Electrification of the Algarve Line takes Intercidades and Alfa Pendular to VRSA

Contract for the electrification of the Algarve Line between Faro and Vila Real de Santo António was awarded today

Photo: Fabiana Saboya | Sul Informação

The Intercidades and Alfa Pendular trains will no longer complete their journey in Faro and will continue their course to Vila Real de Santo António, as soon as the electrification of the section between these two cities becomes a reality, at the end of 2023. The guarantee was given this Tuesday, November 2nd, by Carlos Fernandes, vice-president President of Infraestruturas de Portugal, during the act of consignment of the work that will allow the electrification of the Algarve Line in Sotavento.

This was the great news that was learned today about this work, whose general outlines had already been advanced by the public company. It's also good news for the people of Algarve who live in cities between Faro and VRSA, which no longer have to leave these long-haul trains in the Algarve capital and make the train transfer, saving time and, above all, comfort.

«In terms of the main benefits that the work brings, we will ensure, from the moment the work is finished, full operation using electric rolling stock, which is an advantage from an environmental point of view, it is less noisy and more comfortable,” said Carlos Fernandes.

Time is also saved, since IP's perspective is that the journey between VRSA and Lagos will take less than 25 minutes.


Carlos fernandes


"It will also allow, and this is very important, the extension of long-haul services of Faro to Vila Real de Santo António», said the same person in charge.

Carlos Fernandes assured that IP “is working with CP so that Alfas and Intercidades can come to VRSA, with intermediate stops, which will allow a gain of 20/25 minutes and avoid transshipment”. The stops are not yet defined, but Olhão and Tavira will be strong candidates.

This was a gift that the region already deserved, as Pedro Nuno Santos, Minister of Infrastructure, insisted on stating during the official award ceremony for the “Electrification of the Algarve Line – section Faro – VRSA". "It has always been difficult for me to understand that so many investments in the Algarve have been left behind", taking into account the region's strong contribution to GDP and the fact that it is the main tourist region in Portugal, he said.

At a time when everything indicates that confirmation that there will be early elections is for days, this acknowledgment of the legitimacy of an old Algarve complaint and the presence of the minister could pass for a kind of pre-campaign, but the Government member assured that the What brought him to VRSA was the fact that the assignment of a major work «is one of the moments that justifies a visit to the places», at any point in the political cycle.

It is true that Pedro Nuno Santos brought the well-studied lesson and pulled it off.


Pedro Nuno Santos


«This is a very important investment in the Algarve, after many years without a bet on the railway – here and in the rest of the country. The electrification of the Algarve Line will be a concrete and very important gain for the population of the Algarve region», he said.

In all, around 80 million euros will be invested in this and the "sister" project between Tunis and Lagos, as well as in new electric traction substations and many improvements throughout the system, namely in the suppression of level crossings, in signaling and telecommunications and interventions in buildings and stopovers.

In the case of the work consigned today, relating to the section Faro/VRSA, will cost around 20 million euros and is scheduled for completion in the 3rd quarter of 2023 (23 months).

All these works are included in Ferrovia 2020.

In addition to this, rolling stock will have to be added, with the minister guaranteeing that "new compositions will come to the Algarve" and that there are "a billion euros" to invest in rolling stock, destined for the entire country, with the certainty of that the international tender to be launched will have as a rule that part of the construction of the trains will have to take place in Portugal.

«Within a few days, we should find out who is the contractor for the section between Tunes and Lagos. It will then proceed to the Court of Auditors», revealed Carlos Fernandes, recalling that the first tender for this work was empty, which delayed the process.

Still, believes the vice-president of IP, "the other work will not be too late in relation to this one."

Also present at the session was Álvaro Araújo, in what was one of the first official acts as president of the Chamber of VRSA, who classified the work as “a historic moment for the development of the municipality and the region”.

"This undertaking is a very important step towards the development of rail transport in Portugal and towards the ease of mobility between people, benefiting the municipality, the region and the country and constituting a genuine answer to the problem of climate change", said Álvaro Araújo.


Photos: Hugo Rodrigues | Sul Informação