Tua line between Foz Tua and Mirandela, along Tua River
|Native name||Linha do Tua|
|Line length||133.8 km (83.1 mi)|
|Track gauge||1,000 mm (3 ft 3 3⁄8 in) metre gauge|
This highly scenic line ran north from a junction with the main Douro line at Tua Station, closely following the banks of the Tua River to the towns of Mirandela and Bragança. The railway opened in 1887. It was the first and longest (at 133.8 km) of all the narrow gauge railways built to serve the area north of the River Douro. It was originally operated by Companhia Nacional de Caminhos de Ferro (CN).[page needed] From 1947 onwards, until closure, the line was operated by CP.
Trains on the line were hauled by steam locomotives for much of the line's existence. From the 1970s onwards trains on the line were hauled by CP Class 9020 diesel locomotives, which were withdrawn when the line closed. Diesel railbuses, such as the Série 9300 and finally the Série 9500, were also used on some passenger trains.
Part of the route of the Tua line will be submerged under water when the Foz Tua Dam project on the Tua River is completed.
The northern section of the line between Mirandela and Bragança was suddenly closed in December 1991, with the closure being formalised in 1992. The southern section between Tua and Mirandela remained in use.
Most of the remaining 54 km section south of Mirandela was closed abruptly in August 2008 on grounds that emergency track repairs were necessary. This followed the derailment of a railcar near Brunheda, resulting in the death of a passenger and 25 injuries.
A twice-daily taxi service replaced the train service, but was withdrawn on 1 July 2012 thus appearing to mark the final and formal closure of the line. However, the taxi service was restarted on 9 July 2012 for a further initial three-month period, later extended indefinitely and (as of April 2013) continues to operate. Though actual train services have been withdrawn, it is still[when?] possible travel as a passenger with a CP ticket using the replacement road service.
Budget cuts by the Portuguese Government led to a decision to permanently close the line, as announced in the Government's Strategic Transport Plan 2011–2015, published in October 2011. Actual train services were effectively withdrawn in 2008, apart from a short section around Mirandela which is operated as the Metro de Mirandela.
- Organ, J. (2010). Portugal Narrow Gauge. Middleton Press. ISBN 978-1-906008-67-3.
- Somague (18 February 2011). "Foz Tua Dam - Laying of the first stone" (Press release).
- "Linha do Tua encerrada por ordem do Governo" [Tua line closed by order of the Government]. Jornal de Notícias (in Portuguese). 22 August 2008.
- "Acidente na Linha do Tua faz um morto e 25 feridos" [Accident on the Tua Line leaves one dead and 25 wounded]. Jornal de Notícias (in Portuguese). 22 August 2008.
- "Linha do Tua - Supressão Serviço Rodoviário - 1 julho 2012". CP (in Portuguese). Archived from the original on 23 June 2012.
- "Linha do Tua - Serviço Rodoviário Alternativo". CP (in Portuguese). Archived from the original on 1 August 2012.