a good idea but to build a line that appears to be using The university as a justification for a route seems a stretch.

    Maybe, although there is a large amount of residential development due to happen on the RTE Montrose site soon.

    UCD is also the kind of university that is in heavy use well outside of term times.


  • #2


    MJohnston wrote: »
    There's been some discussion of a potential future (and I stress that it should be a future addition to Metrolink, not a modification of that project) UCD spur that connected to Sandyford and Charlemont. It's not the worst idea I've heard — it could alleviate Luas capacity issues while also serving other parts of the city that lack rapid transport.

    Where would you put it though? IMO the only route that works would have to be entirely underground. Here's my crayon attempt:

    534960.jpg

    Why look to put it in the east as opposed to the west?
    The east already has the dart and GL plus a very good bus corridor along the n11, whereas the west has.......... well nothing really.


  • #2


    Hold the f**k up lads — I'm not the one whose talking about this UCD spur, that's Eamon Ryan. Given that he IS talking about it, I think it's fair and fun to try and estimate where it might go. That's all!

    Besides which, a south western route will be held up for years by the unrepentant arseholes of Rathgar and Terenure. I know they keep going on and on about having a Metro instead of BusConnects, but I guarantee they'll complain about a Metro just as much.


  • #2


    MJohnston wrote: »
    Hold the f**k up lads — I'm not the one whose talking about this UCD spur, that's Eamon Ryan. Given that he IS talking about it, I think it's fair and fun to try and estimate where it might go. That's all!

    Besides which, a south western route will be held up for years by the unrepentant arseholes of Rathgar and Terenure. I know they keep going on and on about having a Metro instead of BusConnects, but I guarantee they'll complain about a Metro just as much.

    Apologies wasn’t suggesting you were pushing it or having a pop was just voicing my feeling on it.


  • #2


    MJohnston wrote: »
    Hold the f**k up lads — I'm not the one whose talking about this UCD spur, that's Eamon Ryan. Given that he IS talking about it, I think it's fair and fun to try and estimate where it might go. That's all!

    Besides which, a south western route will be held up for years by the unrepentant arseholes of Rathgar and Terenure. I know they keep going on and on about having a Metro instead of BusConnects, but I guarantee they'll complain about a Metro just as much.

    I don’t see the point in putting a metro line in between a Luas line and a dart line when there’s a large swathe of the city with no access to decent PT.
    This is all hypothetically speaking of course.

    The GL needs to be upgraded to metro standard and connected to metro link of course, but yeah metro SWNE should come next not metro ucd.


  • #2


    MJohnston wrote: »
    Hold the f**k up lads — I'm not the one whose talking about this UCD spur, that's Eamon Ryan. Given that he IS talking about it, I think it's fair and fun to try and estimate where it might go. That's all!

    Besides which, a south western route will be held up for years by the unrepentant arseholes of Rathgar and Terenure. I know they keep going on and on about having a Metro instead of BusConnects, but I guarantee they'll complain about a Metro just as much.
    All right, since you're disowning it and making it Eamon Ryan's baby, I won't hold back.

    Ideas like this come from people gazing at maps of Dublin and seeing "gaps" and thinking it would make sense to have a metro/tram/heavy rail/BRT/etc. in the gap - "because area X is starved of PT options".

    Try overlaying the route on a population density map for Dublin:
    534974.jpg

    And look at where the line goes - it traces a path which manages to avoid any areas with any sort of population density. You're talking about digging 7km of metro tunnels and mining out 3 underground stations - probably costing in the ballpark of 2B. And this area has no easy wins in terms of scope for real densification and the existing (sparse) population is largely mature so there is little scope for "organic" growth either.

    It's not quite as daft as suggesting a circle metro line for the hill of Howth but that swath of Dublin does not need a metro line.

    We need to sort out the capacity problem getting in and out of the centre first and foremost.


