A train swooshing through Lisbon's modern Gare do Oriente station, Source: Depositphotos

New high-speed train will cover Lisbon-Porto route in 1h 15 mins

New high-speed train will cover Lisbon-Porto route in 1h 15 mins

The new railway line will also extend to Vigo, in Spain, to create an Iberian network

Earlier today, Portuguese Prime Minister Antonio Costa presented the project for a new high-speed railway line which will connect the country’s main cities of Lisbon and Porto and even extend northward to the Spanish city of Vigo. The new line will be completed sometime after 2030 and when ready it will cut travelling time between Porto and Lisbon down to only 1 hour and 15 minutes.

The new line will mean the construction of a separate railway track rather than relying on older infrastructure, which is already deemed to be operating at top capacity as it is. The promoted service will include no stops between Lisbon and Porto.

A paradigm shift in railway provision

Portugal already counts with a high-speed train service, called Alfa Pendular, which crosses the whole country from Faro, in the south, to Braga in the North. The problem is that almost half of all passenger trains and more than 90% of freight trains running daily in the country run at least a part of the Northern line. 

For this reason, and despite the demand, it is not possible to increase the frequency of rail service on the axis between Porto and Lisbon. What’s more, due to the exhausted capacity of the line, the speed cannot be increased either. Currently, in the best-case scenario, the travel time on the Northern route takes 2 hours and 49 minutes.

That is why the authorities decided that the best move going forward is to initiate the construction of a brand new line. For this purpose, a planned investment of almost 5 billion euros until 2030 has been set aside.

It will take some patience, though. The officials explained that the new high-speed connection will be built in three phases. The first one, between Porto and Soure will be ready in 2028, and the second between Soure and Carregado will be done by 2030. For the last (and shortest) section to Lisbon, however, details are scarce and it was mentioned that it “should only be built later”.

The traditional railway stations in Lisbon and Porto will also be used for this new line, however, in the city of Vila Nova de Gaia, a new station will be built.

The trains will develop speeds of 300 km/h and the line itself is envisioned as being extended eventually to connect with the Spanish high-speed network in the Galician city of Vigo in order to create an integrated network along the entire Atlantic corridor of the Iberian Peninsula.



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