SNC-Lavalin appointed for Dublin MetroLink project

03 March 2020 2 min. read

Engineering professional services firm SNC-Lavalin has been appointed as an operations advisor for the proposed North-South MetroLink project in Dublin. Construction is due to commence in early 2021, and is expected to cost an estimated €1 billion.

Proposals for a Dublin MetroLink are set to see a high-capacity, high-frequency metro-line built to run from the North to just South of the centre of Ireland’s capital. Reaching from Swords to Charlemont, the 19 kilometre line will largely lie underground, serving 16 stations – including Dublin Airport – before linking with the Luas tram-line.

Estimated to cost around €1 billion, the project is said to be due to break ground around the beginning of 2021, with a slated completion date of 2027. Once operational, the line will provide commuters with an end-to-end trip of 25 minutes, and will be integrated with multi-mode transit systems including rail, bus and tram services – as well as a new 3,000 park-and-ride spaces on the outskirts of Dublin.

SNC-Lavalin appointed for Dublin MetroLink project

With a process of urbanisation increasingly seeing the infrastructure of modern cities placed under huge strain by the daily intake and exit of the workforce, the MetroLink project could provide a much needed solution. However, those behind the scheme will be acutely aware that the project will need to be run with great care in order to avoid major delays and extra costs. The risks of such a project were recently illustrated by the Noord-Zuid line in Amsterdam, which was delivered in 2019 (having been scheduled for 2011) after 15 years of production, and 40% over budget (€1.46 billion ramped up to €3.1 billion at 2009 prices).

In order to try and ensure Dublin’s own North-South metro project does not spiral out of control in such a manner, Canadian consultancy SNC-Lavalin has been appointed to act as the Irish Government’s transport infrastructure operations advisor on the MetroLink scheme. The scope of the contract includes the development of an operational vision and strategy, reviewing and critiquing the design of the rolling stock, and consulting on Grade of Automation Level 4 unattended operation. This also includes the development of a business case for an automated signalling system, instead of a manually driven or attended automatic one.