Perhaps the best kept secret in the history of rail transport anywhere in Europe.
Rail Users Ireland believes that extending the DART by building the interconnector tunnel is vital for Dublin to save itself from gridlock. However, there is an existing tunnel which can be used as a short term solution. We call this proposal the d-connector.
For decades Dublin/Kildare rail commuters and InterCity travellers have longed for the day when they could take the train between Heuston Station and Connolly Station in Central Dublin. Dublin already has two perfectly useful, intact railway lines running between these two stations and also into Spencer Dock. The rail lines have been there for over a hundred years and have carried passenger trains in the past and are begging to be used again.
This is the signal that controls the movement in and out of the rail line which runs under the Phoenix Park tunnel and through the north of the city and then connects with the Dublin-Belfast mainline and the Dublin Docklands. In the distance is the bridge across the Liffey beyond 'platform 10'. The lines through the Phoenix Park tunnel are fully signalled to passenger standards with signal spacing adequate to support trains at approximately five minute intervals in both directions. Transit time to either Connolly or the North Wall would be about 10-12 minutes.
In case you haven't guessed it yet, the whole system is just about ready to go. A new station at Spencer Dock and a transfer station at Phibsborough for the Maynooth/Sligo line and there you have it - Dublin has a crosstown rapid rail service that can be built for modest investment and can be up and running within a year or so. Yes it's that simple and it's that painless.
Rail Users Ireland has developed a plan to bring this modestly priced, but major transport link to reality. Our plan integrates the existing rail lines and the new LUAS line from Tallaght to Abbey Street with relatively straight-forward modifications. We call it the 'd-Connector'. If Dublin wants it, there is very little to stop Dublin from getting it. We even have a map of the d-connector system in case you don't believe us.
Dublin needs the d-Connector solution NOW and not in 8 or 12 years time.
Frequently asked questions
Below are some frequently asked questions about our d-connector proposal:
If we already have a tunnel, why do we need the interconnector?
The key here is capacity. The phoenix park tunnel does not allow an extension of the DART with connections with the other lines -- it's a short term (and cheap) solution, but cannot offer the capacity or integration that the interconnector provides.
Isn't the tunnel too small for passenger trains
This is a red herring put out by Iarnród Éireann. The tunnel has carried passenger trains in the past that are far wider than anything used currently. Many thousands of people travel through the tunnel each year on special trains provided for major events such as concerts and big GAA games.
Can anything be done now?
Yes -- we currently want a Sunday service from Kildare to Heuston and onwards to Connolly and Pearse via the park tunnel -- as there are free slots at Connolly on Sundays. There is no excuse why Iarnród Éireann cannot implement this.