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Fantasy time: route for a 2nd Dublin metro?

  • 16-09-2023 12:25pm
    Registered Users Posts: 1,155 ✭✭✭

    A discussion for idle fantasising.

    Once MetroLink rolls out and of course proves to be a huge success and hugely popular, Dublin will have busted its Metro cherry. So where would be next metro line go? I'm assuming of course, AFTER the fatal flaw of not upgrading the Charlemont to Sandyford section to metro is addressed and ML has been extended to Sandyford.

    Pie in the sky I know but I often find myself wondering this and the answer is not immediately obvious. You need to connect high demand areas, areas with scope for densification and need to be aware of the difficulty of station construction; the old Metronorth plan's huge weaknesses was the idea of mining stations - vastly more expensive and slow compared to cut n' cover. You need to go through the centre of town - no orbital/semi-orbital path will support a business case for metro construction - which needs to show demand for 10k or 20k pax per hour. Also you'd like to provide as much integration as possible with DART and Luas.

    I feel Tallaght makes a strong case for being at one end of a future metro line given the population there and lack of proximity to metro or DART. An issue of course is the vast swathes of low-density 2-story semi-Ds between Tallaght and the centre.  In any case, there are a number of options here: either swing west to benefit from possible redevelopment/densification in the Ballymount/Greenhills area or east toward the more settled Tenenure/Rathmines area. In any case it would cross under the canal somewhere around Harold's cross or maybe a bit west towards Dolphin's Barn with a station near this crossing. From there I'd at least have a stop near Newmarket, Christchurch, and Wolftone square/park for Luas interchange (all areas which would allow cut n' cover station construction), then possibly O'Connell St to link with ML1 although station construction would be complex and expensive here - maybe at Mater would be easier to provide integration? It would then head toward Coolock which also has lots of brownfield/light industrial that could support easy station construction and general densification and is sited in the centre of a dead-zone for rail or tram services. On the way to Coolock, there would at least be a station at Drumcondra (tricky to construct) to provide interchange with DART/heavy rail.  The other end would terminate in Howth, by converting the heavy rail alignment between Howth and Howth Junction to metro and providing costal DART interchange at Howth Junction.



  • Registered Users Posts: 9,521 ✭✭✭cgcsb

    I think Tallaght to Coolock is the obvious choice, it'd fill the gaps in the rail map

  • Registered Users Posts: 559 ✭✭✭loco_scolo

    I think Tallaght to Charlemont will be most likely. Metro West too as it's above ground and through green fields... very doable.

    Also Luas to Lucan, Bray, Ringsend, Finglas to Metro West, James Hospital spur to College Green, Metro extension to Rusk&Lusk, Dart spur to airport.

    A proper network:

  • Registered Users Posts: 1,068 ✭✭✭xper

    If we're getting the crayons out, I would suggest

    Rathcoole/Saggart - south Tallaght - Firhouse - Kncklyon / Ballyboden - Rathfarnham - Teranure - Kimmage / Harold's Cross - Coombe - [City Centre] -

    then either (Docklands - East Wall - Marino) or ( Drumcondra / Croke Park ) - Whitehall - Beaumont - Coolock - Howth Junction - Howth (converting the DART spur)

    There is scope for cut and cover stations and in parts route along that alignment and even surface running at the extemities (which can be left to later extensions if required). Might be scope to have a branch from Teranure-sih directly toward central Tallaght

    Should open around 2090.

    While we are fantasising, the above would negate the desire to extend Metrolink south west from its current proposed terminus. So if the powers that be continue to baulk at converting the Green Line, you could truncate the exisitng GL service to Carrickmine P&R as its southern terminus, making it a more reasonable distance for trams, and extend the currently proposed Metrolink to Donnybrook - UCD - (via the eastern bypass reservation) - Ballally - (run parallel to GL) - Sandyford - (east of racecoure) - Carrickmines - (upgrade exisitng GL) - Brides Glen - extension to Bray / Fassaroe . All surface running or some cut/cover from UCD south.

  • Registered Users Posts: 1,068 ✭✭✭Murph85

    Would be great if metrolink ran from tallaght to the stops mentiomed, Harold's cross, rathmines and then perhaps down to saint Patrick's cathedral and onto drumcondra, coolock and link it up with the dark line ?

