At 1400 on Saturday 9th December the crucial Cross City line on Dublin’s Luas network was officially opened with services on the Green line now extended to travel through to Broombridge. The current Taoiseach Leo Vardaker – a former Transport Minister – was on hand to help pull away a special Red and Green bow from the front of tram 5006 as it arrived onto the new line.
Also present was current Transport Minister, Shane Ross, and Pascal Donohoe, Minister for Finance and another former Transport Minister, who assisted with the official opening.
The Cross City line is in effect an extension of the Green line and although doesn’t provide a direct passenger link to the Red line it does allow a better interchange with a shorter walk now on offer to passengers. Continuing beyond the former terminus at St Stephen’s Green there are 13 new stops now open. On leaving St Stephen’s Green all trams will continue to Westmoreland, O’Connell GPO and O’Connell Upper on a single track loop. From here they will either continue to Dominick, Broadstone – DIT, Grangegorman, Philsborough, Cabra and Broombridge or alternatively return south on the remainder of the loop line calling at Parnell, Marlborough and Trinity. Trams returning from Broombridge will also use the southbound loop line.
The new interchange between Red and Green lines is provided at O’Connell – GPO (green line outbound), Abbey Street (red line) and Marlborough (green line inbound). Walks are said to be no more than two minutes between the two lines, a vast improvement to that previously offered.
Trams take 25 minutes to travel from St Stephen’s Green to Broombridge with services running between 0530 and 0000 Monday to Friday with later start times on Saturdays and Sundays.
It is estimated that an extra 10 million passenger journeys will be made on Luas as a result of this extension.