Comboios de Portugal

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Comboios de Portugal
IndustryRail transport
FounderJosé de Salamanca, 1st Count of los Llanos Edit this on Wikidata
Key people
Carlos Gomes Nogueira,
Sérgio Abrantes Machado,
Ana Maria dos Santos Malhó
ProductsRail Transport (Passenger)
RevenueRed Arrow Down.svg -266.017 million (2013)[1]
Green Arrow Down.svg -54.3 million (2016)[1]
Green Arrow Down.svg -144.6 million (2016)[1]
OwnerGovernment of Portugal (100%)
Number of employees
2,708 (2016)[2]
Comboios de Portugal
Rede Ferroviária Portuguesa - 2007.png
Map showing the railway lines in Portugal operated by CP in 2007. Some closures have been held since then.
Flickr - nmorao - Areia, Lousal, 2009.05.19.jpg
A CP freight train in 2009
Track gauge1,668 mm (5 ft 5 2132 in) Iberian gauge and
1,000 mm (3 ft 3 38 in) metre gauge
CP's Alfa Pendular tilting train at Orient Station in Lisbon.
Alfa Pendular train at Oriente Station Lisbon
CP suburban trains at São Bento Station in Porto.

CP — Comboios de Portugal, EPE (CP; English: Trains of Portugal) is a state-owned company which operates passenger trains in Portugal. Before June 2009, CP stood for Caminhos de Ferro Portugueses (English: Portuguese Railways) although the company has been using its current designation as a brand name since 2004.

In 2018, CP transported 126 million passengers.[3]


On 28 October 1856, the first railway line was inaugurated in Portugal, between Lisbon and Carregado: the Companhia dos Caminhos de Ferro Portugueses was born. The network was gradually expanded both south of the Tagus and to the north of the country, as well as in the metropolitan areas of Lisbon and Porto and to Spain. During the second half of the 20th century, much of CP's rolling stock was built in Portugal by Sorefame - notably carriages with stainless steel bodywork.

Gradually, electrification was put in place for a little less than half the network. In 1975, the company was nationalised, and its name was shortened to CP, A plan to finally connect all the district capitals by a fully electrified double line was to be implemented from 2010. Part of this plan is based on the Swiss Rail 2000 model.[4]

Manuel Antunes Frasquilho served as Chairman of the Board of directors between 1996 and 1997.[5]

The Vouga line is now the only narrow gauge line left in operation - it is also slated for closure.


The infrastructure of the Portuguese network is managed by Infraestruturas de Portugal, usually abbreviated to IP

Portuguese railway network extent:

  • Broad gauge (1,668 mm (5 ft 5 2132 in)): 2,603 km (1,617 mi), 1,351 km (839 mi) electrified at 25 kV 50 Hz AC and 25 km (16 mi) at 1.5 kV DC.
  • Narrow gauge (metre gauge) 1,000 mm (3 ft 3 38 in): 188 km (117 mi) not electrified.
  • The maximum extent of 3,592 km (2,232 mi) was reached in 1949, but in the late 1980s and early 1990s some lines were shortened and some totally closed.


CP is split into four divisions:

  • CP Longo Curso, long-distance mainline services (Alfa Pendular, Intercidades and International trains).
  • CP Regional, regional services (Interregional and Regional).
  • CP Lisboa, Lisbon's suburban network.
  • CP Porto, Porto's suburban network.


CP offers the following types of trains:

  • International (IN) is the service that connects Portugal and Spain (one reaches France). These are the Sud Express (Lisbon - Irún/ Hendaye), the Lusitânia (Lisbon - Madrid) and the Celta (Porto - Vigo). Both Sud Express and Lusitânia are night trains that run as Trenhotel (Hotel Train).
  • Alfa Pendular (AP) is the fastest service, whose speeds can reach 220 km/h. This service runs from Lisbon to either Porto, Braga or Guimarães (passing through Coimbra, Aveiro and Porto) or between Porto and Faro.
  • Intercidades (IC) is a fast long-distance service whose speeds can reach 200 km/h. All IC services (apart from the Beja Shuttle) run from Lisbon to either Porto, Braga, Guimarães, Guarda, Covilhã or Évora (with connection at Casa Branca to Beja), serving the majority of the Portuguese regions. Service to southern Portugal runs to cities including Tunes, Faro, and Albufeira.[6]
  • Inter-Regional (IR) is a medium distance service which stops only at the main stations. Runs mainly on the routes Porto-Viana do Castelo-Valença (Minho Line), Porto-Régua-Pocinho (Douro Line), Lisbon-Caldas da Rainha-Leiria-Coimbra (West Line) and Lisbon-Tomar (North Line). Services are operated by the same trains as Regional service.
  • Regional (R) is CP's local service, stopping at all stations, out of the Lisbon and Porto suburban areas.
  • Urbano (U) is the CP's suburban service, in the regions of Lisbon and Porto and in the Coimbra-Figueira da Foz Line.

The network[edit]

CP's flagship service, introduced in 1999, is the Alfa Pendular which operates between Braga - Porto - Lisbon - Faro, at a top speed of 220 km/h (138 mph) with FIAT/Siemens tilting trains. As of 2006, CP's network reaches most of the country.[7]

CP inaugurated new trains in suburban service in the 1990s.



Iberian gauge[edit]

Metre gauge[edit]

Former lines[edit]

Iberian gauge[edit]

Metre gauge[edit]

  • Póvoa line (transformed into Porto Metro between Porto and Póvoa de Varzim between 2002 and 2006, closed between Póvoa de Varzim and Famalicão in 1995)
  • Guimarães line (transformed into Porto Metro between Senhora da Hora and ISMAI in 2005, closed between ISMAI and Trofa in 2001, converted to Iberian gauge between Trofa and Guimarães in 2004 and closed between Guimarães and Fafe in 1986)
  • Corgo line (closed between Vila Real and Chaves in 1990, remaining section closed in 2009)
  • Dão line (closed in 1989)
  • Sabor line (closed in 1988)
  • Tâmega line (closed between Amarante and Arco de Baúlhe in 1990, remaining section closed in 2009)
  • Tua line (closed between Mirandela and Bragança in 1992 and between Tua and Cachão in 2008, Metro de Mirandela reopened Mirandela–Carvalhais section in 1995 and currently explores Cachão–Mirandela–Carvalhais section)
  • Viseu branch (closed in 1990)

Passenger rolling stock[edit]

Comboios de Portugal utilises the following rolling stock and commercial products:

Major stations[edit]




See also[edit]


  1. ^ a b c Comboios de Portugal (2016). "Relatório & Contas Consolidado" (PDF) (in Portuguese).
  2. ^ Comboios de Portugal (2013). "Relatório & Contas" (PDF) (in Portuguese).
  3. ^
  4. ^ Stohler, Werner. "Modernização do sistema da exploração ferroviária da Região de Coimbra" (PDF) (in Portuguese). Archived from the original (PDF) on 11 August 2011. Retrieved 7 November 2010.
  5. ^ CEEP Portugal - A Regulação dos Preços Como Instrumento de Regulação Pública dos Serviços de Interesse Geral
  6. ^ See the timetable at
  7. ^ "CP route map" (PDF). Archived from the original (PDF) on 20 May 2011.
  8. ^ "Archived copy". Archived from the original on 2017-08-31. Retrieved 2017-08-31.CS1 maint: archived copy as title (link)

External links[edit]