CORK’S proposed light rail system has been simulated by consultants working on the city’s 2040 transport strategy.
A 17km, 27-tram light rail network with 25 stops from Ballincollig to Mahon Point costing €1bn has been proposed as part of the €3.5bn Cork Metropolitan Area Transport Strategy (CMATS).
Urban/rail public transport civil engineering consulting firm Systra, which worked on the development of the draft document, has released a digital animation of the light rail system travelling north through Patrick Street, over Patrick’s Bridge and onto MacCurtain Street.
The €1bn east-west light rail network from Ballincollig to Mahon Point is expected to carry 46m passengers per year.
Twenty-five stops are proposed over 17km of light rail line at Ballincollig, Cork Science and Innovation Park, CIT, CUH, County Hall, UCC, Patrick Street, Kent Station, the Docklands and Mahon Point.
It is estimated it will take 27 minutes to get from Ballincollig to Patrick Street and 47 minutes from Ballincollig to Mahon point.
The CMATS document states: “The development of an east-west mass transit, rapid transport corridor has been a long-term objective for the CMA articulated by the joint Cork Area Strategic Plan (CASP) and a number of statutory development plans and local area plans of both local authorities.
“Following detailed analysis of projected travel demand within the CMA, this Strategy proposes that the East-West Transit Corridor is best served through the provision of a new Light Rail Transit (LRT) tram system. This analysis marks a departure from previous proposals for a lower capacity Bus Rapid transport (BRT) system to reflect the more ambitious growth targets of the NPF and the requirement to future-proof such a route up to and beyond, the 2040 horizon year.
“The provision of LRT system will be a focal point to enable the growth of population, employment health and educational uses as envisaged by the NPF 2040. The LRT system will unlock strategic development opportunity sites and windfall sites in its catchment areas.
“The route shown is indicative only, further feasibility work is required to examine alternatives to this high level indicative route. During the early years of the Strategy, it is intended to identify and protect an alignment for the scheme, allowing development consolidation along the corridor.”