New Metro stations open on Blue Line.jpg

New Metro stations open on Blue Line


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TEN YEARS after the project was launched, two new, long-awaited Metro stations in Lisbon have finally opened.

The Santa Apolónia station at Santa Apolónia railway station and Terreiro do Paço station were inaugurated last month (December 19) by Prime Minister José Sócrates and the President of Lisbon Câmara António Costa.

The project was put back seven years after the tunnel was completely flooded – the river front area around Terreiro do Paço and Santa Apolónia being below sea level.

The new branch on Lisbon’s Blue Line (Linha Azul) is two kilometres long and “has the highest level of safety and security” promised the President of the Metropolitano de Lisboa, Joaquim Reis.

He accepted that the communications systems inside the two stations were “not perfect” and were only likely to improve when the new Emergency Network System (Sistema Integrado de Redes de Emergência e Segurança de Portugal – SIRESP) was up and running. Joaquim Reis made assurances that although the Metro fire service and the Metro emergency services were not directly interlinked, “we’ve got the means to ensure that an emergency can be dealt with until the SIRESP System is brought into use”.

On an environmental level, the opening of the new branch line and two stations will reduce emissions of carbon dioxide by 3,000 tonnes.

Mário Lino, the Minister for Public Works, Transport and Communication, talked about the “great impact” the project would have in terms of meeting the Kyoto Protocol, since more people would use the Metro to get to the main line station at Santa Apolónia than take the car or a cab.


The final cost of the project is estimated to be around 300 million euros with the minister confirming that “critics shouldn’t talk in terms of a 40 million overspend since the initial project did not factor in a direct link to Santa Apolónia station”.

He also said that additional costs had to be factored in owing to a “very serious accident” when the entire length of the tunnel became flooded with water and Dutch engineers and specialist consultants had to be called in.

Mário Lino explained that following the disaster, it had been necessary to construct a new tunnel, “because the other one had been ruined”, while shoring up all of the earth around it, in order that the disaster in 2000 wouldn’t happen again.

Prime Minister José Sócrates said that the inauguration of the new stretch of line was something to be proud of because it had been one of the most “complex, difficult and demanding engineering projects” ever undertaken in Lisbon in modern times, one which had been “violent” and “traumatic” not least because it had deprived Lisbon citizens of one the city’s most beautiful areas.

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