PORTUGAL: After a period of trial running Line F of the Metro do Porto light rail network entered revenue service on January 2, linking the eastern municipality of Gondomar to Senhora da Hora in 39 min.

Services on Line F — designated the Orange Line — operate between 06.00 and 01.00, at 15 min intervals during peak hours on weekdays and 30 min on Sundays. Journey time from Gondomar to the city centre is around 23 min.

The €135m project involved construction of a 7 km section of route with 10 stations between Fânzeres and the former terminus at Estádio do Dragão. Line F services then join the existing track, sharing the route with lines A, B, C and E as far as Senhora da Hora.

The extension is mainly built on a surface alignment but runs through a 950 m tunnel between Levada and Nau Vitória. Landscaping along the new section has created 123 722 m2 of green spaces, including recreation areas, and involved planting around 6 000 m2 of trees, shrubs and vines.

Metro do Porto now operates a network totalling 67 route-km with 80 stations and served by six lines. Inaugurated on December 7 2002, the network carried 275 million passengers in its first eight years of operation.