Trip to Portugal and Spain - Christmas/New Year 2023/2024

General Notes

Christmas with family at my sister's place in Sanlúcar de Guadiana in Spain; then a few days covering some track in Portugal.

Operating Company Abbreviations:

  • CP - Comboios de Portugal (operator of Portuguese main line and suburban trains)
  • ML - Metropolitano de Lisboa (operator of the Metro in Lisboa)
  • MP - Metro do Porto (operator of the Metro in Porto)
  • STCP - Sociedade de Transportes Coletivos do Porto (operator of trams and buses in Porto)
  • TPE - Trans Pennine Express (operator of trains across northern England and into Scotland)

CP trains listed here are all Iberian (1668 mm) gauge. Lisboa Metro (ML), Porto metro (MP) and trams are standard (1435 mm) gauge. Other gauges as listed.

Place Arrive Depart Train Traction details & notes

Friday 22nd December 2023

Timperley   04:11   taxi
Manchester Airport T3 (MAN) 04:26 06:25 FR4052  Ryanair EI-EMB B737-8AS push-back 06:23, take-off from runway 23L at 06:33
Faro Airport (FAO) 09:20     landed 09:00 on runway 28, on stand 09:05
By car to my sister's village Sanlúcar de Guadiana

Saturday 23rd December 2023

By car from Sanlúcar de Guadiana
Talleres Mina   13:30   Rio Tinto DL 931 (Babcock & Wilcox, Bilbao, 1975) 1067 mm gauge
Los Frailes 14:08 14:25   Rio Tinto DL 931
Talleres Mina 15:00      
By car to Sanlúcar de Guadiana, via Tharsis
A visit to the Rio Tinto mining museum railway. I'd been here before but other family members had not. Today's photos.

Friday 29th December 2023

By car from Sanlúcar de Guadiana
Faro   18:15 IC674 CP EL 5612
Sete-Rios (Lisboa) 21:43     arr 12 late
Jardim Zoological   22:04 Linha Azul ML metro
Terreiro de Paço 22:14      
New CP passenger track today: Linha de Sol main line: Grândola - Pinheiro via new line; south-north line at Águas de Mours; south-to west curve at Poceirão.
Overnight: Hotel TURIM Terreiro de Paço, Rua do Commercio 9, Lisboa (5 minutes walk from Terreiro de Paço metro station) Today's photos.
A lift to Faro station when taking other family members to Faro airport; then by train to Lisboa. I had only previously travelled between Pinhal Novo and Tunes on a railtour in November 2022, so needed the above sections of the main line.

Saturday 30th December 2023

Walk from hotel to Cais do Sodré station
Cais do Sodré   09:20   CP EMU 3157+3263
Cascais 10:00 10:24   CP EMU 3157+3263
Cais do Sodré 11:04  11:20 Linha Verde ML metro
Baixa-Chiado 11:21 11:32 Linha Azul ML metro
Lisboa Santa Apolónia 11:37 11:50 6409 CP DMU 592 221/2
Via west curve at Santa Apolónia; centre tracks Benfica - Monte Abraão
Caldas de Rainha 14:16 14:20 6457  same set arr/dep 6 late
Via south-to-west curve at Bifurcação de Lares
Figueira da Foz 16:01 16:58 16825  CP EMU 2273
Coimbra-B 18:03 18:47 ALFA 147 CP ALFA set 003 arr 6 late/dep 13 late
Porto Campanhã 19:58 20:36 IR876  CP DL 1432 arr 18 late / dep 10 late
Porto São Bento 20:30     arr 10 late
Walk from São Bento station to hotel
New CP passenger track today: Cais do Sodré - Cascais (1500 V dc overhead); Lisboa Santa Apolónia - Roma Areeiro - Benfica; Amieira - Bifurcação de Lares - Figueira da Foz; Bifurcação de Lares - Reveles.
Overnight: Hotel Paulista, Avenida dos Aliados 210, Porto (close to São Bento and Aliados metro stations) (first of two nights) Today's photos.
Main aim this morning was to cover the former Estoril Railway to Cascais, which will be converted to 25 kV over the coming years. Trains 6409 and 6457, which in reality are formed from the same stock, cover the only two sections of obscure track in Portugal: the west curve out of Santa Apolónia, and the south-to-west curve at Bifurcação de Lares, though these sections are over three hours apart and near the extremes of the journey! Time to have a wander around Figueira da Foz looking at the closed line towards Pampilhosa. As the ALFA from Coimbra-B was late due to ongoing engineering works on the main line south of Porto, I waited at Campanhã a bit longer to take the EE 8CSVT-equipped class 1400 for the four minutes into São Bento, working through from Pocinho in the Douro Valley.

