Douro 1950's tourist train service cancelled on cost grounds

duoroterracesStunning scenery is not enough to attract sufficient passengers on the Douro’s ‘Miradouro’ train service, so the railway company is shutting it down.

Comboios de Portugal (CP) has announced that the market does not value its 1950s Swiss carriages and that the service loses money since it started two years ago.

Cost accountants at CP have noted that the service loses money even when the carriages are full of passengers.

There will still be trains running on the picturesque line, Spanish carriages rented from Renfe which may have air conditioning but do not allow full enjoyment of the spectacular view through huge windows, the main attraction for summertime customers.

"The Renfe carriages guarantee lower running costs, better economic results, lower energy consumption and lower use of human resources, so it is the solution that most contributes to creating economic value for the CP," explained the rail company.

The mayor of Régua told Público that he was unaware of this decision and that he will question the company, "I regret the end of this service because it was more added value for tourism in the Douro," adding that, "it is once again the interior of the country that is being penalised."

Luís Pedro Martins, president of the Porto and North Tourist Board, says he does not understand this decision, "I have serious doubts about CP's argument that the train is not profitable," said Martins, saying the region receives about 4.3 million tourists a year, 75% of them in the Porto area and that the Miradouro Train allows a different travel experience.

This decision is also considered a "commercial error" by António Brancanes dos Reis, president of the Portuguese Association of Friends of the Railways (APAC), "This train has had great public support because the Schindler carriages that allow the public to enjoy the landscape of the Douro, people can open the windows and the schedules allowed it to be used by tourists for a lunch tour in Régua or Pinhão."

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Comments  

0 #14 charly 2019-04-01 18:59
Darcy, I am shocked by your remarks! I have nothing to do with the "mayor" but all with "the major tour operator" which means in clear "the greatest and the largest tourist business office".
Capito ? And don't blaim Ed: he's the best !!!
+3 #13 Ed 2019-04-01 16:51
Quoting Darcy:
What a pity Ed hadn't contacted the Mayor before making his report.
Well done charly, for getting to the heart of the matter.


Ewrm: "There will still be trains running on the picturesque line, Spanish carriages rented from Renfe which may have air conditioning but do not allow full enjoyment of the spectacular view through huge windows, the main attraction for summertime customers." The older carriages are being mothballed by CP in a communication sent out by CP. Perhaps the mayor should get a bit more up to date.
-3 #12 Darcy 2019-04-01 15:39
What a pity Ed hadn't contacted the Mayor before making his report.
Well done charly, for getting to the heart of the matter.
-1 #11 charly 2019-04-01 12:20
I just spoke to the major Douro tour operator who confirmed 2 things: 1. he knows nothing about scrapping the tourist train and 2. there is no need to use that train as the "regular train" on the same trajectory works very well every day of the year. So, what's the problem ?
+5 #10 James Mayor 2019-04-01 09:40
Travelling on this train is a delight. This service has come to be associated with visiting the Douro Valley, throughout the world. The decision to scrap it, seems like a short-sighted mistake.
+2 #9 Verjinie 2019-04-01 06:51
"Cost accountants at CP have noted that the service loses money even when the carriages are full of passengers." Sounds a bit 'fishy'. I share Poor Portuguésa's hopes.
+1 #8 Douro Bill 2019-03-31 21:54
Last year before this tourist train was introduced, we travelled on one of the REFRE trains to Règua. it was so full of tourists that it broke down at Caide and we swopped trains with the Porto bound train. The same thing happenned at Marco de Canaveses. It is scam to close the line as they did to the Corgo lone.
+2 #7 Ed 2019-03-31 20:58
Quoting charly:
Dear Ed,
as I made a booking for 23 October on that train please allow me to repeat my question: when will this decision become effectove ?
Al of the news reports state that the service will close, none of them give a date.
-1 #6 charly 2019-03-31 15:53
Dear Ed,
as I made a booking for 23 October on that train please allow me to repeat my question: when will this decision become effectove ?
+2 #5 Avril Thomas 2019-03-31 12:37
If this option was advertised and made known to tourists it would be full all the time but as someone that has lived in Portugal for almost 15 years i had no idea even where to book for it. Porto is full of agents selling river cruises but i have never seen any mention of the train journey. You have to give a little to gain anything.

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