Irish Republican News · April 26, 2004
[Irish Republican News]

[Irish Republican News]
Trams make a comeback

Trams return to the streets of Dublin on Wednesday after an absence of 45 years.

On Wednesday, the public will again be able to take trams on the Harcourt Street tram-line. The line, which was ripped up in 1949 and replaced with pollution-belching, accident-prone buses, has been restored and extended to Sandyford in south Dublin.

It is one of two lines in the long-awaited Luas project which could ultimately cost over a billion euros.

During the start-up period Luas trams, which can carry up to 320 people each, will run every 10 minutes. Officials said the trams were capable of arriving every five minutes.

Chief Executive Frank Allen said: “We have the capacity to do it and if demand warrants it in years to come we can increase the frequency of the service.”

“We are very excited about the launch of services on Wednesday and we’re urging the people to come out and see what it’s like for themselves. I think people will like it,” said Mr Allen.

He said he hoped many of the “urban myths” about Luas would now go away, including reports that the trams are prone to breakdown.

Thousands of people will be able to travel on the trams for free until charging begins next week.

Transport Minister Seamus Brennan said there will be inspectors on the Luas trams in the future but that he did not anticipate any significant problem with non-payment of tickets.

“The cost of the Luas to travel is reasonable. On the Sandyford line, it’s S2 for a 22-minute trip. I expect most people will do the decent thing,” Minister Brennan said.

The second Luas line, which runs from Tallaght in southwest Dublin to Connolly station in the east, will open in July. The two lines will not connect, but may eventually be linked by a new metro system which is currently under consideration.

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© 2004 Irish Republican News