On this day in 1999: Work begins on Luas line to Tallaght

By James Reynolds

WORK began on the 14km Luas track to Tallaght, known as the Red Line, on this day 20 years ago - 19 August 1999.

The Red Line route of the capital's new light rail transport system was to run from Abbey Street in Dublin city centre to Tallaght, with a journey time of just under 40 minutes.

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Clearing the ground at Cookstown

The first phase of work involved clearing the ground at Cookstown, before the ESB built four new transmission towers.

Speaking in an RTE News report from Cookstown on this day 20 years ago, Luas project director Donal Mangan said: “There will be disruption for residents, but management will be key in easing problems”.

Addressing the sceptics in the RTE News segment by reporter Roisin Duffy, Minister of Public Enterprise at the time Mary O Rourke said: “We are ahead of schedule, what do you make of that”.

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Luas project director Donal Mangan

The original launch date for the Red Luas Line to Tallaght was to be spring 2003, but delays in construction saw this date pushed back by a year, and it officially opened on 26 September 2004.

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Minister of Public Enterprise Mary O Rourke in Cookstown

The Green Line between Sandyford and St Stephen’s Green had been operating since 30 June 2004 when the Red Line took to the track two months later. 

To watch the full news report from August 1999 visit RTE Archives HERE.

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