31st January - 2nd February 2004

PTG Tours
Papa Tango Gulf

Locos Used CP : 1404, 1431, 1465, 1805 & 1962
RENFE : 1812

13851 Lisboa S.A. - Martingança
13853/13852 Martingança - Fontela
13855 Fontela - Porto C.
13811 Porto SB - Tui
36221 Tui - Vigo-Guixar
36220 Vigo-Guixar - Tui
13812 Tui - Porto SB
13813 Porto SB - Leixões
13814 Leixões - Lisboa S.A.

Date Loco(s) Route
31/01 1805 Lisboa Santa Apolónia - Entrecampos - Cacém - Mafra
31/01 1465 Mafra - Torres Vedras - Caldas da Raina - Martingança - Maceira
31/01 1465 Maceira - Martingança (run round loop outside station)
31/01 1465 (2) Martingança (run round loop) - Martingança (station)
31/01 1465 Martingança (station) - Leiria - Bif. Lares - Fontela
31/01 1465 (1) Fontela - Figuera da Foz Docks
31/01 1431 (4) Figueira da Foz Docks - Fontela
01/02 1431 Fontela - Alfarelos - Coimbra B - Aveiro - Porto Campanhã
01/02 1962 Porto São Bento - Nine - Viana do Castelo - Valença - Tui
01/02 1812 Tui – Guillarei avoiding line - Vigo Docks
01/02 1812 Vigo Docks – Guillarei avoiding line - Tui
01/02 1962 Tui - Valença - Viana do Castelo - Nine - Porto São Bento
02/02 1404 Porto Camapanhã - Ermesinde
02/02 1404 Leixões - Porto Camapanhã - Aveiro - Coimbra B - Pombal - Entroncamento - Lisboa Santa Apolónia

    Notes :
(1) 1805 failed at Mafra.
(2) Loco propelling.
(3) 1431 on rear.
(4) 1465 on rear.

Source : Janet Cottrell (Joined at Lisboa S.A. left at Alfarelos on 2nd Feb)

Tour Review
(from Janet Cottrell)

This is one annual tour that we had taken to habitually booking on as soon as details were published. It is something of a social event in a warmer climate, plus the fact that it should give the opportunity for some major mileage (and thrash) with an 1801 class loco. Advance gen was that 1810 should produce and that it had been on a test run, but when we passed  Barreiro en route to Lisbon it was sitting forlornly in a siding by the station. It turned out to be suffering from main generator problems (not surprising as it had been lying idle for the best part of two years) and the museum loco, 1805, had been hastily sent for and given the once over. Exactly the same had happened last year - so we were not surprised, although it was disappointing to think that we would never get 1810 in the book now. But be grateful for small mercies, at least there was an 1801 that still went even if it had not seen any use since over the previous twelve months.

Saturday 31st January
There was a rather late start of 1202 today. Originally we had been booked out of Barreiro to Pinhal Novo to run round, then to Lisbon via the fairly new link over the grandly named 25th April Bridge across the river Tagus. This had been dropped from the itinerary at fairly short notice, allegedly because there were no paths available but personally I think it might have had more to do with engineering work as the line is far from finished south of Fogueteiro.

When we arrived at Santa Apolónia station, 1805 was already in position on it's five coaches. There were many heads out of the window on departure savouring the moment as we threaded our way past the carriage sidings. We took the left hand turn towards Cacém at Xabregas Junction and steadily made our way up the hill. The driver seemed to be taking it rather carefully to start with, perhaps he did not want to thrash the loco too much following it's long rest, but there are a few speed restrictions along this stretch so maybe he was being careful.

Just to prove that CP can do some good timings when they put their mind to it, we dropped straight into a nice path between the many suburban units at Chelas. Apart from a strange "kink" in the line where the four tracks start (they obviously were meant to carry on but it looks like the money ran out) the line is well laid out with some good gradients and our driver soon started to put 1805 through it's paces. It certainly managed to wither many of the locals who probably wondered what on earth was going on, normally they only get the occasional 1401 class which is no match in the noise stakes. For those not familiar with Portugal this can be translated into compare class 40 or 50 with class 20.

At Cacém, we left the suburban line behind and started the climb towards Malveira. A letter had been handed out en route to Cacém explaining that PTG would not be running any more enthusiast tours in Portugal, so this would almost certainly be the last chance for any 1801 haulage. It was almost as if this letter precipitated something as we came to a stand in the loop at Mafra, some 50 minutes after leaving Lisbon. We were not booked to cross anything here, in fact the loop was "switched out" so something was going on - that something being a power earth fault on 1805. Despite ticking over quite happily, none of the combined brains of the CP staff and several professional British drivers could persuade the old girl to go - game over after a mere 37.1 kms. Speaking personally, I was half expecting 1805 to fail at some stage, as being stored uncovered in the open for a year does not do a diesel any good, even if it is given an exam before being sent out. It was a great shame that it expired after such a short distance. By this time lunch was being served in the restaurant car, so at least we had something to keep us occupied whilst waiting to be rescued and there was ample wine to drown our sorrows with.

