Comboios de Portugal

Comboios de Portugal
Industry Rail transport
Founded 1951
Headquarters Lisbon, Portugal
Key people
Carlos Gomes Nogueira,
Sérgio Abrantes Machado,
Ana Maria dos Santos Malhó
Products Rail Transport (Passenger)
Revenue -266.017 million (2013)[1]
-54.3 million (2016)[1]
-144.6 million (2016)[1]
Owner Government of Portugal (100%)
Number of employees
2,708 (2016)[2]
Comboios de Portugal
Map showing the railway lines in Portugal operated by CP in 2007. Some closures have been held since then.
A CP freight train in 2009
Track gauge 1,668 mm (5 ft 5 2132 in) Iberian gauge and
1,000 mm (3 ft 3 38 in) metre gauge

CP — Comboios de Portugal, EPE (CP; English: Trains of Portugal) is a state-owned company which operates passenger trains in Portugal. Before June 2009, CP stood for Caminhos de Ferro Portugueses (English: Portuguese Railways) although the company has been using its current designation as a brand name since 2004.

In 2017, CP transported 122 million passengers.[1]


On 28 October 1856, the first railway line was inaugurated in Portugal, between Lisbon and Carregado: the Companhia dos Caminhos de Ferro Portugueses was born. The network was gradually expanded both south of the Tagus and to the north of the country, as well as in the metropolitan areas of Lisbon and Porto and to Spain. During the second half of the 20th century, much of CP's rolling stock was built in Portugal by Sorefame - notably carriages with stainless steel bodywork.

Gradually, electrification was put in place for a little less than half the network. In 1975, the company was nationalized, and its name was shortened to CP, A plan to finally connect all the district capitals by a fully electrified double line was to be implemented from 2010. Part of this plan is based on the Swiss Rail 2000 model.[3]

The Vouga line is now the only narrow gauge line left in operation - it is also slated for closure.


The infrastructure of the Portuguese network is managed by Infraestruturas de Portugal, EP, usually abbreviated to IP

Portuguese railway network extent:

  • Broad gauge (1,668 mm (5 ft 5 2132 in)): 2,603 km (1,617 mi), 1,351 km (839 mi) electrified at 25 kV 50 Hz AC and 25 km (16 mi) at 1.5 kV DC.
  • Narrow gauge (metre gauge) 1,000 mm (3 ft 3 38 in): 188 km (117 mi) not electrified.
  • The maximum extent of 3,592 km (2,232 mi) was reached in 1949, but in the late 1980s and early 1990s some lines were shortened and some totally closed.


CP is split into four divisions:

  • CP Longo Curso, long-distance mainline services (Alfa Pendular, Intercidades and International trains).
  • CP Regional, regional services (Interregional and Regional).
  • CP Lisboa, Lisbon's suburban network.
  • CP Porto, Porto's suburban network.


CP offers the following types of trains:

  • International (IN) is the service that connects Portugal and Spain (one reaches France). These are the Sud Express (Lisbon - Irún/ Hendaye), the Lusitânia (Lisbon - Madrid) and the Celta (Porto - Vigo). Both Sud Express and Lusitânia are night trains that run as Trenhotel (Hotel Train).
  • Alfa Pendular (AP) is the fastest service, whose speeds can reach 220 km/h. This service runs from Lisbon to either Porto, Braga or Guimarães (passing through Coimbra, Aveiro and Porto) or between Porto and Faro.
  • Intercidades (IC) is a fast long-distance service whose speeds can reach 200 km/h. All IC services (apart from the Beja Shuttle) run from Lisbon to either Porto, Braga, Guimarães, Guarda, Covilhã or Évora (with connection at Casa Branca to Beja), serving the majority of the Portuguese regions. Service to southern Portugal runs to cities including Tunes, Faro, and Albufeira.[4]
  • Inter-Regional (IR) is a medium distance service which stops only at the main stations. Runs mainly on the routes Porto-Viana do Castelo-Valença (Minho Line), Porto-Régua-Pocinho (Douro Line), Lisbon-Caldas da Rainha-Leiria-Coimbra (West Line) and Lisbon-Tomar (North Line). Services are operated by the same trains as Regional service.
  • Regional (R) is CP's local service, stopping at all stations, out of the Lisbon and Porto suburban areas.
  • Urbano (U) is the CP's suburban service, in the regions of Lisbon and Porto and in the Coimbra-Figueira da Foz Line.

