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MetroLink – Market consultation update

Wednesday, February 12, 2020

The MetroLink project involves the development of 19km (12km in tunnel) urban railway and includes 16 new stations, proposed to run from Estuary on Dublin’s northside to Charlemont via Dublin Airport and St. Stephen’s Green. The MetroLink will link Dublin Airport, Irish Rail, DART, Dublin Bus and Luas services, creating fully integrated public transport in the Greater Dublin Area. When fully operational MetroLink will run 30 trains per hour in each direction and will carry up to 50 million passengers annually. The project will be the largest single investment in public transport infrastructure in the history of the state.

Current Status

On 18 December 2019 the deadline closed for submissions to the preliminary market consultation conducted by TII relating to the procurement of the design, construction, delivery, maintenance and operations of the Dublin MetroLink project.

TII are seeking to finalise the overall procurement strategy for the MetroLink scheme in Q1 of 2020. The estimated date of publication of the contract notice is 30 September 2020 for the above contract opportunities and Q2 of 2021 for the issue of the Invitations to Tender and first appointments in Q4 of 2021, subject to the necessary planning consents being in place.


Indicative Procurement Route

The purpose of the market consultation was to share the developing approach of Transport Infrastructure Ireland (TII) and the National Transport Authority (NTA) to the procurement strategy for MetroLink and provide market participants and other interested parties with an opportunity to inform the finalisation of the MetroLink procurement strategy.

The indicative procurement strategy involves:

  • Three large construction contracts (Southern Section, Central Section and Northern Section) for the Civil Engineering and Stations, including all of the civil engineering and stations work within their site boundaries but excluding enabling works (to be procured separately);
  • A Linewide Systems contract (Permanent Way and Overhead Line Equipment, Power Distribution, Communications and Automated Fare Collection); and
  • A proposed PPP with the following scope:
    • The design, manufacture, supply, testing and commissioning and maintenance of Rolling Stock;
    • Fit out of the Depot and Operations Control Centre;
    • The design, manufacture, installation, testing and commissioning of the Platform Screen Doors and Command & Control Signalling; and
    • Operation and maintenance of the automated driverless railway for a period in the range, approximately, of 15 to 25 years from the operations commencement date. In relation to fares, an approach similar to that used for the Luas services in Dublin is intended. In terms of payment mechanism, an availability-based approach is being considered but the detail of this approach is yet to be finalised.


Responses to the market consultation will assist TII in understanding whether the indicative procurement approach is attractive to the market. TII have proposed this procurement route to manage and minimise interfaces and to ensure (1) deliverability (2) affordability and (3) value for money.

The large construction contracts are proposed to be procured using the NEC4 target price contract to harness a collaborative contracting approach.

It is understood that market consultation is ongoing and TII are continuing to further develop and finalise the procurement strategy for this project.



MetroLink is categorised as Strategic Infrastructure Development and therefore the application for the planning consent, referred to as a Railway Order, will be made directly to An Bord Pleanála and it is expected that An Bord Pleanála will conduct a full oral hearing. It is currently proposed that the application will be made in Q4 of 2020, with the process expecting to take 1 year.


For further information or advice, please contact our Construction, Projects and PPP Team.



Angelyn Rowan


Kerri Crossen


Laura Mullen