Tuesday 1st July. The main reason for my visit was to be able to take a look at the Portuguese Presidential train, which was in Faro as part of the events to mark the 125th anniversary of the opening of the railway down from Lisbon. The great and good of Faro were given an hour and forty minutes ride from Vila Real de Santo Antoónio back to Faro. In the afternoon the train was open to the public for a visit.

The pictures I took are here.

Some brief history. Three of the vehicles started life in 1890 as a part of the then Portuguese Royal train – Portugal had a King until 1910. These three were built in France, the makers nameplate is clearly visible. One was a dining car, one for ministers and one for the general entourage.

In 1930 a special carriage for the President was added, also a carriage for the press and a baggage car.

Some restoration was carried out in 1940. HM Queen Elizabeth II was accommodated on the train when she visited Portugal in 1957 and the train continued to be used until the early 1970’s. It then fell out of use and languished for many years unloved and falling into ruin.

Restoration work began a few years ago and is now complete. The six vehicles are as faithful a reproduction of the originals as can be managed. No air conditioning in the carriages – open the window!

The train has been visiting several parts of the country. The staff I spoke with said that is intended to make it available to high-end tour groups who may wish to see Portugal by train. Let’s hope that happens!

Before that I took a walk around part of the salt marshes and took a few pictures of birds and planes and things – album here.

And one for any railfans among you, here are some pictures of Faro station and the various trains that came and went during my time there.


A day in Faro

on July 3, 2014 by cubsur51

1 Comment

One Response to “A day in Faro”

  1. Faro is beautiful!

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