  • #2


    MJohnston wrote: »
    There's been some discussion of a potential future (and I stress that it should be a future addition to Metrolink, not a modification of that project) UCD spur that connected to Sandyford and Charlemont. It's not the worst idea I've heard — it could alleviate Luas capacity issues while also serving other parts of the city that lack rapid transport.

    Where would you put it though? IMO the only route that works would have to be entirely underground. Here's my crayon attempt:

    534960.jpg
    Hmmmm I'd rather see something go southwest to be honest, given the options available on the N11 corridor and land set aside for the eastern bypass (which could be repurposed) Vs the lack of options for a large part of Dublin.


  • #2


    This country really is a joke sometimes.

    Use the line that's already there morons.


  • #2


    D.L.R. wrote: »
    This country really is a joke sometimes.

    Use the line that's already there morons.
    The idea of replacing functional "tram" lines with something else is not exactly established anywhere in the world. Happy to stand corrected.


  • #2


    The idea of replacing functional "tram" lines with something else is not exactly established anywhere in the world. Happy to stand corrected.

    Other countries wouldn't put trams on a perfectly grade separated pre existing route though.


  • #2


    gjim wrote: »
    All right, since you're disowning it and making it Eamon Ryan's baby, I won't hold back.

    Ideas like this come from people gazing at maps of Dublin and seeing "gaps" and thinking it would make sense to have a metro/tram/heavy rail/BRT/etc. in the gap - "because area X is starved of PT options".

    Try overlaying the route on a population density map for Dublin:
    534974.jpg

    And look at where the line goes - it traces a path which manages to avoid any areas with any sort of population density. You're talking about digging 7km of metro tunnels and mining out 3 underground stations - probably costing in the ballpark of 2B. And this area has no easy wins in terms of scope for real densification and the existing (sparse) population is largely mature so there is little scope for "organic" growth either.

    It's not quite as daft as suggesting a circle metro line for the hill of Howth but that swath of Dublin does not need a metro line.

    We need to sort out the capacity problem getting in and out of the centre first and foremost.

    In fairness, this area does actually have quite a few projects ongoing that will increase density. There are a couple of major SHD projects around Donnybrook depot, for example, as well as the RTE site I mentioned before.

    First, I think the map you're linking to is based on either 2011 or 2016 census data. There was a projected 2018 map in the BusConnects reports that may be more useful to go off:

    Screenshot-2020-12-03-at-08-58-50.png

    The main thing I'd say is that although the UCD spur route is not high density, neither is a south-west route (at least in areas not served by the Red Line).

    The other thing I'd note is that we absolutely and urgently need to upgrade capacity from Sandyford to the city — we all know about the future demand potential of the areas beyond Sandyford on the Green Line.

    The problem with that upgrade is two-fold:

    1. If you try to upgrade the Green Line itself between Ranelagh and Sandyford, beyond objections, you're going to have huge logistical problems involving long closures of the Luas line.
    2. If you don't upgrade the Green Line directly, but instead provide some alternative relief between Ranelagh and Sandyford, then building anything that parallels the route of the Green Line would be exceptionally wasteful.

    For example, I think the only practical way to make a Green Line upgrade happen is to extend the tunnel from Ranelagh down to Milltown, and then use the available open space around the Dodder valley to complete a less intrusive connection to the existing line. The problem with that is you're wasting about 33% of the potentially upgradable existing line! That has its own cost in addition to the cost of the extra tunnelling.

    So the question becomes — do you spend money on that Milltown option, or do you spend a wee bit more and spur off somewhere else between Ranelagh and Sandyford?

    I genuinely don't know which I'd pick.


  • #2


    MJohnston wrote: »

    For example, I think the only practical way to make a Green Line upgrade happen is to extend the tunnel from Ranelagh down to Milltown, and then use the available open space around the Dodder valley to complete a less intrusive connection to the existing line. The problem with that is you're wasting about 33% of the potentially upgradable existing line! That has its own cost in addition to the cost of the extra tunnelling.

    So the question becomes — do you spend money on that Milltown option, or do you spend a wee bit more and spur off somewhere else between Ranelagh and Sandyford?

