Socialists refute doubts over Algarve railway revamp

Portugal’s socialist government is not ditching the Algarve’s railway revamp plans, infrastructure minister Pedro Marques has guaranteed. But whether a rail link to Faro Airport will be built is still anyone’s guess.

So says Algarve MP Cristovão Norte (PSD), who confronted the minister after a Público report last month claimed the government was casting aside multi-million plans to bring the Algarve’s decrepit railway line into the 21st century. (click here)

“The minister said the electrification of the railway will move forward, but made no mention of the new link to Faro Airport,” the MP said in a statement.

He added that Marques did not commit to any “deadlines or sums”, saying only that “community funding” may be a way of financing the work.

But the fact that the issue of the rail link was not confirmed will upset regional authorities.

As president of hotel and tourism association AHETA, Elidérico Viegas, stressed last month, Faro Airport “is one of the few airports in the world that does not have a railway link”.

Considering the work “crucial to the development of the region”, the last government had pledged €55 million in its strategic plan for transport (PETI) to electrify the line and construct the link.