As I have effectively lived on a building site for many year I am more than pleased by the fact that the construction phase of the Luas Cross-City tram project is coming to an end. Today they began the testing phase and if everything goes well the new service will become operational in December and I expect to be using it on a daily basis.

There are there are two stops very close to my apartment. My preferred stop is most likely to be the Broadstone-DIT stop because all I need to do to get to it is to pass through Kings Inns park which is close to my front door but the gates to the park are closed at weekends and at night. My second option is the stop on Domnick Street.

It is important to understand that the cross-city service is an extension of the green line rather than a scheme to connect the green and red lines.

The Luas Cross City route is structurally different than the Luas Green or Red Lines. The new route will be a double Luas track at the southern end of the line and will then split into two single tracks to loop around the city centre at College Green. It then returns to a double track from the top of O’Connell Street on to Broombridge.

The single track loop runs from College Green, north up Westmoreland Street across O’Connell Bridge, up O’Connell Street, across Parnell Street (east of O’Connell Street), down Marlborough Street, across the new bridge between Eden and Burgh Quays and south along Hawkins Street and into College Street linking back up at College Green.

The official maps do not make it clear but there will be an interchange at Abbey Street where passengers travelling on the Red Line will get off and walk to O’Connell Street to get on the Luas Cross City or vice versa. This is an important because the new service doesn’t allow for trams to switch between the Red Line and the Green Line. However, it’s a myth that Luas trams can’t transfer between the Green Line and the Red Line but for scheduling reasons trams when in service will not transfer between lines carrying passengers. Light rail systems like the Luas generally work best when there is single high-frequency route that intersects with another single high-frequency route. In other words, two separate line that don’t join because if services are frequent [between 3 and 6 minutes] you have very little delay and the transfer can be largely seamless. It should be noted that Dublin Bus is considering the possibility of introducing a similar approach but I will not discuss it here as it is too complicated.

WHAT IS A GAUGE RUN? The gauge run is the first test for the Luas Cross City system in advance of passenger services commencing in December. In essence, it consists of moving trams at slow speeds (from 5kph up to 10kph); whilst carrying out a range of measurements and verifying that the new infrastructure (tracks and overhead wires) is working with the trams. This test allows the engineering team to check the exact and precise specifications.
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