Luas (Tram System Dublin) - Luas History - A

Luas (Tram System Dublin) - A

Luas is Irish for "speed" is a tram system in Dublin, Ireland. There are two main lines: the Green Line, which began operating on 30 June 2004, and the Red Line which opened on 26 September 2004. Since then, both lines have been extended and split into different branches further out of the city. Further, since 2017 the two lines intersect and connect within Dublin city centre. The system now has 67 stations and 42.5 kilometres (26.4 mi) of revenue track, which in 2018 carried 41.8 million passengers, an increase of 11.2% compared to 2017.

Luas is operated by Transdev, under tender from Transport Infrastructure Ireland (TII). (Prior to the later RPA merger with the National Roads Authority to form TII, the tender was originally under the defunct Railway Procurement Agency jurisdiction). The Luas was a major part of the National Transport Authority's strategy (2000-2016). Four extensions to the existing Luas lines have been completed. Construction of a 6 kilometres (3.7 mi) extension to the Green line to the North city centre and Broombridge, which links both Green and Red lines, began in June 2013 and opened to passengers in December 2017. This is the extension route previously known officially as BXD.

Luas Tram Dublin History

The idea for a new tram or light rail system for the city of Dublin was first suggested in 1981, by a Dublin Transportation Initiative (DTI) report, which referenced the original Dublin tramways, once running over 60 kilometres (37 mi) and reaching most parts of the city. Following this report Córas Iompair Éireann (CIÉ), the state-owned public transport operator in Ireland, was asked to study the different options. They recommended two phases for the construction of a tram system:

  • Phase 1: Tallaght to Dundrum/Balally via the City Centre
  • Phase 2: Ballymun to the City Centre and Dundrum/Balally to Sandyford.

The Transport Act, 1996 created a legal framework for CIÉ to build a tram system and in May 1997 the company applied for a Light Railway Order to construct the first phase, as well as the Dundrum/Balally to Sandyford part of phase 2.

An inquiry started in July 1997, but was put on hold to investigate the possibility of underground sections in the city centre. In May 1998 the government decided to build two lines, amending the plans. The first was to run from Tallaght to Connolly Station, while the second would run from Sandyford Industrial Estate to Dublin Airport, through the city centre and Ballymun. Part of the second was to be underground through the city centre.

The responsibility for developing Luas was transferred from CIÉ to the Railway Procurement Agency (RPA), a separate government agency created in December 2001.

Construction work began in March 2001 on the Tallaght to Connolly line, as well as the Sandyford to St. Stephen's Green section of the second line, with Ansaldo of Italy and MVM of Australia getting the contract to build the system. The St. Stephen's Green to Dublin Airport section was dropped before construction began, as it was decided to serve the area by a metro instead. The contract to maintain and operate the system was awarded to Connex.

The development of Luas Red Line was facilitated by European Union funding of €82.5 million under the European Regional Development Fund, and part of the cost of some line extensions (e.g. over 50% of Line B1 to Cherrywood) was raised though levies on development in areas close to the projected route.

Luas Tram Dublin Overview

Luas Locale: Dublin, Ireland
Luas Transit Type: Tram (or Light rail)
Luas Number of Lines: 2 (Red and Green)
Luas Number of Stations: 67
Luas Daily Ridership: 114,500 passengers
Luas Annual Ridership: 48 million passengers (2019)
Luas Began Operation: 30 June 2004, 19 years ago
Luas Operator(s): Transdev
Luas Number of Vehicles: 26 Citadis 301 (3000 Class)
14 Citadis 401 (4000 Class)
41 Citadis 402 (5000 Class)

Luas System Length: 42.1 kilometres (26.2 mi)
Luas Track Gauge: 1,435 mm (4 ft 8+1⁄2 in) standard gauge
Luas Electrification: 750 V DC overhead line


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