Signals and Junctions

How the Luas interacts with the network and other road users

Line Signalling

Luas is designed to operate on a “line of sight” basis. The driver has control and is responsible for interaction with the network and other road users. This system avoids the need for complex signalling systems such as those used on heavy rail networks. Operating on a line of sight basis is a requirement given the fact that Luas is not a fully segregated network. The line signalling system equipment includes railway and road signalling apparatus, point control and operation equipment, and selective vehicle detection equipment.

Traffic Signals and Junctions

Luas passes through the administrative areas of Dublin City Council, South Dublin County Council and Dún Laoghaire Rathdown County Council. At signal controlled road junctions the Automatic Vehicle Locator System (AVLS) interfaces with the road traffic controller to afford a level of priority to the trams.

Priority levels

In general, trams are granted high priority at all junctions on the System by terminating the current traffic phase (also referred to as stages) once a tram has been detected on approach to the junctions. At certain junctions with strategic importance to the road network, e.g. O’Connell Street Lower / Abbey Street and Store Street / Amiens Street, the level of priority afforded to trams is reduced at different periods of the day. In such scenarios trams can operate at medium priority, where the tram may have to wait for the current traffic phase to end, and low priority, where a tram must wait for the tram phase to appear in cycle.