Will the DART ever hit the bullseye at Dublin Airport? Will the Metro be the weakest link?

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Dublin Airport has come on in leaps and bounds to become the 14th busiest airport in Europe in 2023, ahead of airports such as Vienna, Zurich and Athens. That is remarkable, considering that the population of Ireland is only five million.  The airport is the third busiest in the whole of the British Isles, too.

But Dublin is also remarkable for not having a rail connection between the airport and the city, or to anywhere else in the island of Ireland for that matter. Instead, there are buses – thousands of them.

Plans have existed for two separate light rail schemes: one, an extension of the existing DART service, the other, a new and partly subterranean metro line. Those plans have existed for many years, but for various reasons they have not come to fruition.

The latest estimate is that one (DART) would take five years to complete if work started now, while the MetroLink line would take 10.

The Chamber of Commerce is evidently perplexed by this scenario, which it considers an embarrassment to the city, and it is pushing for change. But finding the money now for projects that have increased by over seven times in price since they were first mooted is going to be as difficult as discovering an Irish pub which doesn’t sell Guinness.

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