Sunday 31st December 2023

Walk from hotel to Infante tram stop
Infante   09:00 '1' STCP tram 216
Passeio Alegre 09:20 09:30 '1' STCP tram 216
Museu do Carro Eléctrico 09:40      
Visit electric tramway museum
Museu do Carro Eléctrico   11:30 '18' STCP tram 218
Clérigos 11:40      
Walk to Trindade metro station
Trindade   12:17 'B' MP metro 002+006
Campanhã 12:22      
Porto Campanhã   12:55 IC721 CP EL 5603 dep 11 late
Braga  13:33 13:59 IC722 CP EL 5603 arr 13 late / dep 13 late
Porto Campanhã  14:38 14:55 IC621 CP EL 5618 arr 15 late / dep 7 late
Guimarães  15:49 16:41 IC620 CP EL 5618 arr 5 late
Porto Campanhã  17:37      
Campanhã    18:00 'F' MP metro 022
Fânzeres 18:19 18:26 'F/A' MP metro 022
Vasco da Gama 19:12 19:22 'A' MP metro 010+072
Campanhã 19:43      
Porto Campanhã   19:50 15245 CP EMU 3420+3430
Ermesinde 20:01 20:17 IR876 CP DMU 592204 dep 7 late
Porto São Bento 20:30     arr 11 late
Trindade   21:25 'B' MP metro 002+006
Campanhã 21:41 22:22 'F' MP metro 114+110
Trindade 22:28      
New CP passenger track today: Nine - Braga,  Lousado - Guimarães.
Overnight: Hotel Paulista (second of two nights) Today's photos.
The day started with travelling over the two tram routes in Porto, which use heritage vehicles; plus a visit to the very interesting museum which includes both historic tram cars and power generation and substation equipment. Next I visited the two CP branches north of Porto: to Braga and to Guimarães. I was able to fit in both on the loco-hauled InterCity services rather than the normal EMU workings. I went the short distance north to get the inbound train from Pocinho again, but it was a DMU rather than the normal 1400 loco - perhaps due to it being New Year's Eve. I failed to find anywhere to eat around the hotel - everywhere was either very busy or closed - so I caught the metro back to Campanhã where I knew there was an Indian/Italian restaurant.

Monday 1st January 2024

Walked from hotel to Clérigos tram stop
Clérigos   09:45 '18' STCP tram 216 with police escort as far as Viriato
Bicalho 09:57 10:02 '1' STCP tram 203
Infante  10:09      
Walked to São Bento metro station
São Bento   11:30 'B' MP metro 012
Trindade 11:33 11:44 'E' MP metro 033
Aeroporto 12:12      
Porto (OPO)   14:40 FR1174 Ryanair EI-HAX B737 MAX 8-200 push-back 15:00, take-off from runway 17 at 15:11
Manchester (MAN) 17:10     landed at 17:22 on runway 23R, on stand 17:28
Manchester Airport   18:04 1Z04 TPE EMU 397001
Manchester Piccadilly 18:17      
Piccadilly   18:33   Metrolink tram 3022+3036
Timperley 19:00     Today's photos.
Notes: Enough time, before getting the metro to the airport, to go back to Clérigos for the novelty value of the police escort (today a quad bike) for the tram. The metro is a very good way to get to Porto airport but unfortunately, presumably due to it being New Year's Day, only single vehicles were in use on a half-hourly service; this resulted in very full carriages.


An excellent combined family and rail trip which fulfilled all my objectives