Lisboa Cascais suburban line EMUs (Photo: André Pires)

PORTUGAL: A €31·6m contract for the modernisation of the Lisboa Cais do Sodré – Cascais suburban line and the conversion of its electrification from 1·5 kV DC to 25 kV 50 Hz has been awarded to the Spanish-Portuguese Comsa/Fergrupo consortium.

The re-electrification will make the line compatible with other parts of the national network. The new power supply will be fed from a traction substation to be built at Sete Rios in Lisboa.

The upgrading package also includes the reconfiguration of tracks at Algés, Oeiras, Carcavelos, São Pedro and Cascais stations. Existing tracks at Santos, Belém and Santo Amaro stations will be modified, and a new connection to Carcavelos depot is to be built. The installation of ETCS Level 2 is already underway.

The stations are to be modernised under a separate contract, including the installation of passenger information and video surveillance systems. Level-crossings along the route will also be upgraded. The two packages are valued at €77m in total, of which €50m will be covered from EU funds.

Infrastructure manager Infraestruturas de Portugal envisages that the modernisation programme will be completed by the end of 2024, three years later than the initial timescale anticipated in the government’s Ferrovia 2020 master plan. However, the switchover to 25 kV operation is not expected until 2026.

New rolling stock for the line is to be provided from the 117 electric multiple-units which national operator CP is procuring for use on suburban and regional routes throughout the country. Valued at an estimated €819m, this procurement has attracted interest from four companies: Alstom in consortium with DST, Siemens with Talgo, Stadler and CAF.

CP plans to allocate 34 of the new EMUs to the Lisboa – Cascais line, with a nominal value of €238m. These will replace the current rolling stock, which dates from between 1926 and 1950 and was last refurbished at the end of 1990. The first 25 of the new trainsets will be equipped for dual-system operation, which will allow them to enter service using the existing electrification, ahead of the voltage switchover.

As part of the government’s PNI2030 infrastructure development plan, the Cascais line would be connected to Lisboa’s circular railway by the construction of a tunnelled link between Alcântara-Mar and Alcântara-Terra stations. This would require the latter station to be rebuilt underground.