    I genuinely don't know which I'd pick.

    I would think an issue with dodder valley is it’s actually quite a deep valley so at that point the tunnel would be very deep in relation to the level the Luas runs at which is ground level either side. The nine arches bridge is a good height so most of the land on the south side is probably too low to be of use for having an interchange


  • #2


    If you were to pop out at Milltown, would there be any scope at all for a continuation of the stubbed Green line either in UCD direction or towards the South West then? I know it would miss out a few central South western population centres, but you could conceivably hit Rathfarnham/Terenure and out towards Tallaght?

    I guess there's no space available there though


  • #2


    gjim wrote: »
    My drawing skills aren't the best - let me try again:
    534782.jpg

    You wouldn't be going directly under any buildings so I don't see the undermining issue - it would be close to existing buildings we seem to able to build new buildings with underground car parking levels next to existing historic stock without issue.

    It would be cut 'n cover down the middle of Earlsfort Terrace and across Adelaide Road.

    But I agree the issue is the gradient. I'm not sure it's impossible though but it may be.

    As you say, you have less than 100m to get from under the ground at the footpath on Adelaide road to above ground to join the existing tracks. The curve gives you a few more meters so it's close enough to 100m.

    The tunnel height at the portal would need to be 4m - I'm guessing here. Plus say one meter containing the steelworks to support the footpath (further back under the road you'd have more as the level drops). So you need to rise 5m in the 100m which is 5%. Even if it were 6%, metro systems I believe can deal with these sorts of gradients.

    Is it perfect? No but the other options (linking south of Ranelagh) are worse in every respect to the extent that I don't think we'll see the southern section of the Green Luas line upgraded to metro in our lifetimes.

    That curve is to tight for a metro and will slow down the system


  • #2


    If you were to pop out at Milltown, would there be any scope at all for a continuation of the stubbed Green line either in UCD direction or towards the South West then? I know it would miss out a few central South western population centres, but you could conceivably hit Rathfarnham/Terenure and out towards Tallaght?

    I guess there's no space available there though

    Doing that above ground would involve a level of CPOing that would make a tunnel the far more financially viable option.


  • #2


    That's what I suspected, not being able to use the full length of the old railway alignment for the Metro is going to be a real pain, I do like the ideas of turning the stub section into a 'highline' style park though.


  • #2


    salmocab wrote: »
    I would think an issue with dodder valley is it’s actually quite a deep valley so at that point the tunnel would be very deep in relation to the level the Luas runs at which is ground level either side. The nine arches bridge is a good height so most of the land on the south side is probably too low to be of use for having an interchange

    I think it could work like this:

    OCcG0Vg.jpg

    Alternatively you close South Richmond Avenue and build a parallel bridge over the Dodder before merging on the southside.


  • #2


    MJohnston wrote: »
    I think it could work like this:

    OCcG0Vg.jpg

    Alternatively you close South Richmond Avenue and build a parallel bridge over the Dodder before merging on the southside.

    I walk the dog there a bit it’s quite steep I’d be surprised if was within tolerance for the gradient.


  • #2


    MJohnston wrote: »
    Hold the f**k up lads — I'm not the one whose talking about this UCD spur, that's Eamon Ryan. Given that he IS talking about it, I think it's fair and fun to try and estimate where it might go. That's all!

    Besides which, a south western route will be held up for years by the unrepentant arseholes of Rathgar and Terenure. I know they keep going on and on about having a Metro instead of BusConnects, but I guarantee they'll complain about a Metro just as much.

    Well I don't think that the western option should not be assessed and just be ignored just because of potential objectors. That's as ludicrous as some of the more hyperbolic reactions of some of the D6 objectors.

    Anyone who has to put up with 90 minute commutes on the likes of the 15, 15b or 16 will testify to the gridlock in the central southern area leading to the south and southwest. BusConnects isn't going to make that go away sadly.

    There are quite a few new apartment developments in the pipeline in Dublin 16 which is only going to make matters worse.


