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Porto Brought up to Date

Graham Bilbe, 11th June 2003

On 11th June Graham Bilbe gave a slide presentation showing the changes that have occurred in Oporto over recent years. At present the only traditional tram services are two tourist tram services both operating on a half hourly headway. Service 1E runs from a relocated Infante terminus along the Duro river to Masserelos depot and on to Cantareira. The track has been completely relaid with new rail on trambahn reservation on the north side of the road, mainly as single track, with passing loops at Alfandaga, Masserelos, Gaz and Cantareira, the present limit of operation. This service requires two cars. The other service is route 18, which operates up the hill from Massarelos to Viriato. Again the track has been completely relaid with single track and loops. One car is required for this service. No trams used on the museum services carry advertising.

In addition to the current museum operation much new track has been laid in other parts of the city for a future city tramway. Tracks at the large roundabout at Castelo do Queijo have been relaid to a greater diameter and segregated from other traffic. In addition the tracks continue towards Matosinhos on a new alignment further from the sea behind the former Sub Station and PW yard. It is expected that the museum operation will be extended to Castelo do Queijo in time. Overhead wiring has still to be erected. At Carmo much new track has been laid for the city centre loop. Track is also in situ at the Praca da Liberdade and at Praca da Batalha including a triangular junction. There is a link line to the top of a new funicular being built by the high level bridge.

As well as the museum cars there is now a modern standard gauge tramway known as the Metro do Porto worked with the first of an eventual fleet of 72 Euro Trams. Present operation is between Matosinhos and Trinidade. At Matosinhos the main street has been reserved for Metro trams and pedestrians with the tracks relocated from the gutter to the centre of the roadway. The line then follows the former narrow gauge freight line to Senhora da Hora. From here the Metro has replaced the diesel worked metre gauge line into Trinidade station. Links are under construction to the main railway station at Campanha and across the High level bridge to Santo Ovidio. The other northern narrow gauge lines are to be regauged and converted to Metro.

In addition Graham showed slides of the refurbished trolleybuses in Coimbra together with reopened trolleybus route 55, slides of the Lisbon Centenary on 31st August 2001, former Lisbon cars on the Soller tramway in Majorca, and work on the rebuilding of the Sintra tramway back towards the railway station.

London Area – Wednesday 11th June 2003

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