    If metrolink went out to ucd. Many of the houses along the dual carriageway, could he turned into apartments....

  • Registered Users Posts: 4,183 ✭✭✭goingnowhere

    The official plan was for Tallaght-Harolds X to join the Metro North.

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  • Registered Users Posts: 7,391 ✭✭✭prunudo

    Current Metrolink A line:- extend to Sandyford and onto Deansgrange, Ballybrack, Shankill (dartline)

    Luas greenline:- Sandyford to Cherrywood and extend to Fassaroe and Bray, Southern cross if possible. (Current greenline is too long and shouldn't be extended without being broken up.) No opinion on other additional Luas lines but will be required elsewhere I'd imagine.

    New Metrolink B line:- North east- South west line, taking in Howth Junction and onto towards to Tallaght - Rathcoole via Rathfarnham.

    New Metrolink C line :- Also a radial line should be considered, possibly from Sandyford towards Tallaght to meet B line and on towards, Adamstown, Luan, Blanchardstown, Ballycoolin, A line and onto towards coast and Dart (maybe Clongriffen). Intersecting with heavy rail where desirable.

  • Moderators, Science, Health & Environment Moderators Posts: 19,689 Mod ✭✭✭✭Sam Russell

    I would think Tallaght, Harold's Cross, Christ Church, Grange Gorman, Cross Guns, then Whitehall, Coolock, and onto Clongriffin.

    Cross Guns would then be an interchange with Metro1, Metro2, PPT, Dart-plus, and would allow lots of routes from many start points to lots of destinations.

    The Dart Underground could also be a Metro.

  • Registered Users Posts: 2,434 ✭✭✭orangerhyme

    Tallaght (loads of old industrial sites for development, more attractive to live as will be just 20/25 min from town) - Ballymount Industrial Estate (build new "town" here of 50,000+) - Crumlin (maybe children's hospital is knocked for "town square" of high density apartments) - St Teresa's Gardens (lots of apartments starting here) - Newmarket Sq - Tara St interchange with other Metro - Grand Canal Dock - Irish Glass Bottle Site - Poolbeg Peninsula ( two stations here, move power plants once end of cycle, put waste water plant underground, could have another new town of 50,000 people here, can go very high rise with great views eg 30 to 40 storeys.

    The industrial estates in the SW will eventually be developed so this will facilitate this. The Kylemore and Naas Rd will have Dart, Luas and cycle ways etc. So the southern end can have Metro. It will be dense enough to support it.

    Poolbeg Peninsula also should be developed. If you move the power plants to somewhere else and put the waste water treatment underground, then it's a huge area to be developed. Even now you can see lots of free space. The pigeon house station can become a museum.

    The incinerator can stay till the end of its cycle and then moved on.

  • Registered Users Posts: 2,434 ✭✭✭orangerhyme

    Tallaght - Ballymount (2 stops) - Crumlin - St Teresa's Gardens - Newmarket Sq - Dame St - Tara St - Grand Canal Sq - Ringsend - Irish Glass Bottle Site - Poolbeg (2 stops)

    I'd CPO Ringsend Bus Depot, Shelbourne Greyhound Stadium, Sports Co and the ESB lot. Build high density mixed development. 20,000 people could live here.

    The Metrolink to Swords should connect with the Belfast/DART line in Donabate maybe. It should also continue south to Sandyford either via the Green line or a new route through UCD.

    Once the Metrolink starts, we should start planning the new line so it's ready to start when the Metrolink finishes.

    Priority should be given to connecting land with potential for high density development to places with high employment. So I think my route fits this best. The Naas Rd will have high density apartments so no harm in Tallaght having another public transport line.

    Lots of parts of Dublin will miss out but they're too low density for a Metro such as Terenure, Rathfarnham, Coolock, Etc

    So this line increases productivity and quality of life as 100,000s of people can live in modern apartments on high speed public transport so they're just 10 or 20 minutes from work. So people don't need a car and have low energy bills. This is why it's vital it continues to Sandyford also.

