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Dublin Live
Dublin Live
Emma Nevin

Overnight Luas service ruled out by National Transport Authority

The National Transport Authority have ruled out any plans to run Luas services overnight, saying it would disrupt essential maintenance works.

In June NTA CEO Anne Graham said they were "looking to see" if they could extend the tram network's hours during peak times to take some pressure off taxis.

She told RTE's Primetime: "There's a particular difficulty on our rail systems because they don't operate for about four hours which is between 1am and 5am. A lot of track maintenance and vehicle maintenance is done overnight so they need those periods of time in order to do that maintenance.

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"However, we are looking to see if we can increase the time period which they operate on those peak times, on Friday and Saturday, but it does have an impact on how the operator can maintain the services."

However, the suggestion has since been ruled out by the NTA, who said they examined the prospect of running the Luas past 1am but "have concluded that extending services significantly is not something that should be progressed at this point."

A NTA spokesman told Dublin Live that "essential maintenance on the likes of Overhead Cable Systems; Overhead Line Equipment; traction power; rail works; cleaning; lighting and landscaping; can only be carried out when all trams are out of service".

He continued: "Even with the current schedule in place, the nightly window for that preventative maintenance work to take place is only is only somewhere between two and three hours. Further extending hours of service would by definition, reduce the amount of time available for maintenance work, which could result in a diminution of services at other times of the week."

The spokesman explained that the Friday-Saturday, and Saturday-Sunday sets of engineering hours are "particularly valuable on Luas" because they have a longer window due to the later start on Saturday and Sunday mornings which gives extra time for longer tasks that are required regularly.

"Were we to regularly run later services on Luas at say weekends, an alternative time would be required to complete these activities, and it is difficult to see where this could be facilitated without substantially disrupting busy mid-week mornings," the spokesman concluded.

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