Algarve rail line to get €860,000 face-lift

The run-down Algarve rail line is to get an €860,000 face-lift this year.

The announcement, made by Infraestuturas de Portugal, IP, explains that most of the work will involve replacing the line’s old-fashioned wooden sleepers with concrete sleepers on sections of tracks at Alcantarilha, Silves, Estômbar and Mexilhoeira Grande.

The work, to be carried out by Opway – the construction company almost brought to its knees by the BES debacle – should be finished by the end of October and has been costed out at €550,000.

The rest of the face-lift will go on repairs to Albufeira station roof and toilets as well as improvements to platforms at Vila Real de Santo António, Fuseta and Silves.

IP makes much of the fact that the works will improve passengers’ “security and conditions”, but they are simply a taste of what is yet to come.

In August last year Refer’s president Rui Loureiro pledged €120 million for the line (70-75% to be provided by community funds) to be spent on electrification and the construction of a link from the airport to Faro city centre.

Work on electrification is expected to start in 2016 – with completion scheduled for 2019 – while the airport link is unlikely to be ready before 2021.