Major updates to Portugal railway improve safety and efficiency

A major modernization of the Beira Baixa railway line between Castelo Branco and Guarda enhances efficiency and safety on the trans-European transport network (TEN-T) in Portugal. The project sees the refurbishment of 71 km of track, as well as remodelled stations, updated electrification, speed control, new signalling systems and other improvements.

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The project covered full renovation of track with changing layout in the Castelo Branco, Lardosa, New Castle, Fundão and Covilhã stations. It also includes the construction of bypasses meant to allow the speed of conventional trains at 120 km/h, and commuting trains at 140 km/h.

Upgrading track and train communication

Electronic signalling and speed control, as well as the construction of eight buildings of technical support for signalling and telecommunications systems, were covered in the project. Telecommunications systems encompassed remote systems, integrated telecommunications systems, power systems and public information systems.

Other works included constructing numerous railroad crossings—both overpasses and underpasses for cars and pedestrians—in an effort to reduce accidents. Slope stabilization and drainage around stations and crossings were also improved. Finally, upgrades to six railroad stations (including Alcains, Lardosa, Castelo Novo, Vale dos Prazeres, Fundão and Covilhã) and three rail stops (Soalheira, Alpedrinha and Tortosendo) were made. The upgrades on the railway line between Castelo Branco and Guarda were finalised end 2014.

Total Investment and EU Funding

Total investment for the project “Beira Baixa railway line- Modernization of the section Castelo Branco - Covilha - Guarda (1st phase)” is EUR 108 378 772, with the European Cohesion Fund contributing EUR 44 854 754 under the operational programme “Territorial Enhancement” for the 2007-2013 programming period, under the priority axis “National Structural Networks and Equipment for Sustainable Transport and Mobility".

Draft date