Portugal to invest 7.1 billion euros in high-speed train

8 December 2005

Lisbon, Portugal, 08 Dec – The Portuguese government will invest 7.1 billion euros in two high-speed railway lines, which are expected to go into operation in 2013, Portuguese financial daily newspaper Jornal de Negócios reported Thursday.

The paper, which quoted a government source, says that the planned investment in the Lisbon-Porto and Lisbon-Madrid lines will be 70 percent borne by State funds and a loan from the European Investment bank.

The loan will only begin to be repaid after construction work has finished, in eight years’ time, the report said.

The remaining 30 percent is expected to be obtained from European Union funds, which have already been pledged, at a time when member states are trying to reach agreement about financial prospects for the next few years.

The link from the capital, Lisbon to Porto, the country’s second-largest city, is projected to cost 5 billion euros, while the link from Lisbon to the border with Spain, from which there will be a link with Madrid, represents an investment of 2.1 billion euros, according to government calculations.

Construction work on the project is due to begin in 2008 and within six years 500 kilometers of high-speed track will be laid, the government says.

The high-speed rail network is the largest public works investment planned by the Portuguese government in the next few years alongside the new international airport at Ota, north of Lisbon, which is expected to cost some 3 billion euros. (macauhub)