Dublin’s Luas is a light rail tram system with two lines in service. Luas Cross City is an extension through the core of the city that will also connect the existing lines. It is anticipated to open for revenue service in December.

42 Replies to “Sunday Open Thread: tram testing”

  1. What’s the most likely outcome for the Center City Connector? Do you think this is just grandstanding or will the council do something to impede the project’s progress? I saw the STB article from a few days, but it doesn’t say anything about next steps and when this will actually be decided/when groundbreaking would occur.

    1. I didn’t see a green sheet in the council database for the Connector, but the database also doesn’t appear to have everything up to the deadline. At Monday’s meeting, it appeared they had the three votes to submit one.

      What it means is this. The greensheets are the possible amendments to the mayor’s budget. Without a green sheet, the mayor’s budget stands (which would mean moving forward with the streetcar). With a green sheet, the discussion continues, potentially all the way to November 20 when final approval of the budget is scheduled. The next SDOT discussion is on Tuesday.

    2. The Green Sheets discussions were scheduled to take place on M, T, W, Oct 23-25, in both morning and afternoon sessions. I see that the Monday sessions have since been canceled.

      The final vote on adoption of the 2018 budget, as scheduled, is now less than a month away (Nov 20, 2017, 2:00pm).

    1. Faith but th’r sartinly fast enough, they are! And a blessing on the Little Folk, who soospended them English-impoosed Laws o’ Physics, so an Irishman can get his pint O’ Guinness without undo delay!

      An’ did ye’ see how that little trook w’ the striped rear-end kept parfect follerin’ distance ahid o’ th’ car and took that left without spillin’ a drop of his tay off the dashboard?

      Now, ’tis a trade secret so ye didn’ t hear it frm me….But ivvry car o’ that manufacture shares those same specifications, and spreads the identical charm along its entire route.

      How ever: everytime some heartless liar says trolleybuses are better because they can get around things, a block of parking comes back, and the back corner of a panel truck suddenly materializes and snatches its poles off the line where they snag a drone full of groceries.

      Oh, and all the dashboards on the same dreadful fleet turn the same colors like the ones depicted! May ye be three hundred years in Hell before LCC knows ye’ve left the yard!

      Mark (No relation, was a Viking town!)

  2. Irish and British streets look different from American streets me in a way I’ve never been able to pin down. Here’s a drive around Leeds. It’s not just the strange signs and markings, the roundabouts, or driving on the left. The overall shape and spatial orientation is different. The best I can describe it is, the curbs seem to be really close to the lanes; there’s not as much buffer or something. And those large arrows on the street at low traffic lights just make everything look lower. I mean, we have large arrows in lanes, but not in places like that, not in neighborhood intersections as much, they’re mostly at highway interchanges. And the highway entrances look different too. Again I can’t put my finger on how, they’re just different somehow. And was he on a motorway starting at 4:17? It looked like partly yes, partly no; they have these streets that look like something in between a large arterial and a freeway.

    1. This is why complete grade separation is necessary. Too bad that fish truck was coming off the freeway in the correct lane.


    2. No. It’s an old railroad right of way. I expect it already was depressed with all those over-crossings. A very nice amenity to have.

    3. Where I was in Germany last year, the standard speed limit on streets like that was 15 km/hr. So, traffic concepts may also be different than here.

    4. Looks different to me In addition because the number of cars and pedestrians is flipped. Plus all the streets look extremely clean, unpotholed and the textures/patterns of the street, sidewalk, and track are rigorously maintained. It could be that it’s an effect of new construction of the new line and filming.

    5. “Where I was in Germany last year, the standard speed limit on streets like that was 15 km/hr. So, traffic concepts may also be different than here.”

      In the UK and Russia people drive fast. That’s another thing about the shoulders seeming short and abrupt: it feels like cars are driving 35+ mph right at the edge of the sidewalk.,I don’t feel safe crossing the street there without a light. They don’t stop to let you cross; although they will stop at the last moment to avoid an accident. But I don’t like to trust brakes or foot reflexes that closely. Germany did not give me that impression, so maybe drivers and streets are more like the US, but my recollection is not as clear.

      1. Mike, greatest professional driver I was ever privileged to ride with was a young Masai woman named Mary, who owned and operated a car service between two airports on the border between Kenya and Tanzania in the Ngorongoro Crater game-park area.

        Driving steadily and confidently, she passed miles of massed pedestrians walking along a curbless roadside, missing their coat-sleeves by an inch without any of them even noticing us as we went by. While putting my brother in a pale cold sweat by telling his wife how many cows he owed her father.

