Douro railway line

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Pinhão station on the Douro line
Freight train near Valeira on the Douro line, September 2008
Tua station on the Douro line: a Série 1400 locomotive heading a passenger train (left) passing a freight train headed by a Série 1960 (right)

The Douro line (in Portuguese: Linha do Douro) is a railway in northern Portugal. For much of its route the line runs close to the Douro River, offering very scenic views of the river and valley. Trains on the line are operated by Comboios de Portugal (CP).

Construction[edit]

Section between stations Distance Date of opening
ErmesindePenafiel 30.311 km 29 July 1875
Penafiel – Caíde 07.328 km 20 December 1875
Caíde – Juncal 18.818 km 15 September 1878
Juncal – Peso da Régua 38.371 km 15 July 1879
Peso da Régua – Ferrão 15.813 km 4 April 1880
Ferrão – Pinhão 07.611 km 1 June 1880
Pinhão – Tua 12.993 km 1 September 1883
Tua – Pocinho 31.678 km 10 January 1887
Pocinho – Côa 09.061 km 5 May 1887
Côa – Barca D’Alva - Spanish border 18.882 km 9 December 1887

Route[edit]

From west to east, the line runs from the junction at Ermesinde to Pocinho. The line formerly continued east for a further 28 kilometres to the Spanish border. Until 1984, the track continued onwards into Spain, thus allowing through trains to/from Salamanca.

Passenger trains normally run from São Bento station in Porto to Pocinho, with some not running as far as the eastern terminus. The line is built to the Iberian gauge of 1668mm. The line is single track, apart from a double track section between Ermesinde and Valongo (the authorisation for the dualling work was given by CP in 1993).[1]

In 1984, the Spanish rail operator RENFE announced the closure of its connecting line from La Fuente de San Esteban to the Portuguese border. With the loss of international traffic, CP had to close its line east of Barca d'Alva to Spain. The service was cut back to Pocinho in 1988, which has since remained the eastern terminus of the Douro line.[2]

Branch lines[edit]

There were formerly five metre gauge branch lines connecting with the Douro line, but the last of these closed in 2009. Geographically, from west to east they were:

  • The Penafiel to Lixa and Entre-os-Rios lines, which closed in the 1920s after less than 20 years of service
  • The Tâmega line, which closed in 2009 and ran north from a junction with Douro line at Livração
  • The Corgo line, which closed in 2009 and ran north from a junction with Douro line at Regua
  • The Tua line, which closed in 2008 and ran north from a junction with Douro line at Tua
  • The Sabor line, which closed in 1988 and ran north-east from a junction with Douro line at Pocinho

See also[edit]

External links[edit]

References[edit]