Route of new shortened MetroLink line to be revealed

College Gate apartments to be demolished and Terenure direction proposal ditched

The new route of Dublin’s MetroLink rail line will be revealed on Tuesday following the decision to scrap the controversial southside section of the line.

The Irish Times last month reported that the line, which had been due to run from Swords to Sandyford, would terminate at Charlemont where it meets the Luas Green line. The National Transport Authority (NTA) is expected to confirm that decision.

It is understood that plans to demolish the College Gate apartment block and Markievicz leisure centre on Townsend Street to facilitate the metro have not been reversed.

Last March, the NTA announced plans for the line which would connect Dublin Airport to the city by rail, with the construction of new track from Swords to Charlemont, and an upgrade of the Luas Green line between Charlemont and Sandyford.

However, following pressure from senior politicians, including Taoiseach Leo Varadkar and Minister for Housing Eoghan Murphy, the route will stop at Charlemont to avoid disruption of the Green line.

Minister for Transport Shane Ross last month said he would "not countenance" significant disruption to the Luas line and any plan which "requires an unacceptable level of shutdowns" to the Luas service would "not be tolerated".

Underground station

However, residents of the College Gate apartments, whose homes were last March earmarked for demolition to facilitate the construction of an underground station for the line, have been told this decision will not be changed.

"The NTA told us they have looked at the alternatives but they don't think there is enough reason to change," resident Gordon Rose said. The Save College Gate campaign had proposed a number of adjacent sites, or different engineering solutions, that could be used as an alternative to demolishing their homes, Mr Rose said.

“One of these solutions involved redirecting a sewer, but they don’t seem willing to consider even that.” Another proposal involved the demolition of a vacant office building he said.

The route is being made available for another round of public consultation, and Mr Rose said residents would continue to fight for their homes. “This is just round two, we are not in any way going to give up. There are other viable options which can be pursued.”

Home Farm

The new route will also see a station construction site in Glasnevin moved from lands owned by Na Fianna GAA club on St Mobhi Road to an adjacent training pitch belonging to Home Farm Football Club, following complaints by the GAA which were backed by Mr Varadkar.

A tunnel boring machine, due to enter the ground at this site, will be moved to Ballymun. Earlier this month GAA club Ballymun Kickhams said they feared their plans for a new stadium in Ballymun would be jeopardised if the boring compound was moved to Ballymun. However, local Fine Gael TD Noel Rock said a resolution had been achieved which would see both the stadium and the metro works go ahead on separate parts of the site. "It's a resolution I think everyone will be happy with, and I am happy to welcome."

Green Party leader Eamon Ryan had proposed that, as an alternative to running the metro from Charlemont to Sandyford along the existing Green line, it should instead serve other parts of the southside.

He proposed two options: one to keep the line underground and run it from Charlemont to Rathmines, Terenure and Rathfarnham; or to head east underground to UCD and then south on land reserved for the eastern bypass towards Sandyford. It is understood the NTA has dismissed both options.