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Dublin - Metrolink (Swords to Charlemont only)



  • IT reporting that Hugh Creegan (NTA Deputy CEO) told Dublin City Council today that MetroLink would take 9 years to deliver post planning.

    Costs have gone up so much they can't tell us how much it'll actually cost now, and the delivery has increased by several years from the original plan, despite the southern end being truncated and no tie in.

    I have many questions here and the number of questions is increasing as we go on.

  • Yes the focus needs to be on clearing the hurdles as they come. Projecting ahead to future stages is obviously necessary but shouldn't be at the expense of the current stage. The next stage is planning, complete that and then move forward from there. Once planning is obtained there will be a clearer picture on cost.

    The only costs that actually matter are those resulting from the procurement process and we will never get those unless we get to procurement stage. I suspect costs and timelines keep getting inflated to cover arses.

  • I totally agree about it being the day the TBM starts, that is the most important thing! That is far enough away, that the current greenline issue will likely have to then be addressed also, and they can start working on that problem. Anne graham lying that the current line is adequate, isnt actually a viable strategy, at much as they would like us to believe it is...

  • Years in which European countries opened their first Metro

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  • Colm McCarthy has written the same old argument about Metrolink in the Sunday Independent. His argument is interpreting that people getting around on buses should be the only way that will solve Ireland's transport dilemma & not trains.

    I cannot read the whole article as it's behind a paywall. But he is saying that in this article that not building Metrolink will be the only way of solving how people in Dublin can do their commute around the City including around the GDA. I am not sure if he is including Dart+ Expansion in that argument as well. But he is quoting the Irish MoS article's Metrolink cost of €10 billion in it.

    If he had included the proposals contained in the GDA draft transport strategy in there as well; I might assume here that if you're reading the article right now; it might make for a depressing read.

    I do have to admit that his analysis on Metrolink alone just reinforces the point that it still become a big waste of money in his eyes. If we are going to get back on a longer term recovery in our economy after Covid becomes stable along with air travel coming back to normal. The pressure on people who do use Dublin Airport on a day to day basis will become very chronic over the longer term.

    Having people want to continue to stick with using buses to travel in & out of the biggest airport in our country is not a good sign in how he wants it to improve it's reputation by not having high quality PT infrastructure on offer for people who live in the capital.

    McCarthy just wants to reinforce the supposed popular narrative coming from himself & all of the nimbys involved in not seeing the bigger picture in that he is just quite happy with Dublin to suffer with not having a transport system that will offer real & tangible benefits to people who live in the city centre including within the GDA.

    If he wants to see an increase in the economy's competitiveness, if he wants to see people remain with a good quality of life, if he wants to good benefits accrued in this country from tackling climate change emissions from the recent Cop26 deal being made yesterday along with the added bonus of low carbon housing being built while it's dotted along the Dublin City & County landscape in his future economic forecasts.

    He needs to have the gumption to add Metrolink in his forecasts sometime to see that benefit become a huge reality for all Dubliners in the long run. If he doesn't do that he is just running a fundamentally lost cause to people who have different opinions on how they live around the city.

    If people in Dublin want to have the Metrolink to be built in the future. He has to listen to their real reasons why they would want to use it as it may become a big influence in how it will improving their quality of life.

    Dublin Airport is going to become the biggest area of generated demand to support this new piece of infrastructure in the future. The amount of passengers that we have seen coming in and out of the airport before Covid came along were going through it at a constant rate. It showed no signs of stopping back then. And that level of demand that's generated there and then will certainly not make any steps to die off permanently in the future.

    It's the strongest guarantee yet that it will not become a supposed waste of money in the future. Metrolink will become a huge success while it serves Dublin Airport.

    Oh mark my words. These sentiments coming from me will just be reinforced over & over again. Just wait & you see it once people get the Covid booster vaccines which will gives them the assured long term of immunity once it goes into their arms. Once that happens people should get back to work soon if that is possible.

    They will go through there in a few years time and still will become absolutely shocked in how this country still does not have a Metrolink line in the biggest airport in the country if they come & visit for work or for leisure here in the future.

    The level of ignorance that's coming from McCarthy & the nimbys involved in being against Metrolink has got to give way soon.

    Post edited by dublinman1990 on

  • Broadly agree, however I think that there is a possibility of the railway order going through on time. Not a major one by any stretch, but still a chance. Every previous railway order was essentially the only public consultation on the project, while in this case there's been several already. I think that may work in it's favour, as ABP might see that favourably.

    Of course, ABP is chronically under resourced, so who knows? Sweetman will probably take a JR as well, saying that the earth worms haven't been consulted.

