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Portugal to develop push-pull passenger coaches prototypes

11 September 2022
Reading time ~ 4 min
The 1st class coach interior of the Lisbon – Albufeira train operated by CP
The 1st class coach interior of the Lisbon – Albufeira train operated by CP. Source:
Litvintsova Olga, Editor of International Projects, ROLLINGSTOCK Agency
Reading time ~ 4 min
Stolchnev Alexey, Russian Projects Editor, ROLLINGSTOCK Agency

Portugal: A consortium involving the national Comboios de Portugal (CP) passenger operator has received state funding to develop three prototypes of passenger coaches by 2025 for its further mass production. State support is provided as part of the plan to restore the country’s economy after the coronavirus pandemic.

It is assumed that the coaches will be specially created for the push-pull system, the head and last cars will be equipped with a driver’s cab. One of the coaches will be first class, the other two will be second class (will include a bar or a bicycle storage).

The project will be worth €69.9 mln, while the consortium members are planning to invest €56.3 mln in it. The consortium implementing the project, in addition to CP, includes SERMEC (heads the consortium), Busrail, Fibrauto, Nomad Tech, New Sign Solutions, the Plataforma Ferroviaria Portuguesa cluster, Phyxius Holding, Sunviauto, the Association of the metallurgical, metalworking and allied Industries of Portugal (AIMMAP), the Technology Support Center for the metalworking Industry (CATIM), Fibrauto, the Institute of Science and Innovation in Industrial Engineering (INEGI) and the University of Porto.

The coaches will be designed to run on CP’s intercity routes. According to SERMEC CEO Mario Duarte, the project can reduce Portugal’s need for imports of passenger rolling stock by 75%, as well as build up the potential for the Portuguese railway vehicles deliveries to other countries. “After certification of this train, we can apply for participation in several tenders in Europe”, he said.

As to CP Vice President Pedro Moreira, the operator will need 750-800 new passenger coaches until 2040. He stated that companies that keep producing certified parts will be able to sell them to any European operator even if the train will not be completely successful.

Portugal today pays considerable attention to the rolling stock renewal and the promotion of its local development and production. Thus, according to Moreira, CP is finalizing the requirements for the purchase of high-speed trains worth €650 mln for the new Porto-Lisbon high-speed line. This tender is planned include a firm order for 12 trains with an option for other 14 units.

CP commuter train at the station in Porto CP commuter train at the station in Porto. Source: David Gubler,

CP is currently awaiting delivery of hybrid trains (diesel + catenary) and 10 electric trains from Stadler. The vehicles must be handed over to the operator by 2026. Also, CP plans to award the $927 mln USD contract for the supply of 117 electric trains at the end of this year. CRRC, Alstom, Siemens, Hitachi, Stadler and CAF submitted their applications for participation in the tender. However, according to the Publico newspaper, the announcement of the winner may be postponed due to the mutual accusations of the tender participants against each other.

In addition, Portugal intends to establish a site for the production of freight cars with a low carbon footprint and a high level of digitalization. A consortium led by the Medway logistics operator plans to invest €82 mln to set up a facility in the Medio Tejo region. It is assumed that the launch of production will create 65 jobs.