  • #2


    LXFlyer wrote: »
    Well I don't think that the western option should not be assessed and just be ignored just because of potential objectors. That's as ludicrous as some of the more hyperbolic reactions of some of the D6 objectors.

    Anyone who has to put up with 90 minute commutes on the likes of the 15, 15b or 16 will testify to the gridlock in the central southern area leading to the south and southwest. BusConnects isn't going to make that go away sadly.

    There are quite a few new apartment developments in the pipeline in Dublin 16 which is only going to make matters worse.

    I agree with all of that! Nowhere did I say that a south-west line should not be explored.

    However, I don't think there's any equivalence between a south-western Metro line and something that alleviates Green Line capacity pressure, other than both are required.

    But a line to the southwest does nothing to solve the GL capacity problems, and vice versa.


  • #2


    MJohnston wrote: »
    For example, I think the only practical way to make a Green Line upgrade happen is to extend the tunnel from Ranelagh down to Milltown, and then use the available open space around the Dodder valley to complete a less intrusive connection to the existing line. The problem with that is you're wasting about 33% of the potentially upgradable existing line! That has its own cost in addition to the cost of the extra tunnelling.
    It's more than wasting the line or the cost of tunnelling - what about underground stations? Your earlier proposed route via UCD does not include any underground stations between Donnybrook and NE Stephen's Green?

    Tunnelling to Milltown will surely require at the very least constructing two underground stations - four/five if you were to try to replicate the accessibility of the current Luas. Mining out underground stations is no joke - in terms of money, time and disruption - it might not even be feasible at all in the most optimal places like somewhere around the Ranelagh triangle.

    This is why I was bringing up the idea of connecting north of the Canal - like option 3C - from this appraisal document that specialbyte linked to: http://data.tii.ie/metrolink/alignment-options-study/study-2/metrolink-1-gl-tie-in-options-appraisal-report.pdf - upgrading an existing Luas stops to metro standard is trivial in comparison to constructing underground stations so existing accessibility could be preserved for little cost - you'd have 5 stations between the Canal and Milltown almost for free.


  • #2


    ted1 wrote: »
    That curve is to tight for a metro and will slow down the system
    The curve was not deemed an issue when this option was appraised in the document specialbyte linked to. Metros would be slowing to come to a stop at Charlemont (or starting North from stopped) here. It's not like the metro would be going at 70km/hour along here anyway.


  • #2


    cgcsb wrote: »
    Other countries wouldn't put trams on a perfectly grade separated pre existing route though.
    London has grade separated former railways that now operate as tram routes? You should correct your claim.

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Wimbledon%E2%80%93West_Croydon_line


  • #2


    London has grade separated former railways that now operate as tram routes? You should correct your claim.

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Wimbledon%E2%80%93West_Croydon_line

    Trams are suitable for ferrying people into, around and out of a borough of London, that's fine. The same cannot be said for their application to radial commuter routes in South and West Dublin - probably explains why both the Tallaght and Sandyford lines were originally proposed as heavy rail (DART) and then Metro (including tunneling along the Abbey St axis) before the inadequate option was embraced.

    The fact that the Green line was designed with an upgrade to Metro in mind tells you all you need to know about the adequacy of trams along the old Harcourt St line.


  • #2


    donvito99 wrote: »
    Trams are suitable for ferrying people into, around and out of a borough of London, that's fine. The same cannot be said for their application to radial commuter routes in South and West Dublin - probably explains why both the Tallaght and Sandyford lines were originally proposed as heavy rail (DART) and then Metro (including tunneling along the Abbey St axis) before the inadequate option was embraced.

    The fact that the Green line was designed with an upgrade to Metro in mind tells you all you need to know about the adequacy of trams along the old Harcourt St line.
    Sure, but I wanted to set the record straight. It's quite a jump to say this has never been done in any other country. Another one that springs to mind is converting the Hoek van Holland train line to light metro, but that's not being described as a tram so I left that out.


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