Wednesday, 23 May 2018
Department of Transport, Tourism and Sport
Light Rail Projects
180. To ask the Minister for Transport, Tourism and Sport the number of the longer 55 m Luas trams in operation on the Green Line-Cross City Luas; if the seven 55 m trams which were projected to be rolled out by May 2018 have not yet been rolled out; if so, when he anticipates they will all be in operation; his plans for further increases in the number of trams operating on Luas lines; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [22837/18]
As the Deputy is aware seven new 55m-long trams were ordered as part of the Luas Cross City project which opened last December. I am happy to state that six of these trams have now been delivered with five in regular service and one currently being commissioned prior to placing in service. The seventh and final tram of this batch is scheduled to be delivered to Sandyford Depot by the end of May.
The Green Line Capacity Enhancement project, which was approved by Government last year, is the next step in the medium term to further expand capacity, especially at peak hours, so as to cater for future demands along the Luas Green Line.
The project involves the lengthening of the 26 existing Green line trams from 43 metres to 55 metres and the purchase of a further 8 new 55 metre-long trams which will greatly increase the passenger capacity of the fleet to meet future passenger demand. The project also includes modifications to Sandyford Depot to accommodate the maintenance of the longer trams.
The contract for the tram extensions was signed and the order placed in November 2017 with the first tram extension anticipated to be delivered in late 2019. Work is progressing on the procurement process for the 8 new trams. Construction work at Sandyford Depot is ongoing and is due for completion in the first quarter of next year.
A necessary complementary investment project, known as the Green Line Infrastructure Upgrade - an investment project to lengthen the platforms at the existing Green Line stations - was completed towards the end of last year and enables the use of the new, longer trams.