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  • I'd say there is more chance of the construction completing earlier than planned than there is of planning being concluded early. Every major roads project seems to be completed well within the timeline given. The contracts structure for Metrolink should allow for multiple things to happen concurrently.

    With the SHD process being closed, ABP will hopefully have more resources to devote to Metrolink. The Galway Ring Road and M21 should also be out of ABP soon and I don’t think there will be may other major projects going there in the next six months.

  • Q2 2022 for submission of RO is a slippage from the earlier Q1. Another 3 month delay. These delays are just endless. No accountability.

    Agreed about the construction maybe taking less time than we fear, but the planning being as slow as you'd expect. The difference is that the planning is the work of administrative and legal bodies which are famously slow, but the construction is the private sector which has different incentives.

    I remember in the Celtic Tiger years the government used to pay road building companies early completion bonuses which was one of the reasons we managed to build such a massive quantity (for our size) of motorways so quickly.

  • Early completion bonuses are a recipe for contractors tendering artificially long construction periods they know they’ll be able to better.

    What I can’t get over is the No Trains Authority publishing a 224 page document with no firm phasing or construction plan and it being 2.5 times more expensive than the previous plan with less stuff in it

  • "I remember in the Celtic Tiger years the government used to pay road building companies early completion bonuses which was one of the reasons we managed to build such a massive quantity (for our size) of motorways so quickly."

    Well Metrolink is going to be built by the same people who built the motorways, TII, so I assume there are going to use the same sort of contracts, with early completion bonus, etc.

    Transport Infrastructure Ireland (TII) are a combination of the old NRA (who built the roads) and RPA (who built the Luas), the merged TII used the same type of contracts for Luas Cross City, which was delivered slightly ahead of time and on budget.

    The one downside of this approach is that your design and planning has to be absolutely perfect before you start. And late desgin changes will result in big cost overruns and delays (see Children's Hospital). So the plan stage takes longer, but worth it in the end.

    I couldn't disagree more with marno21, prior to the NRA taking this approach with roads, road building in Ireland was a disaster, builders would promise the earth for how long it would take and then it would run years over schedule and way over budget. There just was no incentive to deliver on time or budget. With the new contract type, there are not only bonuses, but also penalties for being over schedule. This forced everyone to be realistic about built times, which is better all round.

    Hopefully the same approach is taken with Metrolink, rather then the disaster that is the Children's Hospital.

  • The one downside of this approach is that your design and planning has to be absolutely perfect before you start. And late desgin changes will result in big cost overruns and delays (see Children's Hospital). So the plan stage takes longer, but worth it in the end.

    The problem with the NCH wasn't/isn't late changes to a largely complete design, it's a design that was only half finished when the contracts were signed, with fundamental changes required before the ink had dried on said contracts.

    Metrolink promises to be a very different kettle of fish, what with it using BIM for everything, really looks like TII want absolutely everything nailed down before hand.

  • Does anyone remember the timeline of events for MetroLink over the last two months? The Mail on Sunday article claiming it'll be 2034 by the time it's finished came out on September 19. When did they confirm it? Did they even confirm it? What's the official position regarding the 2034 date?

  • Pretty sure the official position is opening 2031 or later according to GDA Transport Strategy. MoS still seems to be the only place where 2034 has been mentioned (although I don't think anything official directly contradicts it either).

  • Add a few months to everything, I suppose.

  • Three months Judicial Review Period seems ambitious unless there is some mechanism to jump this to the top of the queue and have court time reserved.

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  • Maybe it's just enough time for a judge to throw it out without a hearing.

  • I would say the construction activities are well padded there. I guess like the motorways it'll be delivered 'ahead of schedule' once it starts that is. That's why the focus should be on breaking ground. The construction time line will shorten if you've a reputable contractor, they need to ban BAM from tendering for public projects permanently.

  • They should start contractor validation/qualification now, and decide the business case now, and get the ABP Railway Order process under way now, and prioritise it.

    All three could progress independently.

  • If the design and contract documents are in decent shape then BAM should be grand too.

  • Seems the residents around Charlemont have been given an update on the Metrolink works there, which now include a second entrance on Dartmouth Road. A second entrance there makes sense, allowing easier access for everyone walking there from the south.

    Funny to see the cost of the station entrance and relocating residents being made into a big thing, a drop in the ocean compared to the cost of the entire project. Quite a smart thing to do though, offer to rehouse residents for the duration, it'll really lessen any complaints that they may have. Well, not lessen, but it'll show how ridiculous they are when they've been offered a solution.

  • It is. They've effectively gone back to Metro North, but with sufficient number of minor changes to add years to the project timeline

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  • Do you think the Government approval for Metrolink will come in some time this week or could it be made shortly before Christmas?

    I would like to think that this will be the desired outcome as we get close to the end of 2021.