Details of the Emerging Preferred Route for MetroLink, the metro service that will run from Estuary, north of Swords, to Sandyford, via the airport and city centre, have been announced. It is anticipated that the 26km  route would have a journey time of 50 minutes, and the creation of 4,000 jobs during the construction phase. [caption id="attachment_41779" align="alignright" width="300"] MetroLink: Facts and figures[/caption] Public consultation on the project, unveiled by the National Transport Authority (NTA) and Transport Infrastructure Ireland (TII), gets under way immediately with MetroLink scheduled to be operational in 2027.

Upgrading of Luas Green Line to metro standard

The Transport Strategy for the Greater Dublin Area (2016-2035) envisaged a rail link from the south city centre to Swords. It also envisaged the upgrading of the Luas Green Line to metro standard, which would link up to the metro services running north to the airport and beyond, to provide Dublin with “a high capacity, high-frequency cross-city rail corridor”. Under the National Development Plan 2018-2017, Metro North and Metro South will now proceed as one project known as MetroLink. Consultation on the project commences next week with a series of information events for communities along the route taking place at local level. There are information evenings organised for areas such as Swords, Ballymun, Dublin City, Glasnevin, Ranelagh and Leopardstown. National Transport Authority CEO Anne Graham said: “There are very significant benefits associated with MetroLink, particularly in terms of the integrated transport system that it will bring about for Dublin. “For example, thanks to MetroLink, there will finally be a rail link to Dublin airport, and with easy interchange with other modes including bus, Dart and commuter rail, MetroLink will make it easier than ever to move into and around the capital. “There will be 25 stations in total, 15 of them new, so it will also make sustainable transport a viable option for more and more people in areas like Swords and Ballymun.

15,000 passenegers per direction per hour during peak times required

“We have modelled future passenger numbers and we predict that capacity for 15,000 passengers per direction per hour during the busiest peak times will be required along this corridor. We don’t believe that a bus system or a standard Luas line would be able to accommodate that number of passengers and that is why MetroLink makes so much sense. “MetroLink will have the capacity for 30 trains per hour in each direction, so there is no doubt that it will greatly enhance the public transport offering in Dublin. “In addition, we envisage the creation of about 4,000 jobs during construction, which is very significant for the economy in the region." [caption id="attachment_41780" align="alignright" width="212"] MetroLink: Integrated public transport network[/caption] Transport Infrastructure Ireland CEO Michael Nolan said: “Really what today is all about is the launch of the consultation process for MetroLink, because we want to make sure that people at local level have a say. “What we are publishing here is the ‘Emerging Preferred Route’ (EPR), rather than the final route. Having examined in detail the various alignments and options, the EPR is the one that we feel is the best fit for the project. "But we remain open to looking at other proposals, and if people or communities feel there are better ways of doing it, we will of course be happy to consider any alternatives put forward." Anticipated Timeline: • 2018 – Consultation on Emerging Preferred Route; • 2019 - Application for a Railway Order; • 2020 – Granting of Railway Order; • 2021 – Construction commences; • 2027 – MetroLink becomes operable. More information at: