Portugal Unveils Its Plan for a High-Speed Rail Revolution

The new Iberian High-Speed rail line will connect Porto and Lisbon

Porto, Portugal

Marco Govel

Portugal seems to be on everyone's post-pandemic travel list (it's about time), and we've got good news for anyone with future plans to this dreamy destination. Portugal's prime minister, Antonio Costa, has revealed details of the country's plan to create a Porto-Lisbon High-Speed Rail line and a high-speed train service from Porto and Lisbon to cities in Spain.

Although the new high-speed rail line is focused on connecting Porto and Lisbon to Spain via the Iberian High-Speed network, Costa noted that the project would benefit all of Portugal. The plan is to have regular intercity trains also operate on the new line, thus knocking out two birds with one stone: to provide more rail connection within the country (which is sorely needed but unable to be accommodated on the current rail line) and to offer a competitive transportation product out of the country.

"We won’t just be bringing the two metropolitan areas closer, that is essential to be able to have a competitive dimension on an Iberian scale," the prime minister said during the presentation ceremony for the Porto-Lisbon High-Speed line. "The entire country will be served because on this line we will have not just high-speed trains circulating, [but also] the ones that serve the rest of the country."

The first step in the Iberian High-Speed Network will be to connect Porto, in northern Portugal, to Vigo in northwestern Spain, and eventually Spain's high-speed rail network. Meanwhile, phase one of the internal Porto-Lisbon High-Speed line plans to first connect Porto to Soure by 2028, followed by extensions from Carregado by 2030, and finally, Carregado to Lisbon.

Currently, the travel time between Porto and Lisbon runs around two hours and 50 minutes. After phase three of the Porto-Lisbon High-Speed line is complete, it will only take roughly one hour and 15 minutes.

The new Iberian High-Speed rail line is part of a larger overall plan that has been underway in Portugal. For years, Portugal has been concentrating on road work and has since moved to upgrade its internal rail lines. "Everything was set on the rails; the train was set in motion and it hasn’t stopped. There is no line that isn’t being built or repaired, except for the ones that have finished, and that is a huge paradigm shift," Costa added. 

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  1. Portugal Government. "High Speed Train is Project That Unites The Country." September 28, 2022.

  2. Porto. "New High-Speed Rail Will Connect Porto-Lisbon in One Hour and 15 Minutes." September 29, 2022.