Earlier this week, Portugal’s Prime Minister Antonio Costa announced plans for a high-speed line between Lisbon and Porto. The existing route between these cities is already very popular, with hourly service throughout the day, and the 209 mile trip takes under 3 hours on the Alfa Pendular (the current fastest train service in Portugal). On the new high-speed line, trains will travel up to 186 mph and cut the journey to one hour and 15 minutes.
This project in Portugal is estimated to cost $4.7 billion. Construction is scheduled to begin in 2024 and be completed early next decade. The route will connect Lisbon’s Oriente station to Porto’s Campanha station, with four intermediate stops at Leiria, Coimbra, Aveiro, and Gaia. This is a trunk line that will be integrated with the rest of the national network, allowing passengers to travel beyond Porto and Lisbon to the rest of the country.
The plan also includes an extension from Porto to Vigo, Spain, with stops at Porto’s airport, Braga, and Valenca. This will connect Portugal’s passenger rail network with the expansive high-speed rail network in Spain, strengthening the connection between the two countries.
Prime Minster Antonio Costa spoke enthusiastically about the new high-speed line, calling it “a project that unites the country.” He also spoke about the importance the project plays in Portugal’s efforts to fight climate change and generate economic growth. “This is a project that is essential to respond to the development needs of our country, but, above all, it is of enormous potential for the future of our country’s future.”
Image Credit: Flickr: Alfa Pendular 127, Gare do Oriente, 2011.04.21