  • Registered Users Posts: 7,391 ✭✭✭prunudo

    Personal don't think Poolbeg should be developed until the port is moved (if that ever happens). Its an industrial area and having more residents nearby will only add more constraints to its operation.

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  • Registered Users Posts: 559 ✭✭✭loco_scolo

    Route suggestion:

    Glass Bottle Site/ Ringsend, Grand Canal Dock, Wilton Place (Baggot St / Leeson St), Charlemont Metro, Cathal DeBrugha Barracks / Rathmines, Harold's Cross, Terenure, Templeogue, Firhouse, Tallaght.

    Big population centres with areas for redevelopment, plus the major office corridor along the Grand Canal east of Rathmines.

  • Moderators, Science, Health & Environment Moderators Posts: 19,689 Mod ✭✭✭✭Sam Russell

    If there could be a connection at Charlemont allowing Sandyford metros to go east along the canal, and Swords one to go west to Tallaght it would allow significant route choices.

    That would give Swords - Sandyford; Swords - Tallaght; GCD - Sandyford; GCD - Tallaght. That is a lot of connections to traffic generators.

  • Registered Users Posts: 2,434 ✭✭✭orangerhyme

    The Docks are nearly fully developed now. So the city will need to expand somewhere. Dublin Port can't move apparently.

    So it's a no brainer to gradually phase out industry on poolbeg Peninsula. Have two Metro stops and high density apartments and offices.

    Along the red line on Naas Rd can also be developed to high density housing so the Metro should go to Tallaght to take pressure off the red line. Maybe two stops in Tallaght.

    Ballymount industrial estate can be developed also with two Metro stops.

    Also have a Metro stop at Grand canal Plaza. This is near new docklands dart station and Grand canal dock station and also the Luas so is a transport hub.

    This Metro can connect with other Metro line at either Tara or St Stephen's Green. Not sure which but it's important to connect somewhere central.

    The Irish Glass bottle site will need a stop also.

    I think this is the best way to open up good land for high density development.

    Lots of Dublin doesn't have the density for Metro. The industrial estates in SW of the city is the best spot to develop.

    Ballymount would be just 20 minutes from the city centre so would be a good place to live for quality of life.

    The Metrolink northern end should extend to Donabate and interchange with the rail station. Likewise the southern end should go to Sandyford either via the Green line or a new route through UCD.

  • Moderators, Science, Health & Environment Moderators Posts: 5,053 Mod ✭✭✭✭spacetweek

    For the south west metro, either of these:

    Tallaght Town Centre - Greenhills/Airton Rd - Calmount Rd/Ballymount Rd - Walkinstown Roundabout - Crumlin - Kimmage - Harold's Cross - onwards.


    Tallaght Town Centre - Tallaght Village - Templeogue - Bushy Park - Terenure - Harold's Cross - onwards


    Harold's Cross - Kimmage - Crumlin - Walkinstown Roundabout - Ballymount Central - Red Cow Luas P&R.

    As for heading up the northside, there's a good case for putting a luas in the median of the Malahide Road which covers Darndale-Coolock-Artane-Donnycarney-Clontarf so no need for metro to go there. Instead the terminus of Metro should be Beaumont Hospital:

    Harold's Cross - St. Patrick's Cathedral - (City Centre: 1 or 2 more stops) - Mater (Metrolink) - Drumcondra - DCU East - Nth Circular Rd - Whitehall - Beaumont.

    Not too sure about taking over the Howth branch and converting to Metro. You'd have to change the rail gauge and it would have to be closed for years.

  • Registered Users Posts: 1,316 ✭✭✭Consonata

    Do we know whether Metrolink will be standard gauge? I wasn't sure if that had been decided yet

  • Registered Users Posts: 559 ✭✭✭loco_scolo

    Fairly certain it's standard gauge, the same as Luas, allowing extension in future along the current Green line.

  • Moderators, Science, Health & Environment Moderators Posts: 19,689 Mod ✭✭✭✭Sam Russell

    Definitely standard gauge. Luas set the gauge.

  • Registered Users Posts: 2,434 ✭✭✭orangerhyme

    Is your first route option chosen in order to develop Ballymount industrial estate to high density housing?

