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Written Answers. - Light Rail Project.

Tuesday, 26 November 2002

Dáil Éireann Debate
Vol. 558 No. 1

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 77. Ms Burton Information on Joan Burton Zoom on Joan Burton  asked the Minister for Transport Information on Seamus Brennan Zoom on Seamus Brennan  the contractual completion date for the three Luas lines; if it is expected that these dates will be met; if all the funding is in place to allow the lines to commence operation when completed; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [23439/02]

 106. Ms Enright Information on Olwyn Enright Zoom on Olwyn Enright  asked the Minister for Transport Information on Seamus Brennan Zoom on Seamus Brennan  when Luas will be up and running for services to the public. [23493/02]

 109. Mr. Eamon Ryan Information on Eamon Ryan Zoom on Eamon Ryan  asked the Minister for Transport Information on Seamus Brennan Zoom on Seamus Brennan  his views on when the Luas light rail line B, the Harcourt Street line, will start taking paying passengers. [23568/02]

 114. Mr. English Information on Damien English Zoom on Damien English  asked the Minister for Transport Information on Seamus Brennan Zoom on Seamus Brennan  the progress to date on Luas. [23492/02]

Minister for Transport (Mr. Brennan): Information on Seamus Brennan Zoom on Seamus Brennan I propose to take Questions Nos. 77, 106, 109 and 114 together.

I understand from the Railway Procurement Agency, RPA, the State body responsible for the development of Luas, that the infrastructure contractors have indicated a delay of four months on the original contractual completion dates of October 2003 for the Tallaght to Abbey Street line, December 2003 for the Sandyford to St. Stephen's Green line and March 2004 for the Abbey Street to Connolly Station line. It is anticipated that construction will be completed in early 2004 and passenger services will commence after the necessary commissioning and safety checking of the system have been completed.

The RPA is monitoring closely developments in the construction schedule and is in regular contact with the contractors to review developments to ensure the earliest possible completion dates.

Significant progress has been made to date on the construction of the system. Enabling and utilities diversion works are almost completed, the property acquisition programme is well advanced, construction and fitting out of the Red Cow depot [165] has been completed and the Sandyford depot is on target for completion in early 2003. In addition, all 26 trams for the Tallaght to Connolly Station lines have been delivered and are undergoing testing at present, while the 14 trams for the Sandyford to St. Stephen's Green line will begin arriving in February 2003. Track laying is proceeding and overhead cabling installation is due to start shortly. A test track of 3.5 kilometres has been constructed at Red Cow and testing and commissioning is taking place there on a daily basis.

The RPA awarded the operating franchise for all three lines to Connex Transport Limited. The required budget for the capital and current costs of the project, sourced from EU funds, Exchequer funds and borrowing, are in place.


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