Iarnród Éireann (Irish Rail) has announced that four major consortiums are bidding to construct a major underground rail service through the heart of Dublin.
Some of the biggest names in construction and engineering, such as Balfour Beatty and Macquarie, are bidding to construct the €2.5bn (£2bn) Dart’s Underground rail service
The tunnel will be approximately 7.6km long and will connect the Northern and Kildare rail lines, with underground stations at Spencer Dock, Pearse, St. Stephen’s Green, Christchurch and Heuston as well as a new surface station at Inchicore. It will link all the city’s rail systems - Dart, Commuter, Intercity, Luas and Metro.
Dart Underground is set to be developed with a capacity for up to 20 trains each direction per hour, allowing 64,000 commuters to use the line hourly. With capacity for Dart services to operate up to every 3 minutes, the line will complete the transformation of Iarnród Éireann Greater Dublin area’s rail service capacity from 33M passenger journeys annually now to over 100M passenger journeys.
The twin tunnels will be constructed using two Tunnel Boring Machines, launching from the Docklands, at an average depth of 24m below ground level. The underground stations will be constructed using techniques that will minimise the effect for the local residents, communities and environment.
There is potential for more than 75% of the spoil from the construction of the project to be removed by rail. This in turn has the potential to reduce the traffic impacts during the construction phase.
The new line will dramatically increase frequency and capacity for commuters on Dart Northern, Maynooth and Kildare lines - the three fastest growing population corridors in the country - and relieve the current congestion at Connolly Station. Development plans also include the extension of the Dart network to Maynooth, Hazelhatch/Celbridge and the Northern line.
The bidding consortiums are:
- BBI Consortium - Balfour Beatty, BAM, Iridium Concesiones de Infraestructuras
- City Connect Consortium - Macquarie, Cintra Infraestructuras, Global Via Infraestructuras
- NascRail Consortium - OHL Concesiones, Soares da Costa Concessoes SGPS, Allied Irish Banks, Bombardier Transportation, Pierse Contracting
- Toto Consortium - Toto Costruzioni Generali, Societa Italiana per Condotte d’Acqua, Ansaldo STS, Condotte Immobiliare, Torrena Scavi, Rocksoil