    That's my reasoning. After that I'm not sure. There's not great density in the Northside really to need a Metro.

    Ballymun and Northwood will become high density.

  • Registered Users Posts: 559 ✭✭✭loco_scolo

    Some parts of Northside are reasonably dense. It's interesting to look at a density map and consider a route that way. Although this doesn't show potential density from undeveloped areas (industrial estates, golf clubs, army barracks etc)..

    Clongriffin (12.5k/sqkm) down through Beaumont (5-7k/sqkm) could be viable. Then the SW route to Tallaght could take different routes through relatively dense areas (5-7k/sqkm)

  • Registered Users Posts: 1,316 ✭✭✭Consonata

    I really would love a revival of Metro West/an orbital line going from Clongriffin -> Dun Laoghaire/Bray. That in combination with Metrolink to Sandyford and another line going from Tallaght North East to Clongriffin, really would knit together a fantastic transport network in the capital. Something that we could genuinely stand over and be happy with.

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  • Moderators, Science, Health & Environment Moderators Posts: 19,689 Mod ✭✭✭✭Sam Russell

    Surely a Luas line from GCD, along the SCR or Canal to Dolphins Barn - connecting with the Green and Red line plus the Metrolink at Clongriffin.

  • Registered Users Posts: 1,316 ✭✭✭Consonata

    SCR is probably not wide enough, it would effectively mean closing that road/heavily reducing its availability to private traffic.

  • Moderators, Science, Health & Environment Moderators Posts: 19,689 Mod ✭✭✭✭Sam Russell

    That is certainly true in places, but eliminating parking would solve some of the issues. Improving the canal route might mitigate some of the issues.

  • Registered Users Posts: 559 ✭✭✭loco_scolo

    I think a one way system for private traffic should be investigated. SCR for one direction and the canal for another. Either the Canal or SCR could then be considered for a Luas / Metro

  • Registered Users Posts: 1,068 ✭✭✭Murph85

    If they are mostly at grade like the luas , its glacial...

  • Moderators, Science, Health & Environment Moderators Posts: 19,689 Mod ✭✭✭✭Sam Russell

    It would be a Luas line along the route of the canal/SCR interfacing with the Green Line and the Red line to make a network.

    GCD to Dolphins Barn and onto Tallaght; GCD to Parnell Sq; Parnell Sq to Tallaght which should open up a lot of possible routes. Of course there would be a link to Metrolink at Charlemont.

  • Registered Users Posts: 2,434 ✭✭✭orangerhyme

    Good idea if possible. Not sure if the road can take it though.

    Pearse St could definitely take a Luas line though.

    My hope is that once the Metrolink starts being built, they'll start planning the next line.

    It's surely easier to just continue building since you've all the experienced labour force ready to go.

    My proposal is Tallaght to Poolbeg Peninsula.

    Ballymount industrial estate is huge and could maybe house 100,000 people.

  • Moderators, Science, Health & Environment Moderators Posts: 19,689 Mod ✭✭✭✭Sam Russell

    Well, if you want a Luas down Pearse Street, then go from High St (from the Red line) down Lord Edward St, College Green, (Green Line connection possible) then Pearse St and through Rings End and then perhaps down Cardiff Lane, across the Becket Bridge to reconnect with the Red Line. What a lot of possibilities that would create.

    Of course it could be done in bits.

  • Registered Users Posts: 559 ✭✭✭loco_scolo

    This definitely needs to happen, a good medium term solution to increase East-West capacity until a tunnel of some description is built.

    Ideally it could connect to Heuston or another stop on the Dart West line. Only issue connecting to Heuston is the impact on other traffic there. You can't have Luas trams running constantly across such a busy bus and private vehicle artery.

    Disruption at College Green could not be considered until Metro fully up and running. The city would come to a standstill if the artery around Trinity was closed.

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  • Moderators, Science, Health & Environment Moderators Posts: 19,689 Mod ✭✭✭✭Sam Russell

    Of course the city would not come to a standstill if the cars were not there and bikes, eScooters, feet were the preferred mobility of choice.

    Isn't College Green becoming a pedestrian plaza or something?