Testing of Luas Cross City line to be scaled up over coming weeks
From mid-July, there will be testing with unoccupied trams during the day
Testing of the new Luas Cross City line in Dublin is to be scaled up over coming weeks through the deployment of trams on the route.
This follows a successful “gauge run” last weekend which involved running trams at a slow speed while an engineering team made sure tracks and overhead lines were working correctly. A lot of data and other information is now being processed, but further night testing will be embarked upon over the coming week, a spokeswoman for the Luas Cross City project confirmed.
Some traffic restrictions were in place around the city centre on Saturday and Sunday as trams moved at 5km/h-10km/h along the 5.9km route between St Stephen’s Green on the Luas Green line, linking the Luas Red line, and extending on to Broombridge in Cabra.
From mid-July, there will be testing with unoccupied trams during the day. In the meantime all traffic lights are being upgraded to facilitate the new road alignments along the route.
Drivers, the Luas spokeswoman added, would be trained on the new route from mid-September when the new line will be handed over to Transdev, the tram operators, who will conclude further tests on the route.
The working date for opening the route to passengers is December 9th/10th.
A huge amount of work needs to be completed on footpaths and paving and in reconstructing roads and carriageways. It also involves re-installing heritage close to the route and fitting out a new tram depot. The People’s Island installation has been put back, while the statue of Thomas Moore would be lifted back into place on College Green within the next week, she added.
Separately, a lot of infrastructure has to be put in place for new stops including the commissioning of pay stations.
Asked about the possibility of the route opening sooner than December, the Luas spokeswoman said that date was the most accurate estimate of opening and they expected to be “working right up to the wire”.
Sisk Steconfer JV – a joint venture between the Irish company John Sisk & Son and the Portuguese-based global railway construction company Steconfer – is building the new Luas Cross City light rail extension in a project employing 800 people.
Speaking after the first successful gauge run, Stephen Bowcott, chief executive of John Sisk & Son, said: “With the successful completion of the first tram gauge run, the project is now well on course to be delivered safely and on time.”
Meanwhile, work on the completion of platform extensions between Stillorgan and Harcourt on the Luas Green line is making progress and is due to be completed before October. The platforms are being lengthened to 54m to accommodate seven new 54m trams which will be delivered by the end of the year.
Currently, there are 66 trams in the Luas fleet; 40 are 40m trams, and 26 are 43m trams. To serve future demand the new 54m trams will operate on both lines and will be deployed based on demand at peak periods.
The platforms on the new Luas Cross City extension are long enough to accommodate the new longer trams and as part of these works St Stephen’s Green platforms have been lengthened.
The extension of the Green Line from Sandyford to Brides Glen, which opened in October 2010, was built with platforms long enough to accommodate the longer trams.