        Just like with the streetcars in Europe, prolonged familiarity finally immunizes walkers against becoming food for jays or any of the rest of the crow family. Though come tho think of it, forgot to notice if streetcar bells serve same purpose to this breed as the sound of a gunshot.

        Namely a dinner bell.


    1. Interesting, Mike, but one question. It’s heartening to see a major transit system, with a single measure, adjust loads for maximum comfort by giving passengers cash incentives to reroute their trips. Instead of threatening and fining them?

      But one question, With Pink Oyster system, what mistake can you make that will cost you 94.13 English pounds for tapping the card in the wrong order?

      Or is that the closest they can come to previous penalties, now that the Commonwealth’s quota of Australians has been reached?

      “Interesting coincidence here, Watson. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Vix_Technology
      Notice where the money from Seattle passengers is going. With stipulation that monthly pass-holders get fined above amount for tapping their ORCA card too many or few times!”

      “By Jove, you’re right, Holmes! I knew that even after being “Transported” (damn, maybe that’s where he got the idea!) to Australia, that rat Moriarty wouldn’t stop at sheep stealing! Dreadful danger that all that fine money will make him the new Rupert Murdoch!”

      “Worse than that I’m afraid. Level of that fine is least the King County Superior Court will trouble itself with. ORCA or Sound Transit, can’t ascertain which, only gets 3.04 pounds of the assessment.

      “My surmise is that Dr. Moriarty has contracted to a cabal of state legislators to drive the railroad’s most loyal and cooperative customers to abandon LINK for Lyfft and Uber (I know, Watson, I lost a cousin fighting the Kaiser).

      “Further abetted by other passengers, who can’t see past their own petty obsession with getting a seat. But with the eventual goal of diverting every penny of ST-3 funds to real estate speculation in Ballard, goaded by recently released LINK plans for West Seattle!”

      “Those bastards! Can’t they be stopped, Holmes?”

      “Come with me and we’ll talk about it. I have to pick up that rescue dog from the pound over at Baskerville. The kiddies will so much love taking pony-rides on him that nobody will mind if their favorite service dog comes on duty chewing on part of a legislator every so often.

      “Brilliant, Holmes! But something is puzzling me. In the case about that villainous cult, weren’t the oysters Blue?”

      Fits the facts, wot!


  3. Folks, my good friend & STB 2x endorsee Mukilteo Mayor Jennifer Gregerson is under sustained attack – in the media and online. It would be nice if a few cyber warriors would please get all elbows up and go down to the comments at https://www.heraldnet.com/opinion/editorial-retain-gregerson-as-mukilteos-mayor/#civil-comments for starters please.

    If you could please also contribute to the campaign at http://www.jennifergregerson.com/donate.html , it’d be appreciated. We’re in the home stretch and with a flashy city council campaign also getting folks’ attention; really would appreciate the help. Any help. Even $5 and an internet comment can go a long way here – this isn’t saturated Seattle.


    1. Trump. Zieve. The R’s created them, let the R’s deal with them. Not my problem, and I’m not donating $1 to deal with them. I have better ways to waste money.

      1. # -or is it @ “civility”. The worst of our political discourse is a sweet little children’s party compared to politics of our Founders’ years, and the whole 19th century.

        Senator Charles Sumner, a famous pre-Civil War Abolitionist, was just about beaten to death by Preston Brooks, the exact kind of violent, arrogant slaver and secessionist who would now call himself a Republican.

        And in political dueling, the average British orator could cut his opponent’s throat so skillfully they wouldn’t notice ’til they shook their head and it fell off.

        “Sir, the only thing I do not know about you is whether you will die by hanging or by the pox!” (Not the chicken kind.)

        “Well sir, that would depend upon whether I were to embrace your principles or your mistress!” (Which in most countries meant either gender).

        Unlike pretty much every country in Europe, no matter how tiny, at least we all think we’re arguing about the same country. The Basques and the Catalonians can’t figure out who put all those ignorant Spaniards in their country.

        And same for the Northern Italians and all those Arab Mafiosi in Sicily, or the Sicilians over those damned Germans paddling their gondolas around in Venice.

        Anybody else checking out tramways in Norway, Sweden, and Finland: how can anybody even tell that somebody is a Sami, and what did the Sami ever do to them? Let a reindeer crash-land on their roof?

