Thursday, March 02, 2006

Dublins Roller Coaster

I've been reading the proposals for the new Metro line which will go from Dublin city center to the airport. It is a fairly ambitious plan with a line going from St Stephens Green through the city, out to the Airport and ending in Lisenhall. The line will be made up of a section 20 to 50 meters underground in the city center, ground level sections outside that and other sections 6 meters above ground level on stilts. This sounds like a project of Cullenisque proportions, oh wait, it IS a Martin Cullen project.

Why does it have to be so complex? I cant help but think Minister Cullen would throw in a mono-rail, a loop-the-loop and maybe a corkscrew or two if he could get away with them. Basically he's building the worlds longest and most expensive roller coaster.

I recognize that we need to improve access to the airport but I've still got a few questions. Why cant we just build a simple line from O'Connell Street to the airport? Why do we have to dig up St Stephens Green and put a tunnel under the river? How much will it cost to create the line from O'Connell Street to St Stephens Green and from the Airport to Lisenhall? Soon we will have a LUAS line, a Metro Line and several busses to allow us to travel from St Stephens Green to O'Connell Street, undoubtedly costing tens, maybe hundreds, of millions of euros and saving us a staggering 10 minute stroll through historic Dublin.

Finally why are we building a metro rail system at all? Could we not build another LUAS line or a DART spur-line allowing us to reuse existing equipment and carriages? If we didn't have half a dozen different transport systems in the city we might be able to plan, fund and schedule them correctly.

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