Portugal - General Information

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Country Name

Portugal (Portugal)

National Railway System

National Railway Operator

Caminhos de Ferro Portugueses, the former national operator CP, has been broken down into separate elements.

The passenger operation is now CP Comboios de Portugal, a government owned companny, currently organised into three business units. • Urban trains - Lisboa, Porto and Coimbra; • Alfa Pendular, Intercidades and International trains; • Regional and InterRegional trains

The freight operation, CP Carga, was sold as a condition of Portugal's bailout by the European Union, European Central Bank and International Monetary Fund; in January 2016 it was acquired by MSC Rail, a subsidiary of Mediterranean Shipping Company (MSC).





UIC code

numeric 94; alpha P.


Journey Planner

Train times

Downloadable Timetable

  • CP: Train times, then scroll down to "Timetables in PDF Format".
  • Fertagus: Fertagus then select "Timetables"

Printed Timetable

None issued. Leaflets are available for Alfa Pendular / Intercidades (InterCity) and for suburban services around Lisboa and Porto. Fertagus issue their own timetable booklet. No printed material appears to be available for Regional services, only timetable board display posters; travellers by such services would be well advised to make their own print outs of the relevant web pages (which are the display posters).

Engineering Information



Printed Maps

Web-based Maps

  • A simplistic CP plan.
  • More detailed maps are in REFER's Diretório da Rede (Network Statement, annex 3.2.1 and annex
  • Thorsten Büker's Iberia Map, with enlargements for Porto and Lisbon a useful single sheet overview - dated March 2018.


See CP's tickets page. Note the The Portugal Rail Pass, which offers unlimited travel for non-residents.

See also discounts. CP offers the Cartão Dourado for the over 60's, similar to RENFE's Tarjeta Dorada. However, CP requires applicants to offer official proof that their household income does not exceed the Portuguese average!


Infrastructure Authority

Railway infrastructure is owned and maintained by Infraestruturas de Portugal - a merger of rail and road infrastructure authorities in 2015. The rail element is Rede Ferroviária Nacional (REFER)

Network Statement

The Diretório da Rede (Network Statement) page provides links to the Network Statements, in Portuguese and English.


1668 mm. The Aveiro – Sernada do Vouga – Espinho and Cachão – Mirandela - Carvalhais lines are metre gauge.

The Lisbon and Porto tramways, along with the Metro Sul do Tejo, are 1435 mm gauge and the Sintra tramway is metre gauge.


25 kV 50 Hz, with the former Estoril Railway from Lisboa Cais do Sodré to Cascais, which is to be converted from 1500V dc to 25kV 50 Hz by the end of 2023.

The Lisbon Metro [3rd. rail), Metro de Sul and Porto light rail systems are 750 V dc, with the Lisbon, Porto and Sintra heritage tramways 600 V dc.

Rule of the road



In REFER's Network Statement:

  • Annex 3.1 gives overall distances by Line
  • Annex gives more detailed distances between significant stations.

Private Railways

Travessia do Tejo, Transportes SA: Fertagus: (Lisboa) Roma-Areeiro - Campolide - (over Ponte 25 de Abril {25th April Bridge}) - Pragal - Pinhal Novo - Setúbal. Operates daily (operating on REFER infrastructure)

Sociedade Metropolitano Ligeiro de Mirandela (90% owned by town council, 10% by CP): Metropolitano Ligeiro de Mirandela: operated over two short sections of the metre gauge line which formerly linked Tua and Bragança. The entire service was discontinued from 17 Dec 2018 for engineering work to strengthen the earthworks to enable the operation of a steam hauled tourist service.

