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Written Answers. - Light Rail Project.

Tuesday, 3 December 2002

Dáil Éireann Debate
Vol. 558 No. 4

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 348. Mr. Crowe Information on Sean Crowe Zoom on Sean Crowe  asked the Minister for Transport Information on Seamus Brennan Zoom on Seamus Brennan  the reason the Harcourt line of Luas extends only as far as Sandyford when there is a clear need for it to be completed as far as Bray. [24647/02]

 350. Mr. Crowe Information on Sean Crowe Zoom on Sean Crowe  asked the Minister for Transport Information on Seamus Brennan Zoom on Seamus Brennan  the reason for not extending the Harcourt line of Luas to Bray in view of the damage to a valuable heritage site for building a railway parallel to this road when the track is already clear. [24649/02]

Minister for Transport (Mr. Brennan): Information on Seamus Brennan Zoom on Seamus Brennan I propose to take Questions Nos. 348 and 350 together.

The Dublin Transportation Office strategy A Platform for Change 2000-2016 contains proposals for a metro system for Dublin to cater for the demands of public transport services likely to arise in future. Under the strategy the Luas line, from St. Stephen's Green to Sandyford, which is at present at an advanced stage of construction, [1117] will be upgraded to metro standard and will be extended to Shanganagh, near Bray. Meanwhile, I am expecting proposals from the RPA for extension of the Sandyford Luas line to Cherrywood.

Earlier this year, the Government decided that the Metro will be developed in phases and asked the Railway Procurement Agency, RPA, to submit proposals for phase one involving a line from Dublin Airport and Blanchardstown through the city centre to Shanganagh. The RPA has recently submitted to my Department an outline business case for phase one of the metro and this is being evaluated by my Department at present.

 349. Mr. Crowe Information on Sean Crowe Zoom on Sean Crowe  asked the Minister for Transport Information on Seamus Brennan Zoom on Seamus Brennan  if the Luas line is using a 4'8" gauge rail system; if the Irish Rail passenger system uses a 5'3" system; and if so, his views on whether this limits future development in terms of inter-compatibility of the rail network. [24648/02]

Minister for Transport (Mr. Brennan): Information on Seamus Brennan Zoom on Seamus Brennan The conventional rail network in this country operates on a gauge of 5'3”, while the Luas is being constructed to a standard European gauge of 4'8”.

In planning and designing the Luas light rail system, CIE, which was then responsible for the project at the time, considered that the standard European gauge offered the most appropriate option for safety, technical and commercial reasons. This issue subsequently was examined by the public inquiry into the Tallaght to Abbey Street line as part of the railway works order process. The inquiry concluded that the decision to use European gauge size was the correct one.

The Luas and Iarnród Éireann rail services run in different environments with entirely different characteristics and components, i.e. light rail systems can operate at street level while conventional rail systems are segregated from the road. However, interchange of Luas with Iarnród Éireann services will be facilitated through the development of appropriate facilities where the systems interchange and through the development of integrated ticketing and passenger information systems.

Question No. 350 answered with Question No. 348.


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