        Cure for us right now is the exact state of mind and skill necessary to fix (pick sixty-one or so) problems like collapsing highways and bridges, breaking dams, poison drinking water, and ‘copter rescue from results of fish-truck mistakes.

        Find some actual thing whose solution is same across the political spectrum. Right, left (wish we had one) and Progressive (wish they had the guts to be Liberal again) waste flows one way and has to be pumped the other.

        Maybe a regionwide collapse of a real one, like Magnolia if the current hadn’t rescued it, would be best practice for curing political equivalent. Enough of them blow out at the same time, won’t be any problem putting them in the defense budget where they belong.


      2. @Bob,

        I guess you haven’t been following Mukilteo politics much of late. It’s a total mess and vey uncivil. The biggest threat to Gregerson’s re-election right now appears to come from Zieve and his wild allegations about her and Champion.

        And all the sign vandalism is childish and a bit racist.

        I’m not getting involved.

  4. If you follow the links to the technical literature, it’s easy to see why they chose to build this extension. It kind of winds around in Central Dublin, but just northwest of the core it drops down into what appears to be an old railroad right of way. It’s smooth sailing from there; you can see the stations still under construction, though.

    I don’t know what time of day they shot the movie, but traffic congestion was pretty minimal; most of the other traffic is buses and trucks.

    Are the Irish smarter than Americans? It sure looks like it.

    You can tell that service isn’t running on this line yet. Several pedestrians were quite surprised by the train. Fortunately, nobody got hit; it will take a couple of weeks to make that OK.

    1. Dublin has carved out a lot of bus-only lanes. By North American standards, they are very open about the intent to remove a lot of private cars from the center city.

      One interesting contrast one sees – they can be more flexible about access-only auto traffic on the streetcar lanes because they have managed center city auto volumes downward so much more aggressively. ‘Cheating’ on the bus lanes is not uncommon, but when the exit is always clear, it doesn’t generate delays the way it does in Seattle.

    2. MAX has been running on its cobblestone streets through Old Town Portland since 1986. Some people still act shocked when a train goes by.

  5. There you go folks: a tram done right, in the French and Dutch way. I expect there are a lot of Irish-Americans who might like to live in the old country today.

    1. {raises hand}

      The existing Luas green line passes the front door of the last apartment I lived in as a student in Dublin. In those days, it was just multiple lanes of mixed traffic, of course. Once the extension opens, the line will continue right to where I studied.

  6. Behind this all lies a larger question. My last couple of trips to Norway and Sweden showed me that the number of private cars is rapidly eclipsing McDonald’s as the worst contagion blown “Across the Pond” from the United States.

    And my sister, last several decades a wildlife expert in East Africa, tells me that a major part of the continent’s environmental disaster is that so many Africans now have cars. In other words, the whole world is now emerging into the position the US was in after World War II ended the Depression:

    For the first time in their history, the average person can buy a car. Well, it’ll be pretty satisfying on the Sea-Tac line having visitors from Oslo tell us what a relief it is to be in the only country in the world to liberate ourselves from this particular tyrannical royalty!


    1. Conservatives have been saying that car ownership is rising faster than the population in Europe, and point to that as evidence that they want cars just as much as we do, and don’t find their transit convenient enough. I asked you about this several months ago if you recall. The transit is comprehensive but how much of the population uses it? I saw the Swedish version of The Girl Why Played With Fire and read other Swedish mystery books, and they seem full of characters who drive everywhere.

      “New York”, by Edward Rutherford, traces four hundred years of one family through New York history. So they see the rise of horse carts and el trains and the burying of the subway. At one point in the late 20th century, he takes his family to a baseball game, and decides to take the subway. His family is incredulous and says it’s unsafe. He says, “Does nobody in this family take public transportation any more?” He recalls his and his wife’s trips by cab, and realizes that even his maid takes cabs to errands. He concludes, “We’ll go by subway.”

      1. I’ve been told by someone in Berlin it is a mixed bag. Sort of summarized thus:

        On average auto ownership rose in the 1990s and early 2000s due to the collapse of communism and latent demand.

        Transit use, however, is increasing in places that have done a good enough job planning their transit investment so that it meets demand. Cities in Easterm Europe are tending to fall behind, and they are tending to bring the average down.

        Also, the older generation tends to drive a lot more, because their experiences with older, poor quality transit from the immediate post war era were not good, and once gone they never came back.

