Luas Cross City
Construction for the Luas Cross City project in Dublin commenced in June 2013, with an aim to integrate the city’s public transport network. Once finalised, the project will provide an extension of the Luas Green Line from St. Stephen’s Green to Broombridge via Dublin City Centre, Broadstone and Cabra.
Providing the ‘missing link’ in the Luas network, this operation is key to fulfilling the potential of the transport network. Following the completion of the project which is scheduled for the end of 2017, there will be an additional 10 million passenger journeys per year on this newly extended Luas network.
The scheme encompasses the extension of the Luas Green Line creating an interchange with the red line, and once complete, there will be 13 new stops with eight of these in the core city centre area. After the lines are complete, it will take passengers just 21 minutes to travel from St Stephens Green to Cabra.
With a cost of €368 million, the project is one of the largest capital investment projects being undertaken by the government at the moment.
Premier Rail caught up with Paolo Carbone, Head of Public Transport Capital Programmes at Transport Infrastructure Ireland, who revealed:
“The project is set to integrate all of the city’s public transport into a connected network. In Dublin at the moment we have two train lines split in the middle, the reason for the split was because it was decided not to have a line in the city centre in the late ‘90s for the usual reasons such as the impact on businesses, traffic and car parks. Therefore, this line provides a link between the two lines and it is also an interconnection that allows interchange with old transport mode in the city centre.
“The contract to carry out the utility diversions is now complete; in summer last year the main infrastructure contractor mobilised into the city centre of Dublin and in the suburban section and at the moment we are working almost everywhere in the city centre of Dublin, which is exciting, yet intense.”
Developments began in June 2013 with the infilling of all Dublin’s Georgian cellars that extend under the street system in the city. The cellars needed to be filled prior to the construction of Luas Cross City to create space for the essential diversion of utilities. These works were in progress up until January 2014.
In September 2013 the on-site team began the essential heritage works which involved the removal of some statues on the route of Luas Cross City, which have now been placed in storage. The removal of statues was necessary for their protection during the construction phase in order to avoid any damage. The heritage works were an imperative part of the project and took place over four months.
The beginning of the diversion of the city’s underground pipes and cables also commenced in September 2013, as well as other services from underneath the running tracks. These diversionary works were necessary in order to prevent future repair or maintenance work on these services causing tram disruptions.
The main infrastructure contract was awarded to Sisk Steconfer Joint Venture at the start of 2015 and mobilisation of the successful bidder’s team began in January with works commencing thereafter. The supporting structure for the tracks has already been built and so this section of the works will involve the laying of the new track and the surrounding roadway; the footpaths will also be reinstated.
The completion of the mechanical and electrical works is estimated to be around September 2017, and by March 2017 the testing and commissioning phase of the project will finally get underway.
Pat O’Donoghue, Director of Design and Construction at the Railway Procurement Agency, who commissioned the scheme, commented:
“It is great to be involved with this scheme as you get a great sense of personal satisfaction for the work done. We have developed a huge project here in Dublin but it isn’t just one person who achieves these things; it was definitely a team effort.”
Pat told Rail Construction News that the Luas lines originally comprised a Green Line and a Red Line which were opened in June and September 2004 respectively. Despite the inclusion of three extensions over the years on both lines the two were never connected to each other leaving a gap of 1.5km between the two lines.
This scheme, which extends the Green Line therefore addresses the issue of connectivity between the two lines. The Green Line extension project will connect shopping and business districts with frequent services from convenient central stops from St. Stephen’s Green to Parnell St. The line will also serve the thousands of students heading for the new DIT Campus at Grangegorman and the established communities in Phibsborough and Cabra. A high quality Luas network connecting with all main line rail services and hundreds of bus services is therefore now in sight.
As a result of the scheme 10 million extra passengers will be able to use the network with 800 jobs having been created during the construction process. The current lack of a connected Luas network inconvenienced many existing customers as well as resulting in the system being underutilised as many potential customers are deterred by the prospect of a 10–15 minute walk to their closest stop.
“I think the biggest challenge we have encountered so far is to keep the city moving because needless to say we are making a significant intervention in the core of the city centre of Dublin. In Dublin a lot of transport and traffic goes through the core of the centre – so this was a challenge to work around – it couldn’t be overcome by one party alone so this project has been delivered using a team approach with the city and national transport authority, with the businesses, with user groups, and with the public.
“We have had a partnership approach which means that we are trying to have an approach where by we go at unison about traffic management, and providing information for users; it is teamwork at its best and that is how we overcame the challenge.
“Working on this project makes me particularly proud, because I came to Dublin in 2001 to work on the first Luas, and it makes me proud to be working in this large team and cross-organisation. Also it is very important to me that we prove that these works can be done without completely disrupting the daily occurrences of city life.”
Kent Stainless are delighted to have been awarded the contract for manufacture and supply of Platform Furniture for TII for the Luas Cross City Project. Working closely with TII Kent have aided with finalising TII’s initial design. Kent is currently manufacturing prototypes and will roll out the installation of all platform furniture form June 201 onwards.
Kent Stainless have worked with TII, formerly RPA, since 2008 – firstly refurbishing Advertising Totems supplied by others, then winning the contract for the rollout of all these Totems and other Platform Furniture from 2008 onwards. TII’s contracts helped Kent Stainless increase employment in Wexford from 70 to 100 people during Ireland’s recession and they are particularly proud to have substituted imports for locally manufactured items, cutting down on the carbon footprint and creating employment locally.
Kent Stainless are also now working on further rail projects from our Qatar and UK offices. Kent Stainless have been working at Kings Cross for two years supplying manholes, drainage, planters, LED Handrails, seating, and are currently supplying the Mock-Up areas for Doha Metro with studs, manholes, heelproof grilles and litter bins.