The Portuguese Railroads

Discussion in 'The Real Thing- International' started by Ricardo Correia, Dec 4, 2003.

  1. Hello to you all "The-Gaugers"

    I was asked in one of other posts to talk a bit about Portuguese Railroads.

    Our railways started late, concretely in October,1856 in a small Line from "Caes dos Soldados"(Soldier's Pier - now Lisbon Main-Sta.Apolonia) to "Carregado"... with some troubles this inauguration, since the Royal Train, hauled by a british locomotive could barely carry the train for the 24 kilometers of line, letting go the first carriage just a few kms from Lisbon, then the second a few kms later... and when the train arrived at Carregado only the locomotive and the King's and the Prince's wagons arrived. In that year's press, journalists said that, if the line was longer, only the locomotive would have arrived...

    With the development of the Railroads in Portugal, lines spread all over the country, until the mid-1970's... then, with the diesel plan, lots of lines were closed, and now only about 2/4 of the total network are still active...

    Portugal received the first diesel locomotives after the II World War from the US, with the Alco Locomotives and Swede's Nohabs in 1948. By that time, steam still ruled all over the country, and only with the electrification of the first lines (Sintra suburban line and North from Lisbon to Carregado in 1956) With the overhead came to Portugal the 2500's series locomotives and the first Budd's UTE (EMU - Electric Triple Units).

    The first picture is from the 2500 units from CP-Caminhos de Ferro Portugueses, the pioneers from overhead in Portugal...

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  2. The Diesel Pioneers

    This is a diesel locomotive pioneer from 1948. This locomotive is an American Locomotive Company - ALCo, series 1500 from CP. Originally conceived as RSC-2, they form a series of 15 units, which maintained at work for over 50 years. They were suspended from service only in 2001, but there are still 3 of this locomotives working. The 1501, in its original livery, the one in the photo, the 1525 in the livery of Ferrovias (one of the builders) and the 1502 in the livery of Neopul (another builder). These locomotives were later remotorized for 2000 hp, forming the subseries 1520, only with 5 locomotives, based on the RSC-3 model.

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  3. The diesel in Portugal, can be divided in Locomotives, Railcars and shunters.

    Beginning with the shunters, we have the series 1000 Moyse, 1020 Drewry, 1100 GE, 1150 Sentinel, 1200 Brissoneau and Lotz

    This last series, only was placed at sidings in the beginning of 2003, yet there are many of them shunting at main yards, such as Barreiro and sometimes private railroads...

    The 1150 Sentinel are found almost everywhere in Portugal from shunting in goods yards, passengers, main stations, junctions, etc...

    All the rest are now museum pieces... most of them in a really bad condition...

    This time, here's a photo of a Brissoneau and Lotz shunter

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  4. Now for the Diesel Railcars...

    We only have two kinds of Diesel Railcars now.

    The Swede's Nohabs (from 1948) and the 1950's Netherland's Allans.

    These railcars operate in lines with small Passenger traffic such as West Line (Cacem to Figueira da Foz), Beira Alta (Covilha to Guarda) and sporadic services elsewhere.

    The south and east lines have the Nohabs (Entroncamento to Torre das Vargens, Casa Branca to Evora, Funcheira to Casa Branca)

    Another Railcar which existed was the Railbus. Similar to DB's and Renfe Railbus, we received this railcar in the late 1970's. They worked in Portugal from 1977 to 1983. They derailed so many times in points, level crossings, and curves, they proved they weren't good for the traffic they were supporting being replaced by steam locomotives still operating and Allan Railcars whenever available.

    The photo, this time is from a Nohab

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  5. Now, just to finish the Diesel Adventure in Portugal, the Locomotives:

    1300 Whitcombe, 1320 Alco, 1400 English Electric, 1500 ALCo, 1520 ALCo, 1550 MLW, 1800 English Electric, 1900/1930 Alsthom and the 1960 Bombardier

    This locomotives series were divided all over the country. Today only are working the 1400's, 1550's, 1900/1930's and 1960's series, all of them working on the Diesel Main Lines, much of which are going to disappear when the electrification plan is complete, which is going to send the Diesel over to secondary lines and less populated traffic lines probably.

    When I have the time, I'll post a brief story of all the diesel locomotives and I'll start talking about the Electric Series...

    Now, time for the last photo, from a 1900's series...

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  6. jim currie

    jim currie Active Member

    good pics Ricardo:thumb:
  7. Special Trains

    In Portugal, and I'll report only to the diesel age, we had several Special Trains, one of the most known was "Foguete" - Rocket...

    This train, was a DMU, built by Fiat Ferroviaria and started circulating in Portugal in the late 1950's. This train was baptized as "Foguete" because it was the fastest existing in Portuguese lines. It covered only the link from Lisbon to Oporto in 4 hours and 15 minutes, and was also the first train in Portugal to have air conditioning and was a beautiful train. With the complete electrification in the North Line (between Lisbon and Oporto/Campanhã) this train was no longer needed, and so it went south, to the South Line, between Barreiro and Vila Real de Santo António in Algarve, near the Spanish Border.
    The name "Foguete" remained with the new 2550 locomotives and the sorefame Coaches, and lately with 2600 locomotives.