Tourist Lines

  • Eléctrico de Sintra: (Metre gauge): Sintra to Praia das Maçãs (11 km). Operated by Sintra town council: services approximately hourly Sat-Sun & holiday afternoons, and two-hourly weekday afternoons in summer; two round trips Wednesdays to Sundays in winter (follow Timetable link from council's webpage). Sintra terminus is in front of Vila Alda, close to the Museu de Arte Moderna in the Estefânea district - 10 mins walk from CP station (follow Map link from council's webpage, although this does not show all of the request stops listed in the timetable).
  • Transpraia: (600mm gauge): Costa de Caparica - Fonte da Telha (7 km). Operated by Transportes Recreativos da Praia do Sol, Lda.. Whilst the website still advertises it to run daily, June to September, the northern terminus, Praia Nova, looked derelict on a visit in July 2020. Whilst that may be due to Covid-19 tourist closures it was not obvious if it had operated in 2019.
  • Praia do Barril railway: (600mm gauge): Pedras d'el Rei - Praia do Barril (beach) (1 km); operates frequently, during summer.
  • Tourist operator Douro Azul [1] operation - as part of a rail/river/bus trip between Mirandela and Tua - using that section of the former Tua - Bragança metre gauge line between Mirandela, Cachão and Brunheda (33 km). Although forecast to start in June 2017, it did not run in 2018 either. Any details for the new service should appear on the Douro Azul website.


Lisboa; Porto; Sul do Tejo.

A track plan for the Metro Sul do Tejo is available on the Gleisplanweb site.


Lisboa (five routes); Porto (three routes); Sintra (see Tourist Lines, above). The Lisboa system contains the steepest adhesion worked tram tracks in the world, a gradient of 15% on route 28 on the west side of the city.

Track plans for all tram systems in Portugal are available on the Gleisplanweb site.

See also Portugal - Tram services over obscure routes

The Light Rail Transit Association's publication, The Tramways of Portugal can still be recommended (despite being somewhat dated, its fourth edition having been published in 1995).

Recent and Future Changes (most recent entries at top)

In September 2020 it was announced that the former Estoril Railway from Lisboa Cais do Sodré to Cascais is to be converted from 1500V DC to 25kV 50 Hz by the end of 2023.

In April 2020 the EU announced funding for expansion of the Metro do Porto: a new Line G from São Bento north west to Casa da Música and an extension of Line D from Santo Ovídio south east to Vila D’Este.

The long promised new freight line [South International Corridor] connecting the ports of Sines, [with connections from Setúbal and Lisboa] to Caia on the Spanish border near Badajoz is moving forward. The 79∙4 km of new alignment between Évora and Elvas has been split into three sections. A contract for construction of one of the sections was awarded in early December 2019. The route will have gauge-convertible sleepers and be electrified at 25 kV 50 Hz.

The governmental 'strategic infrastructure plan' in preparation in summer 2018 contains no investment for the Casa Branca - Beja or Régua - Pocinho lines. They may therefore be in danger of closure, especially the latter which is not in good condition. The 2020 plan envisages the Douro line being electrified to Régua by 2025.

The Metropolitano Ligeiro de Mirandela ceased operation on 17 December 2018, allegedly for engineering work to provide for a tourist service which would reopen further south beyond Cachão to Brunheda.

In July 2018 the national environment agency APA approved plans for the modernisation of 87 km of the Linha do Oeste between Meleças and Caldas da Rainha, including electrification. However, the tender in October 2019 received no responses and the project is at a standstill.

Nine - Valença was to have been electrified by the end of 2019 but, as at June 2020, had reached only as far as Viana de Castelo. It is planned that Tunes – Lagos and Faro – Vila Real de Santo António sections will be electrified but this is delayed to at least the end of 2023.

Work has (re)started on rehabilitation and electrification of the Guarda – Covilhã section of the Beira Baixa route, disused since 2009. The estimated completion date is 2020. This will include the Beiras Link, a new 1.5 km curve to the Vilar Formoso (- Spain) line at Galegos, south of Guarda.

Caíde – Marco de Canaveses (Porto – Régua route) was electrified by 2017.

From 29 August 2017 passenger service (a daily round trip) was reinstated between [Entroncamento - Torre das Vargens - Portalegre - ] Elvas and Badajoz (Spain), previously closed in 2012. Entroncamento - Torre das Vargens - Portalegre reopened on 25 September 2015 for what was described at the time as a six month experimental service.