  7. Did you notice how there were certain spots where the train seemed to moving at an appropriate speed and then seemed to kick up into hyperdrive? I would think that would be dangerous, especially when it would do so in areas with a heavy pedestrian presence.

    1. Being Ireland, more than one possible explanation. The Celtic world has long taken for granted that whether the spirit world really permeated our own, whiskey reliably made it seem that way.

      Or, equally likely that some young Irish film-maker had fallen upon an old chest of movies from the days of Laurel and Hardy, full of movies whose WWI camera equipment made all the characters look like they’re scurrying around all their daily business. Streetcars too.

      And finally adjusted his camera’s program to imitate the process. Do notice how nothing either wheeled and human, comes even close to getting run over. Though a check of accident records at Luas headquarters might reveal instances of “falling down” accidents among passengers, as often happens with sudden turns and speed changes.

      “Dublin”. My late wife, familiar with things Norse, told me that I’d find very few Irishmen named Dublin because it’s not a Gaelic word. About 300 miles straight north-south to Reykjavik Iceland, the city was a Viking trading town.

      Border between Lithuania and Poland features a town spelled “Dublin.” The rest is History, and unfortunately too late to do anything about it now. But Iceland, Ireland, and the rest…Reykjavik to Lithuania about like here to Vancouver BC.

      Probably the most technically advanced people of their era, and area, the Vikings did much more trading than raiding. And another misapprehension felled with a battleaxe, most abductions of girls named Cathleen and Bridget were on the society page:

      “The families of Colleen McGee and Thor Thorvaldson are proud to announce….” Also, fact that in addition to their women having the most rights and freedom in Europe, the Vikings were the only men in Europe who took baths. Rendering abduction superfluous.

      Really true that the Icelanders are the most Irish of the Norse. Red hair, freckles, turned up noses…their great singer Björk looks like her name should be Bridget. Also bringing from Ireland the world’s ghastliest ghost stories.

      Since they were all recent military veterans, the living dead kept all their fighting skills. And their Constitution’s Second Amendment made it illegal to deny open-carry even if somebody had no more life to protect.

      Since many bus routes go through rivers up to coach windows, the fully-reserved land part takes care of itself. Exhaust pipes like sub periscopes. But to learn the whole truth, we have to get some closer footage to count the cute-nosed freckle faces against the fierce recently deceased Ballard residents. Then we’ll see which group kept distracting motormen the worst.

      Or if Stan Laurel or Ben Turpin is the motorman.


    2. Dublin is Gaelic. Dubh-linn means Black-pool. The Vikings changed it from a rural pond into a town, but they used an Irish word. So you could have ferry from Dublin, Ireland to Blackpool, England, and both ends would have the same name.

      The street signs now say “DUBLIN / Baile Atha Cliath” but somebody told me the latter is just an indirect name, the City of something, for the politically-correct goal of making it more different from the English term.

  8. I just discovered the meeting materials for the “Sounding Board” Advisory group on the SR-520 restructure: bottom of http://www.kingcounty.gov/depts/transportation/metro/programs-projects/link-connections/sr-520.aspx

    Most interesting is the concepts of Montlake Triangle changes: http://www.kingcounty.gov/depts/transportation/metro/programs-projects/link-connections/~/media/depts/transportation/metro/programs-projects/link-connections/sr-520/sr520-sounding-board-presentation-20170817-montlake-triangle.ashx

    Unfortunately, it looks like letting buses go between the station and the stadium is not on the table. https://seattletransitblog.wpcomstaging.com/2017/02/08/uw-bus-rail-integration-is-more-important-than-ever/

  9. Why do routes like 71,45, etc that path through the ave not have a stop at campus parkway and the ave by the DM. That removes the need to walk like 2 blocks to transfer buses.

    1. That’s worth complaining to Metro about. That route pattern is new from last September, before that the 71 turned west on Campus Parkway and the 45 was the 48 on 15th. When they changed the stops north of Campus Parkway remained the same and the ones south of it were added, so maybe they weren’t added in the right places. I’ve never made that transfer so I hadn’t noticed; I remain on the 45,67,71,or 73 going through there. I sometimes transfer from the 49 to 75 which is the same stop, or 75 to southbound 48 or 271 which is also two blocks apart.

      1. To add on that, why do buses like 65 and 48 slog though the sadness that is 15th at rush hour? I guess 48 doesn’t want to make the turn from 45th onto the ave, but 65th doesn’t have that issue. Turning left on the ave and following the 71/45 route until the station seems like it’d get a whole lot of time savings.

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