The network

CP's flagship service, introduced in 1999, is the Alfa Pendular which operates between Braga - Porto - Lisbon - Faro, at a top speed of 220 km/h (138 mph) with FIAT/Siemens tilting trains. As of 2006, CP's network reaches most of the country.[5]

CP inaugurated new trains in suburban service in the 1990s.



Iberian gauge

  • Linha do Minho
  • Ramal de Braga
  • Linha de Guimarães
  • Linha de Leixões (freight-only)
  • Linha do Douro
  • Linha do Norte
  • Linha da Beira Alta
  • Ramal de Alfarelos
  • Linha do Oeste
  • Ramal do Louriçal (freight-only)
  • Ramal de Tomar
  • Linha da Beira Baixa
  • Linha do Leste
  • Linha de Vendas Novas (freight-only)
  • Linha da Matinha (freight-only)
  • Linha de Cintura
  • Linha de Sintra
  • Linha de Cascais
  • Linha do Alentejo (closed between Beja and Ourique; freight-only from Ourique to Funcheira)
  • Linha de Évora (only opened between Casa Branca and Évora)
  • Ramal Neves Corvo (freight-only)
  • Linha do Sul
  • Linha de Sines (freight-only)
  • Linha do Algarve
  • Linha do Leste (Passenger service revived on 29 Aug 2017: one "Regional" train daily in each direction between Entroncamento and Badajoz, running time three hours[6]

Metre gauge

Former lines

Iberian gauge

  • Ramal da Figueira da Foz (closed in 2009)
  • Ramal da Lousã (closed in 2010 to allow the construction of the Metro Mondego; construction stopped due to lack of money)
  • Linha de Évora (closed between Estremoz and Vila Viçosa in 1990 and between Évora and Estremoz in 2009)
  • Ramal do Montijo (closed in 1989)
  • Ramal de Portalegre (closed in 1990)
  • Ramal de Mora (closed in 1990)
  • Ramal de Montemor (closed in 1989)
  • Ramal de Moura (closed in 1990)
  • Ramal do Estádio Nacional (closed in 1979)
  • Linha do Minho (closed between Valença and Monção in 1990)
  • Linha da Beira Baixa (closed between Covilhã and Guarda in 2009, reopening scheduled for 2019)
  • Linha do Douro (closed between Pocinho and Barca d'Alva in 1988)
  • Ramal de Cáceres (closed in 2012)

Metre gauge

  • Póvoa line (transformed into Porto Metro between Porto and Póvoa de Varzim between 2002 and 2006, closed between Póvoa de Varzim and Famalicão in 1995)
  • Guimarães line (transformed into Porto Metro between Senhora da Hora and ISMAI in 2005, closed between ISMAI and Trofa in 2001, converted to Iberian gauge between Trofa and Guimarães in 2004 and closed between Guimarães and Fafe in 1986)
  • Corgo line (closed between Vila Real and Chaves in 1990, remaining section closed in 2009)
  • Dão line (closed in 1989)
  • Sabor line (closed in 1988)
  • Tâmega line (closed between Amarante and Arco de Baúlhe in 1990, remaining section closed in 2009)
  • Tua line (closed between Mirandela and Bragança in 1992 and between Tua and Cachão in 2008, Metro de Mirandela reopened Mirandela–Carvalhais section in 1995 and currently explores Cachão–Mirandela–Carvalhais section)
  • Viseu branch (closed in 1990)

Passenger rolling stock

Comboios de Portugal utilises the following rolling stock and commercial products:

Major stations




See also


  1. 1 2 3 4 Comboios de Portugal (2016). "Relatório & Contas Consolidado" (PDF) (in Portuguese).
  2. Comboios de Portugal (2013). "Relatório & Contas" (PDF) (in Portuguese).
  3. Stohler, Werner. "Modernização do sistema da exploração ferroviária da Região de Coimbra" (PDF) (in Portuguese). Archived from the original (PDF) on 11 August 2011. Retrieved 7 November 2010.
  4. See the timetable at
  5. "CP route map" (PDF). Archived from the original (PDF) on 20 May 2011.
  6. "Archived copy". Archived from the original on 2017-08-31. Retrieved 2017-08-31.
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