New high-speed rail will connect Porto-Lisbon in one hour and 15 minutes

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In 2030, Porto-Lisbon will be connected with a new high-speed rail, with an estimated dislocation period of 1 hour and 15 minutes. A direct, non-stop service. The construction is divided in three phases, being that the first phase, the track section between Porto and Soure, is scheduled for completion in 2028.

The high-speed project, which also includes a connection between Porto and Vigo, was announced today, at the Campanhã Station, with the presence of the Prime Minister, António Costa, the Minister for Infrastructure and Housing, Pedro Nuno Santos and, the Mayor of Porto, Rui Moreira, among many other politicians of the region and the country, as well as deputies of the Assembly of the Republic and executives of Infraestruturas de Portugal.

“Today is a big day. We will finally witness the beginning of what for my generation has always been a delayed possibility”, stated Rui Moreira. “For many years it was understood that it was necessary to make new investments on the railroad. Contrary, for example, to our Spanish neighbours, we have always postponed, for long periods of time, major decisions for the sector”, he added.

The Prime Minister guaranteed that the country now has the financial conditions to take on the high-speed project, “peacefully and without bumps that will undermine it.” “The big structuring projects, the highways, the railways, airways need a great national consensus, validated by the Assembly of the Republic with, at least, the support of two thirds of the votes”, stated António Costa, underlining that the high-speed project gathered a “vast majority” in the Assembly of the Republic.

“We are leaving solutions for who succeed us”, he added, highlighting that there are conditions, in this legislature, to begin and continue the constructions. “Despite these demanding times”, the future of the country “has not lost its north”, he said, stressing that the high-speed project “unites and serves the country”, as well as “reinforces the Atlantic façade”. On the other hand, the connection between Porto and Vigo will be the “first step” to integrate the Portuguese railway in the Iberian high-speed network.

The Minister of Infrastructures, Pedro Nuno Santos, spoke of “one more step in the revolution” underway in the railway. “We cannot postpone, nor hesitate any longer, we must put an end to the stop-and-go attitude that characterises Portugal’s political decision making”, he said. “We must abandon that inherent instinct of thinking that these goals are always too ambitious for our people”, he added

Porto-Lisbon in three phases

The new high-speed rail Porto-Lisbon, that aims to connect the two main cities of the country in just one hour and 15 minutes in a direct service, will have no stops and will be constructed in three phases, with a double track and Iberian gauge.

The first phase, the track section between Porto and Soure, expected to be concluded by 2028, has an estimated travel time of one hour and 59 minutes. The second phase, between Soure and Carregado, to be concluded by 2030, should diminish the duration to one hour and 19 minutes. The third phase, between Carregado and Lisbon, will be constructed later and will allow the final dislocation period to reach one hour and 15 minutes for the entire connection.

“This track will be fully integrated with the rest of the national railway network. The cities [of Porto and Lisbon] will be served in the central stations”, revealed Carlos Fernandes from the Board of Directors of Infraestruturas de Portugal (IP). Multiple connections are also planned between the high-speed rail and the rest of the railway network. “This is will not be an autonomous axis, an independent axis, it will be fully integrated in the national railway network”, he added.

In Campanhã, the station will be prepared for this new rail, as well as connections to the North, including Vigo, and a connection, to be built in the future to Francisco Sá Carneiro Airport. Despite that, a new bridge in Douro River will be constructed, with two trays.

Faster connection to Vigo

The TGV’s rail project also foresees a high-speed connection from Porto to Valença, with a direct track section to Francisco Sá Carneiro Airport, in a tunnel, that should be ready by 2030. The studies for this connection will begin next year so that an Environmental Impact Evaluation can then be carried out by APA. A trip to the airport of Porto to Viana do Castelo will take approximately the same time as from the airport to Vigo, since this will be a TGV connection.

All these high-speed projects are included in a global investment of 43 billion euros, to be concluded by the end of the decade in the field of transport, of which 11 billion will be invested in railways.