Lisbon by train in 2.5 hours

CONSTRUCTION on the Alfa-Pendular train, set to connect Lisbon to Faro in record time, is scheduled to be complete by the beginning of June.

“Work on the Eixo Ferroviário Atlântico train station, the extension between Fogueteiro in Lisbon and the Algarvean capital, is expected to finish by the end of May,” a spokesperson for the Portuguese national train service (Rede Ferroviária Nacional) revealed.

According to a source from Comboios de Portugal (CP), the company responsible for the trains, the first journey should take place on June 6. However, sources from Refer – the company that builds and manages the national railway infrastructure – revealed that as soon as the work is concluded and the first journey takes place, the train will be subject to numerous tests to ensure the safety of passengers. This means that it won’t be open to the public for some time.

The Alfa-Pendular train will travel from the centre of Lisbon over the 25 de Abril Bridge and directly to Faro at 220 kilometres per hour, reducing the normal train journey time by one hour to two and half hours. The train will have an inclining system installed, so that it can travel around corners at high speed. It will also have a phone line available, allowing passengers to send faxes or use their laptops while travelling.

Faro to Braga in six hours

According to the CP spokesperson, the company’s next project is to connect Braga to Faro, “so that travellers from the north can be in the Algarve in the space of six hours as opposed to the current nine hours”. The Minister for Public Works, Carmona Rodrigues, has revealed that the new rail line, known as the ‘Atlantic Axis’, will open in the very near future.