From 1 November 2013, the Aveiro - Sernada do Vouga - Espinho metre gauge line (timetable) was split into two sections (Aveiro - Sernada do Vouga, and Espinho - Oliveira de Azeméis). From that date the section between Sernada do Vouga and Oliveira de Azeméis has been subject to a severe speed restriction and is covered by CP taxi service twice daily (although empty movements can still reach the line's depot at Sernada do Vouga).

From September 2013 all trains north of Leiria have run to/from Coimbra B, with connections for Figueira da Foz at Verride; in consequence, the Amieira - Bifurcação de Lares curve lost its passenger service from this date.

From 15 August 2012 the Ramal de Cáceres (Torre das Vargens - Marvāo Beirã - Valencia do Alcántara (Spain) - Cáceres) closed to all traffic (also resulting in passenger service withdrawal between Entroncamento and Torre das Vargens). The Lusitania (Lisboa - Madrid sleeping car train) was rerouted via the more northerly Vilar Formoso - Fuentes de Oñoro (Spain) border crossing. Through freight traffic had been discontinued on 5 February 2012.

In March 2012 the government confirmed its decision to suspend construction of the 167 km section from Poceirão to Caia (Spanish border) of the Lisboa - Madrid high speed line. The first phase - from Lisboa to Poceirao, including the new Tagus bridge - had already been cancelled. In December 2014 the Court of Auditors declared that the entire TGV project was not viable. The proposed line between Lisboa and Madrid was deemed particularly unprofitable.

From 4 January 2012 the Ramal da Lousã (Coimbra - Serpins) was closed and the track lifted, for conversion to metro operation (Metro Mondego). This project was subsequently abandoned and in February 2019 a so-called "metro bus" model based on electric buses was confirmed.

From 1 January 2012 Torre das Vargens - Elvas - Badajoz (Spain) and Beja - Funcheira closed to passengers, although the former reopened again from 29 August 2017.

From 1 January 2012 CP published official closure notices for the following lines, which had long been replaced by buses:

  • Linha do Corgo (Regua - Vila Real): replaced by buses since February 2009
  • Linha do Tâmega (Livracao - Amarante): replaced by buses since February 2009
  • Ramal da Figueira da Foz (Figueira da Foz - Pampilhosa): replaced by buses since 2009

From 11 December 2011 Intercity trains on the Linha do Sul (Lisboa to Faro) ceased running via Setúbal or Alcácer do Sal, while regional trains between Setúbal and Tunes ceased from the same day. Thus, the old Linha do Sul main line through Alcácer do Sal lost its service with all trains running via the new (December 2010) cutoff.

From 1 October 2011 an ‘experimental’ resumption of passenger service between Setil and Coruche was withdrawn again owing to lack of demand.

From 25 July 2011 services between Lisboa and Evora were resumed after upgrading and electrification.

From 1 February 2011 Ermesinde – Leça do Balio was closed to passengers. The Leixões branch had previously closed to passengers in 1987, but Ermesinde – Leça do Balio reopened in 2009, with the remainder to Leixões to follow. Poor passenger loadings and a much more direct service by Metro led to abandonment of the whole scheme and this (re-)closure of the first section.

In December 2010 a cutoff bypassing 35 km of the Linha do Sul (Lisboa - Tunes) round Alcácer do Sal was opened (see also 11 December 2011).

On 16 August 2010 a new 3 km line (variante Trofa), bypassing the old Trofa station, was opened, whereupon the old line closed.

In 2009 the Covilhã – Guarda section of the Beira Baixa line fell out of use - it is not known exactly when passenger services ceased - but restoration of service is promised during 2020 (see above).

Special Notes

Cascais (Estoril Railway) is now almost certainly the westernmost railhead in Europe (Valentia Harbour in Ireland held that honour until closure in 1960).

Timetable direction contains a trap for the unwary: circulaçoes ascendentes (which one might translate as "up trains") are travelling away from the major terminal (and thus the opposite of most British practice); such trains carry odd numbers (equivalent of French impair).

Ramal = branch line; conc. (concordancia) = chord or connection; ap. (apeadeiro) = halt; bif. (bifurcação) = junction.

See also