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São Jorge Castle, Lisbon November 17, 2013

São Jorge Castle, Lisbon
November 17, 2013

Portugal’s transportation system is diversified and well developed.  In addition to a national railway network operated by Comboios de Portugal (CP), the country has metro systems in Lisbon and Porto, and several tram/light rail networks.

Portugal’s railways date their history back to the October 28, 1856 opening of a line between Lisbon and Carregado.  The network gradually grew over time to connect Lisbon to Porto, and connections to neighboring Spain were also constructed (the majority of CP lines are built using the same “Iberian Gauge” that is used in Spain).  Portugal has no dedicated high speed lines, and a proposed high speed line to Madrid was cancelled in 2012.  However, the Alfa Pendular services operates trainsets with tilting technology at speeds of up to 136 MPH.

Public transit within the capital of Lisbon (aside from the Lisbon Metro) has been operated by Carris since 1872, and the city’s tram network is a tourist attraction in addition to a commuting mode for the city’s residents.  Although the network has been shortened over the years, the “Remodelado” trams have been in service since as early as 1932.  In addition to trams and buses, Carris also operates three “elevators” and the Santa Justa Lift.