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Porto Trip part 2 Updated 21st April 2016

I have found the detail of the abandoned railway line featured in some of my pictures. Known as the ‘Ramal da Alfandega’ this freight only line was opened in 1888 to provide a railway connection between the main line at Campanhã station, to the east of the city centre and what was then the major dock area of the city.

The line ran through three tunnels, the longest of which was 1.3km long, right under the city centre. Presumably it is still there! There must be a steep incline in there somewhere, as in the space of about 1.5km it descends from where you can see it down to river level.

This 1967 photo clearly shows the line and two of the tunnel entrances above the river to the left.  One tunnel is almost under the bridge, the other is almost in the centre of the picture.  Full size image is at https://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/e/e4/Porto-Le_Douro-1967_07_28.jpg
Note the almost complete absence of traffic along the road below!

The ‘Alfandega’ was situated here – this is an extract from a map dated 1929.

Porto_old_alfandega

Porto the old Alfandega

A present day map of the same area.

Porto_new_alfandega

Porto new Alfandega

The line gradually declined in importance with the expansion of the docks at Leixões. It eventually closed in 1989. Its history is the subject of a short article in the Portuguese language Wikipedia at https://pt.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ramal_da_Alf%C3%A2ndega

Porto trip part 2

On a better day for weather than the earlier part of my trip, I first took the metro to the Estadio do Dragão, home of FC Porto one of Portugal’s big three teams.

The stadium, with seats for 50,035 fans, was rebuilt for the Euro 2004 championships hosted by Portugal. I was unable to go inside but there are several places from where good views can be obtained.

I then walked a little way around the area, which took me to the edge of the railway carriage depot at Contumil then it was back yo Campanhã station.

After that, I took a walk around the Campanhã area and quite by chance found an abandoned railway line cut high into the riverbank. That allowed me some very good views of the Douro river and the various bridges. It’s a long and steep way down to the river and equally long and steep back up again! That’s why the funicular railway was built.

The ancient city of Porto commands the heights above the river and was of great strategic importance from pre-Roman times until the end of the 19th Century.

Porto is a very hilly city, sensible footwear advised!

For the second set of pictures click below

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Porto trip part 2

Tagged: , , on March 13, 2016 by cubsur51

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