Ireland’s Transport, Tourism and Sport Minister Paschal Donohoe TD has launched the start of physical works to upgrade the Phoenix Park Tunnel line, which will involve an investment of €13.7m.
Funded by the Irish Department of Transport, Tourism and Sport through the National Transport Authority, the project will provide an option of direct trains to Connolly, Tara St, Pearse and Grand Canal Dock Stations for commuters on the Kildare to Dublin Heuston line from 2016.
The project, along with ongoing resignalling works between Connolly and Grand Canal Dock, will allow regular commuter trains operate through the Phoenix Park Tunnel by upgrading the tunnel and route.
Paschal Donohoe TD said: "For the first time, commuters on the popular Kildare suburban rail line will have frequent services directly into the heart of the city centre business district.
"This will provide an attractive alternative for private motorists who currently commute into the city along the congested N7 corridor."
The project includes cutting stabilisation, drainage, vegetation clearance and tunnel upgrades, including cleaning, masonry repairs, lighting, signage and telecoms.
Other works include the renewal of a section of track, points and crossings and components and signal relocation.
The project also covers upgrade works at Drumcondra to include new ticket gates and upgrade works at Tara St station to include new southbound lift shaft.
Providing new connections to commuters, services on the Kildare commuter line will be a mix of Kildare to Dublin Heuston and Kildare to Grand Canal Dock services.
The new services are expected to begin in late 2016.
The Phoenix Park Tunnel is 757 yards long and the entire stretch from Islandbridge to Glasnevin Junction is 2.75 miles long.
The line is currently used for freight services, transfer of trains between maintenance depots, and special trains for events such as matches, concerts and charters.
Image: Paschal Donohoe TD has launched a €13.7m project to upgrade Phoenix Park Tunnel line. Photo: courtesy of Ireland Department of Transport, Tourism and Sport.