These are the first photos of what could be the future of transport in Galway city, the €200 million light rail system to be known as GLUAS.
The photos, which show sleek looking trams painted to complement the colours of the county, are to be part of a presentation that will be given to the Galway City Council this afternoon by the chairman of the GLUAS campaign, Brendan Holland.
The presentation is set to highlight not only the proposed timeline, which is suggested could be as little as three years with the right financial backing, but also the important differences between the more costly Luas system currently in place in Dublin city.
It will be reported on the evening that consultants hired by the GLUAS team believe the system could be put in place in the city for as little as €9 million per kilometre, a mere fraction of the €31 million per kilometre it cost to built Dublin’s expansive Luas network. The trains are also said to be notably lighter than their Dublin counterparts and therefore will require less surface work to put the tracks in place.
Based on the success of the Luas system in Dublin and the financial benefits it has brought to the capital city, the GLUAS group is hoping that the project will get the backing of the city council, whom they hope will in turn assist them in getting the financial backing needed from the Government to complete the project. They will also propose a funding plan that will include public-private partnerships, VAT refunds, and tax incentives, should the need arise.
Hopes for a light rail system in Galway city have been around for a number of years but the GLUAS campaign, a group of locals who were fed up with city traffic, came together late last year to try to make it a reality.
If welcomed this evening, the GLUAS network is expected to have 19 trams making 50 stops across a 21km line that will eventually stretch from Barna to Oranmore. Three possible lines, to be announced tonight, include one line between Cappagh Road and Eyre Square, one between Ballagh and Briarhill, and one between An Logan and Murrough. There will also be two potential future extensions shown, including a line between the city centre and Salthill, and the An Logan line eventually extending to Oranmore.