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Train travel--Lisbon <> Madrid

Friend from Barquinha

Active Member
Time of past OR future Camino
None yet; perhaps the Portugese (2021?)
The regular overnight trains, Lisbon <> Madrid, co-run by CP and Renfe, has been cancelled since the epidemic started.

For the last year or so, travellers have been able to move between the two by train, but in a bit more complicated fashion--any early morning train Lisbon > Entroncamento (getting to Entronc by 10 am or so); the self-propelled diesel short-run train from Entroncamento > Badajoz, just past the Spanish border (10:24, arriving at 2:14 Spanish time--an hour ahead of Portugal), and then a train from Badajoz to Madrid. (Sorry; haven't taken that one; don't know the details.)

But now the two lines have agree to run 2 trains a day on this line, starting on July 30. This is so new that it has not yet been added to the CP online tool. Here are the details, translated:

"From the end of the month, CP will provide new timetables on the East Line, between Entroncamento and Badajoz, which will reduce travel time by train between Lisbon and Madrid from the current 11 to nine hours.

"According to a note released today by the Ministry of Infrastructure and Housing, “there are now two daily trains per direction on the East Line, between Entroncamento and Badajoz, both with a direct link with Intercidades to Lisbon, and one per direction with a link with the Intercity to Madrid”.

"As he points out, these new timetables for services on the East Line “allow the reduction of travel time by train between Lisbon and Madrid to about nine hours, compared to the current more than 11 hours”.

"According to the ministry, the new schedules "should come into effect on July 31."


The time-saving seems to suggest the second Portugal-side train should be running 2 hours later.

Sorry, I don't have details on the Madrid > Lisbon scheduling (Madrid/Badajoz/Entroncamento/Lisbon but no doubt they can be found on the Renfe page.

Just a note, from Entroncamento, it's equally easy to head north to Porto instead of south to Lisbon, so this creates another way to return through Portugal back to Madrid, and see some different countryside.


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peregrina2000

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Staff member
Great news. I once took that night train to Madrid and it was a lot of fun. Too bad it’s gone.

I may be wrong on my details, but I think I remember that Portugal had to back out of a deal to put in an AVE-like train connection between Lisbon and Madrid. I think the Spanish construction has made it to Badajoz, but I believe that the Portuguese side shows no signs of restarting the project.

I’ll be interested to see how popular the new schedule is, especially since the flight is about an hour.
 

Friend from Barquinha

Active Member
Time of past OR future Camino
None yet; perhaps the Portugese (2021?)
Great news. I once took that night train to Madrid and it was a lot of fun. Too bad it’s gone.

I may be wrong on my details, but I think I remember that Portugal had to back out of a deal to put in an AVE-like train connection between Lisbon and Madrid. I think the Spanish construction has made it to Badajoz, but I believe that the Portuguese side shows no signs of restarting the project.
There are talk about re-startiing the project, mainly on the Portuguese side. The Spanish stalled out a few years ago.

My impression is that they're looking at a bit different route, though, capitalizing on the improved freight rail lines from Sines (south of Lisbon--on the Alentejo coast). Sines is the closest European ocean port to North America; it's already been expanded; the rail line improved, and they're talking about trans-shipment through Sines for gas coming into Europe from other sources, including North America.

So the east part of that line would likely connect to new high-speed rail from Lisbon, running south rather than north of the Tejo.

All a bit complicated but definitely being talked about it in Portugal. It was cancelled out before because of the 2008/09 recession. Portugal had no funds for the project, for years after that. But something similar is definitely back on the table.
 

Friend from Barquinha

Active Member
Time of past OR future Camino
None yet; perhaps the Portugese (2021?)
Seat61 is an excellent resource for all things European trains: https://www.seat61.com/trains-and-routes/madrid-to-lisbon-by-train.htm
Ah yes! The 3-train route he talks about is exactly the one I'm referring to.

The small 2-self-propelled-green-cars train from Entroncamento goes past us daily. We've taken it as far as Portalegre; from there it swings south to Elvas, on the Portuguese side, and then Badajoz, on the Spanish side. It's a really fun little day trip; you see a lot of interesting country; some of the area that JungleBoy described on his walk north on the Caminho Nascente from Faro.
 
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henrythedog

Veteran Member
Time of past OR future Camino
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The trenhotels were excellent. I’ve used them in the past from Madrid Chamartin. One watch out though: they all used to leave Madrid from adjacent platforms within a half hour window. An unlucky fellow passenger of mine found himself on the wrong train and after arguing with the guard was hoofed out at one of those Spanish stations from where you cannot see any signs of life. At about 0100 in the morning.
 

Friend from Barquinha

Active Member
Time of past OR future Camino
None yet; perhaps the Portugese (2021?)
The regular overnight trains, Lisbon <> Madrid, co-run by CP and Renfe, has been cancelled since the epidemic started.

For the last year or so, travellers have been able to move between the two by train, but in a bit more complicated fashion--any early morning train Lisbon > Entroncamento (getting to Entronc by 10 am or so); the self-propelled diesel short-run train from Entroncamento > Badajoz, just past the Spanish border (10:24, arriving at 2:14 Spanish time--an hour ahead of Portugal), and then a train from Badajoz to Madrid. (Sorry; haven't taken that one; don't know the details.)
English-language story that gives more detail, and prediction for when higher-speed travel will occur...

 

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