A public consultation is beginning on the proposed €3bn Dublin Metrolink.
Once operational, in 2027, the service will be able to carry around 30,000 people an hour in both directions. Some 4,000 jobs are set to be created during construction.
Metro Link will run predominantly underground linking Swords to Dublin Airport, and then through the city centre to Charlemont, at which point it will take over the Luas line south to Sandyford.
This is the preferred route, but there will be at least seven public meetings starting next week, where locals can have their say, and learn how it affects them.
Na Fianna GAA club and Home Farm football club will both be affected during construction, while Metro Link project director Aidan Foley said that around 100 properties will also be affected in Glasnevin, Tara St and Charlemont.
It also envisaged the upgrading of 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”.
- 2018 – Consultation on Emerging Preferred Route
- 2019 - Application for a Railway Order
- 2020 – Granting of Railway Order
- 2021 – Construction commences
- 2027 – MetroLink becomes operable
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 brand new, so it will also make sustainable transport a viable option for more and more people in areas like Swords and Ballymun."
“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."
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.