Lavelle welcomes NTA plans to reopen Phoenix Park rail tunnel

April 3, 2014  

Rail link will greatly benefit West Dublin including Adamstown SDZ

phoenixparktunnel -540x400Cllr. William Lavelle, Fine Gael local councillor for Lucan, has welcomed the National Transport Authority’s plans to reopen the Phoenix Park rail tunnel to allow commuter trains from the Kildare line, including Lucan and Adamstown, to travel directly to Dublin City Centre and the Docklands. The reopening of the Phoenix Park rail tunnel would also allow trains from the Kildare line to integrate with both the Maynooth line and with the planned new Luas cross-city line. The plan to reopen the tunnel is contained in the NTA Integrated Implementation Plan 2013-2018 launched on April 3rd by Minister for Transport Leo Varadkar.

Cllr. Lavelle stated: “I warmly welcome this plan to reopen the Phoenix Park rail tunnel. This proposal represents common-sense planning: using existing unused infrastructure to maximise public transport capacity. I have been a long-time supporter of the need to reopen the tunnel as I believe it will provide a sustainable short-medium term solution to bring more Lucan and Adamstown commuters direct to the city centre and docklands; in turn reducing traffic congestion and aiding both the regional economy and quality-of-life.”

“The opening of the tunnel and provision of a direct rail link will also support residential development in areas such as the Adamstown SDZ (strategic development zone) where a rail station is already in place.”

Over the past five years, Cllr. Lavelle has repeatedly lobbied the NTA and Irish Rail to reopen the tunnel. South Dublin County Council have previously agreed motions proposed by Cllr. Lavelle calling for the re-opening the Phoenix Park rail tunnel.

In 2010 Cllr. Lavelle received a response to a Freedom of Information request to the Department of Transport seeking information on any feasibility studies carried into the possible use of Phoenix Park rail tunnel. The information released to Cllr. Lavelle came from the 2003 ‘Dublin Interconnector Rail Study – Summary Report’ prepared by Parsons Brinckerhoff and concluded that the Phoenix Park rail tunnel could never be an alternative to Interconnector (DART underground) proposal. It did however conclude that in the short-term, the use of the Phoenix Park would provide some ‘early benefits to users of the Kildare line’ and its use ‘should therefore be given serious consideration’”. 

Cllr. Lavelle added that “in the long-term the proposed DART Underground proposal must be delivered this project would be a game-changer for Dublin transport. But in the short-medium term the Phoenix Park tunnel can be reopened and should be used. The plans published by Minister Varadkar and NTA are therefore very welcome.”