Portuguese railway. Photo: CP

Portuguese CP to acquire 24 new locomotives

Portuguese railway. Photo: CP

The Portugese national railway company CP is to buy 24 new locomotives: 12 electric-powered and 12 electric and gas-powered vehicles. In total, it will spend 170 million Euros on the purchase.

CP needs this equipment due to the extension of the East Line between Elvas and Caia, near the Spanish border. This extension will add 11 kilometres to the existing rail track. Because CP will not complete the purchase until 2023, it will rent the required rolling stock from the Spanish national railway company Renfe.

South International Corridor

The extended East Line is part of the South International Corridor, part of the IP Ferrovia 2020 plan. The main objective of this line is to connect the main ports and industrial areas in southern Portugal and Spain with Central Europe. The corridor will have a length of 100 kilometres and link the Port of Sines with Elbas, via Caia. In the Portuguese terminal of Caia, 750-metre length trains will be handled once the works are complete.

With the completion of the corridor, the Port of Sines will be able to handle 51 rail freight trains of 750 metre-length daily, up from 36 of 400-metre length. Moreover, the railway will consist of European gauge trains (1,435 mm). The ministry of transport has contracted 142 maintenance workers to facilitate the increase of rail freight services in the following years.

State deficit

CP has a deficit of 2.6 billion Euros, but the government has given priority to improving the national railway network. This is needed to decline the costs of export, a weak point of the Portuguese economy.

Author: Jose Gutierrez

Jose Gutierrez is RailFreight's correspondent in Spain.

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