Plans for commuter rail services in the greater Dublin area and light rail links serving Tallaght and Dundrum.
In 1975 Córas Iompair Éireann (CIÉ) proposed an ambitious plan for what amounted to a Dublin underground with a new central station under Temple Bar. This resulted in the Dublin Area Rapid Transit (DART) along the coast. However in 1987 the government decided to halt any further expansion on the grounds of cost.
Iarnród Éireann (Irish Rail) strategic planning manager Tom Finn is confident the DART is money well spent,
I'm sure that the DART in hindsight will be one of the best investments in the transport infrastructure of Dublin.
The success of the DART has led Iarnród Éireann to investigate how to use its other networks for suburban passengers. In June 1990 it opened four new stations on the Maynooth line. Iarnród Éireann now has ambitious plans for developing a less travelled line linking Heuston Station with Connolly Station via a tunnel under Phoenix Park.
The plan is to turn it into part of a commuter link line. The link will be used to extend the Cork - Dublin line into Connolly Station and the existing DART network. It will serve passengers at new suburban stations to be built between Clondalkin and Connolly at Cherry Orchard, Ballyfermot, Inchicore, Phoenix Park, Cabra and Drumcondra. Additional rolling stock and a new signaling system will be required.
This proposal will cost £30 million is expected to come from the European Community Proliferation Programme. Dr Séan Barrett economist and lecturer at Trinity College Dublin approves of this plan as it does not require any big investments. However he is unsure about the route,
It’s a very roundabout way to go to town from Tallaght and Clondalkin.
He is less enamored by Iarnród Éireann’s long term plan to serve Tallaght and Dundrum with a light rail system as he believes a bus-way would be more efficient. Costing between £100 and £150 million the green light on the light rail scheme must come from government and this decision is not expected until 1991.
Meanwhile Greystones commuters have to face the prospect of a linked bus service to Bray for the coming year. This is not good enough for John Dwyer who believes commuters from Greystones and the greater Dublin area are entitled to,
A safe, a reliable and a regular service and that type of service can only in my estimation be provided by an efficient modern rail network.
An RTÉ News report broadcast on 12 November 1990. The reporter is Alasdair Jackson.