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Lusa - Business News - Railway plan must take into account services to be provided - Government




Lisbon, April 19,2021(Lusa)- The Portuguese secretary of state for infrastructure said in Lisbon on Monday that the rail plan should take into account the services that the infrastructure will provide, recalling that a railway line has not been built in Portugal for almost 100 years.

"The National Railway Plan [NFP] has to take into consideration the services for which we want the infrastructure to be used [...]. It has to be anchored in the services that we want to provide [...] to the country and the citizens," said Jorge Delgado, at the session to launch the NFP.

Recalling that much of the investment in the railways has been made based on European investment cycles, he also acknowledged that, for almost 100 years, lines have not been built in Portugal and that many have been deactivated.

"Providing the country with a National Railway Plan is a goal that is in the government's programme and is of enormous importance," he stressed.

Delgado said the approach in the preparation of this plan cannot be mimic the approach for the road network, taking into account the objectives, scale of investment and its respective function.

In this sense, the plan cannot be reduced "to the definition of a network", but has to take into consideration a reflection on the services the infrastructure will be used for.

According to Delgado, a long term plan will allow for "advances and retreats", giving continuity to the planning and safeguarding the functions of the railway network.

Summing up the network plan, he said that modernisation work was underway on the country's main rail corridors and, "for the second time in 90 years," a new line was being built.

The investments in question will also allow longer trains and the use of electrified lines with electronic signalling.

The Ferrovia 2020 programme also includes the construction of the first section "that can be classified as a high-speed line in Portugal" - the 80 kilometres of line under construction between Évora and Elvas.

On the other hand, "in a few days", the Beira Baixa line between Covilhã and Guarda will be reopened and the modernisation works on the Minho line between Viana do Castelo and Valença will also be completed.

"I don't want to bore you with the list of the more than €2 billion of investments underway under Ferrovia 2020, but I want to assure you that our determination to complete all these works by the end of 2023 is total and absolute," he stressed.

The National Investment Programme 2030 provides €10 billion of investment in railways, which will "lay the foundations for the future National Railway Plan".

Among the main objectives of this plan are the modernisation of the railway lines, the resolution of bottlenecks in access to the metropolitan areas of Lisbon and Porto, and the creation of a high-speed corridor between Porto and Lisbon.

In his turn, the coordinator of the working group for the NFP, Frederico Francisco, explained that the first phase of the plan, which is now underway, is dedicated to sounding out a number of entities, with regional sessions also planned "to identify the needs that the country has.

This will be followed by the drafting of the plan, which will subsequently be submitted to a new round of public participation, and then "will be delivered to the government so that it can be approved and transformed into law".

PE/ADB // ADB.

Lusa


Agency : LUSA

Date : 2021-04-20 09:34:00







 

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