The new line will cut journey times between the two cities to just one hour and 15 minutes
The rail route between Lisbon to Porto is already the niftiest (and greenest) way of travelling between Portugal’s capital and its second city. The fastest trains currently take just under three hours to speed 209 miles (337 kilometres) up the Portuguese coast – and, excitingly, they could be about to get even faster.
Yesterday Portuguese Prime Minister Antonio Costa announced plans for a brand-new high-speed line between Lisbon and Porto. The new service could reach speeds of up to 300 kilometres per hour and cut journey times down to just one hour and 15 minutes. Which is, by any measure, pretty bloomin’ speedy.
And that isn’t all. The new line will eventually wind all the way up to Vigo in Spain, creating a high-speed rail connection up the entirety of Iberia’s Atlantic coast. Set to cost at least €5 billion (£4.46 billion, $4.85 billion), the project is set to begin construction in 2024 and be completed by the early 2030s.
The Lisbon-Porto rail route is currently served by Portugal’s nationwide high-speed train network the Alfa Pendular, as well as slower intercity lines. The primary reason the new line will be faster isn’t just because the trains will travel at higher speeds (the Alfa Pendular runs at around 200 kilometres per hour) but because new tracks are being built, therefore increasing the network’s capacity.
Which is all pretty thrilling, right? And Portugal’s new high-speed line isn’t the only spectacular and ambitious rail project on the Iberian peninsula. Spain has recently launched a load of new high-speed rail routes and pledged to spend tens of billions of euros on rail infrastructure over the next decade. Viva the Iberian rail revolution!