The Cross City Luas, connecting the existing red and green lines, will begin being constructed in weeks, after construction contracts have been signed.
Minister for Transport, Tourism & Sport, Leo Varadkar, announced the contract signing alongside the Railway Procurement Agency and the building contracters.
The first contract, signed on the dotted and worth €368 million, is expected to create around 800 jobs throughout the construction phase. Luas Cross City will join up the existing red and green Luas lines, and link with the Maynooth/Dunboyne commuter line at Broombridge in Cabra.
The RPA estimates that Luas Cross City will attract an additional 10 million passenger journeys each year, producing up to 40 million of passenger journeys across the network.
Passengers will be able to travel from St Stephen’s Green to Broombridge in Cabra in just over 20 minutes on the 5.6km extension. A huge range of new rail journeys will suddenly become possible, including seamless Luas journeys across the city centre, or from Leixlip to St Stephen’s Green, or from Dundrum to Croke Park. Luas Cross City will also connect with suburban rail and bus services.
“It’s a pleasure to attend this contract signing today, which represents a milestone in plans to develop a high-quality public transport network.
At the launch of the announcement, Minister Varadkar hailed it a "milestone", explaining: "Luas Cross City will fill a major gap in our infrastructure and will help to make Dublin a properly connected city. Its benefits will be felt far and wide. There’s no doubt that Dublin is suited to light rail and I’m confident that we will all be very proud of this new service in 2017".
Work will start in June after the first contract was signed for preliminary enabling works, which has been awarded to Clondalkin-based KN Network Services.
A new website, www.luascrosscity.ie, has been launched to provide ongoing information to the public on works and their schedule.