    But keeping with the Fiat's saga, when they went to South, they were reapinted with white and red stripes, replacing the original silver colour with a thin red line under the windows. CP renamed this train from "Foguete" to "Sotavento", the portuguese name for the Algarve Eastern Region. This train had however several problems with the heights when entering Algarve from Alentejo. In this zone, the inclination is a bit high and with that, when the train was climbing, the AC was disconnected or the train wouldn't have enough power to climb the Monchique height. Now imagine a train, crossing Alentejo (the hottest region in Portugal) under the August Sun, with the temperature over 40ºCelsius and the train without AC, and without any open windows... try to figure out where people would go, and how....

    I'm sending a picture from the early years of "Foguete" with this DMU in Campolide Station, former departure point for the North Line...

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  8. McFortner

    McFortner Member

    Thanks for the pictures. It was great seeing an ALCO still up and running! :D :thumb:

    Wish I could find an ALCO still running out here.

    Post more pictures when you get the time. I'm always fasinated with pictures of engines I've never seen before.

  9. RailRon

    RailRon Active Member

    Wide or standard gauge?

    Ricardo, thanks for your informations about the 'other' CP (beside Canadian Pacific :D). It is a railway system that even we central Europeans hardly know.

    Judging from the pictures, I assume that your system is standard gauge. But then the Spanish railways (RENFE?) are running on wide gauge. There are Talgo trains which change wheel gauge at the frontier to France. They run from Madrid or Barcelona to Switzerland and on to Germany.

    Now my questions: Are there also through trains between Portugal and Spain with gauge-changing? (It would be great to have a streamlined through train from Switzerland down to the Algarve! :cool: :cool: :cool: )
    And how do you interchange train freight with Spain? This could be quite complex and expensive in the long run...

    (I guess, this is also the reason why we in central Europe don't know Portuguese trains - Spain acts like a railroad-barrier between Potugal and the rest of Europe.)

    Keep your pictures coming - it's very interesting!

  10. Re: Wide or standard gauge?

    Our system is the "Iberic" gauge of 1668 mm. Because of the known as "spanish historic error" we had to develop our lines with the same gauge, in order for our trains run throughout the Iberic peninsula. So, our gauge is just like the same as the "normal" Renfe, since it exists also the metric and the "European" gauge for the High-speed AVE train in Spain, and will also exist in Portugal for our main High Speed line, to be developed until 2010...

    As I said before, the gauge is the same, so there is no need to change gauge between Spain and Portugal. But the only reason because ou can't have a train running from Switzerland to Algarve is that there isn't any political will... The Talgo trains run from Zurich to Madrid, I guess. It only doesn't come to Portugal, because there aren't tracks, and willing to do them, from Madrid to Algarve... You had to pass through Lisbon...

    The freight between Portugal and Spain is mainly made by trucks, unfortunately. How would I give to watch a long train running with trucks on their piggybacks like the "Rollende Landstrasse"... There are only one "TECO - Special Containers Train" daily from Sines and Leixoes to Madrid...

    The long-runs you talk about are somewhat impossible, because most of the modern Portuguese coaches aren't ready to change axles at the spanish-french border...

    Even one of the most known immigrants train "The Sud-Express" which ran from Paris to Lisbon and back, now stays at Irun...

    And what more can I say. Of course, I'll keep pictures coming. Soon I'll post some more, I promise...
  11. RailRon

    RailRon Active Member

    Thank you, Ricardo!

    Now it is clear why we never see any Potuguese rolling stock here in Switzerland.

    It's funny, but I really thought from the photos that this were standard gauge. Of course, the difference is not so much, 233 mm - but the trains would notice anyhow! :D :D :D

  12. Maybe so... I guess otherwise they would be running out of rails too often:D :D :D :D :D

    And, as a matter of fact, I don't see much swiss trains around here in Portugal too... yet, we have the Schindler coaches... I'll post a photo of them, if I find anyone... maybe with a bit of story from them, too...
  13. CN1

    CN1 Active Member

    Shunter would be what we call a Switcher here...

    I like the picture and descriptione. Buene
  14. As I promised then, I finally found some pictures of our portuguese CP, Schindler coaches... you may find some similarities with the swiss ones...

    I can't remember when they had first come to service, but, by the painting scheme, I'm tempted to think that they must have got into service by the 1950's. Most of them are being dismantled and sent to scrap by mid 2003... some of them are still in service, mainly in Douro Line, where they're used to support major demanding periods... here's a picture of one Schindler 2nd Class with mail van...

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  15. Now a 1st class Schindler also with mail van...

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  16. Now, a full 2nd class coach.... my favourite... (photo by João Pedro Joaquim)

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  17. RailRon

    RailRon Active Member

    These are interesting pics, Ricardo. Thank you for posting them. I didn't even know that Schindler exported these passenger cars! :oops:

    They made also very similar cars for the SBB here in Switzerland, but most of them are scrapped now. (I didn't find a photo of them.) In 1947 these so-called 'light steel waggons' were revolutionary modern, fit for the 'extreme speeds' of 125 km/h (about 80 mph).

    The added pic shows a Swiss narrow gauge version, but just the same the 'familiy resemblance' is obvious: Compare the roof ends and the shapes of windows and doors!


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  18. That's true about those cars... in Portugal they're never allowed above the 80 Km/h...

    About the models, I'm trying to find some good model from Lilliput, I guess, that represents this coaches just to transform it into a portuguese one...

    That's another challenge... just like my Seixal station and so many others...
    :D :D
  19. jon-monon

    jon-monon Active Member

    Great pics and explaination Richardo!!!! Thanks!

    Is the 1300 Whitcombe American? Do you have any pictures of one?
  20. babydot94513

    babydot94513 Member in training

    Thanks for sharing this with us. It is always nice to learn a little more about railroading in other countries.

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