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European Railroad Discussion > Porto trams: Line 1 along the river Douro

Date: 03/06/19 08:51
Porto trams: Line 1 along the river Douro
Author: sys3175

The city of Porto (or Oporto, as it was formerly called in English), the second city of Portugal, occupies a scenic location along the last miles of the Douro river before it meets the Atlantic Ocean.

Porto had a large tram network which unfortunately declined over the decades. The last attempt to invest in new rolling stock was made in the 1950s. This, though, led to the situation that lots of old rolling stock was kept running.

In the end of the 1990s, the city decided to phase out the tram as standard public transport, but to keep a heritage operation nevertheless. The lines were converted to single-track, running mostly separated from the automobile traffic, and the frequency was reduced to 20 or 30 minutes. First, only a line from the western centre to the riverboard was operative. Since then, the network was gradually re-extended to cover the central parts of the city and connect to the river mouth.

Today, three lines are running. Line 1 runs mostly flat along the river Douro, connecting the rivermouth park at Passeio Alegre to Infante street. At Massarelos, where the depot and the museum can be found, it connects to line 18 going uphill to the Carmo place. There, line 22 goes down through the city center and uphill again to the Batalha terminus.

The lines can be used with a special ticket not valid on the other means of transport (for tourists) or with a standard monthly ticket (for the locals). When I visited, the frequency was 20 minutes on the riverside line (using two or three cars) and 30 minutes on the other lines (1 car each).

Now, let's take a ride with line 1. The photos were taken in February 2017 and February 2019. The first photo shows passengers boarding at the terminus at Passeio Alegre near the river mouth. The car is a Belgian 4-axle bogie model built in 1928.

The next photo shows the rivermouth and the end of the line. The third photo show this 'Belga' car coming around the bend and catching the glint of the evening sun (photos taken Feb 5 2019).

More to follow...

Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 03/08/19 01:26 by sys3175.

Date: 03/06/19 09:05
Re: Porto trams: Line 1 along the river Douro
Author: sys3175

The line follows the riverside street, but runs separately from the automobiles. It is single-track, but there are numerous sidings.

Museum car 275 was built by the Porto tram workshops in 1928 as a modified copy of a Brill bogie car that was built 1904. It has been restored to the heritage livery. Now it belongs to the museum stock and is used for excursions. Here, it is seen in the Cantareira siding on Feb 17, 2017 (Photo 4).

Photo 5: A regular car to Infante approaches Cantareira siding. This is a 2-axle Brill-type car. It was either built or rebuilt from an old Brill car in 1940. The sources are a bit hazy there. Feb 20, 2017.

Photo 6 shows the interior of #220.

More to come...

Date: 03/06/19 09:20
Re: Porto trams: Line 1 along the river Douro
Author: sys3175

The next photo shows the line towards the city center (although I have to admit that it was shot out of the back of an outward-bound car). The track is well maintained. (2-20-2017)

On the next photo, the tram is somewhat hidden, but you can see it trundling along on the riverside under Edgar Cardoso's magnificent Arrábida bridge, at the time of construction the world's widest concrete arch. (2-6-2019)

On photo 9, at Massarelos, an outward-bound car of line 1 meets line 18, which connects here to the upper part of the town. (2-20-2017)

All cars shown are reconstructed 1940-ish Brill-type 2-axle models. 

Still more...

Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 03/06/19 09:20 by sys3175.

Date: 03/06/19 09:32
Re: Porto trams: Line 1 along the river Douro
Author: sys3175

The line continues towards the city center along the river at the junction with line 18. Another two-axle Brill type at Feb 20, 2017.

The next photo shows the end of the line at Infante street. One of the rebuilt Brill cars has arrived and will soon go back to Passeio Alegre. (2-21-2017)

The service ends at around 6pm in winter. One of the last trams (Brill rebuild) gets its trolley pole turned at Infante on Feb 1, 2019.

So, that's the end of the line and of this ride. I hope you had fun!

Date: 03/09/19 17:10
Re: Porto trams: Line 1 along the river Douro
Author: ironmtn

Wonderful images that capture well the beautiful local scene and the very interesting trams. This is a place that has been on my short list of European locations for an upcoming trip for some time. Some friends did not care for Portugal very much. Others loved it, and I know it is a popular destination among Europeans. In any case, it's on my list, and Porto specifically. Thanks for a wonderful tour.

Muskegon, Michigan

Date: 03/15/19 16:03
Re: Porto trams: Line 1 along the river Douro
Author: PasadenaSub

Beautiful set of photos of the trams and the city.

Thanks for sharing these,


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