It is worth noting that whatever else might one might think of CP, they showed commendable efficiency by sending a man out to open the passing loop in order to get the service trains past and round us.

Eventually the sound of a horn heralded the arrival of 1465, last seen acting as the station pilot back at Lisbon. This was a major clawback for me as had John and I not decided to bale out at Cacém off the Leiria IC last night we could have had it then. For some reason it was double headed with a passenger sector loco on the 1830 departure from Caldas, as the others who covered the IC last night took great delight in telling me.

Conveniently, lunch had just finished so it was out for more phots as 1805 was removed from the train and dumped in the loop by 1465 before the latter was re-attached to the sharp end. We eventually left some 2 1/2 hours late, with 1465 having to work hard to tow our five coaches up the rest of the steep gradient. The normal train length on this line is a mere two coaches.

Although we were now quite late, we carried on regardless with the two freight branches. Our timings were quite slack so we managed to claw back an hour by the time we reached Fontela, where it started to slip again. A few minutes were lost whilst 1431 was attached to the rear of our train to top and tail us into the docks, after which it was to work the tour to Porto. Eventually we entered the docks compound only to come to a stand after a very short distance when the driver on the rear loco started blowing merry hell on the horn. The shunter ran back but it only appeared that 1431's driver was anxious to be on his way to Porto ASAP, no doubt he was advised of the usual requirements of British cranks, so we carried onwards. Further time was lost when we had to set back slightly after going down a wrong road and a bit more when the driver on the leading engine had to be persuded to go right up to the buffer stops on our chosen siding. It should be mentioned that these new dock sidings had been built at considerable expense and opened just over a year ago, since when they have hardly been used.

Having gone far enough to satisfy the track bashers, we retraced our steps towards Fontela where more time ticked by waiting for a couple of units to pass on the mainline and even more time detaching 1465 back in Fontela station.

Finally, we struck out for Porto an hour and 53 minutes late and would have kept to our timings from there apart if it was not for a longer that scheduled stop at Alfarelos and a totally unscheduled stop at Coimbra B. I should point out that 1805 had been restricted to 100 kph and the tour timed accordingly, so the lower powered 1401's with 120kph max did not have too much trouble keeping time.

 Sunday 1st February
A sociable start to the day at 0950 and another new engine, the rumours about a 1961 loco proved to be true. From being a tour with just two booked locos it was now turning ino a spin and win, albeit with rather too many passenger sector engines to be a true spinner. However, 1962 is most definitely freight sector and very much required by John and myself, although I am not sure about the rest of the train as I was told that it had worked on a PTG tour in the past. Hopefully most people appreciated it as 1961's on passenger have been like rocking horse droppings since CP was sectorised.

To the uninitiated, these beasts have the nickname of "dumper trucks" due to the exhaust sound when under power and when they are working hard they can be heard for miles. Five coaches was never going to tax 1962 but it was most enjoyable as it "dumped" it's way northwards.

New track for us from Valença over the border to Spain and we arrived at Tui to be greeted by immaculately restored ex RENFE ALCo number 1812. It's keepers had also brought along their equally immaculate class 277 electric loco for our edification. Built by English Electric at the Vulcan Foundry in 1953, both this and the ALCo were lined up with the scruffy 1962 for a photo call before we continued further into Spain.

The use of 1812 in Spain was an advertised part of the tour and quite a few ALCohaulics had turned up for the day just to sample this loco. Not having experienced this particular type of ALCo (model FPD-7) before, the best word I can think to describe it is hellfire - it sounds louder than the CP 1501 /1521 type which I have limited experience of.

We were booked and duly went into Vigo Docks where we were booked to stand for an hour and 45 minutes. Although PTG had been trying for some time to get this line in, I am sure that it would not have upset the timings too much if we had run round and left straight away and made our way to the main station for a quick look. If you really wanted to push the boat out why not take the museum's electric along for the ride to top and tail? It would have saved two run rounds and I am sure that John and I were not the only people who would rather have gone elsewhere after having a few minutes to phot the couple of diesels on hand in the yard.

The climb back from the docks was well worth waiting for, whoever was driving 1812 knew what was required and it was full power all the way back to the junction and plenty more thrash to enjoy en route back to Tui. All to soon we arrived there and it was time to swap back to 1962. The sun was shining and many more photographs were taken, especially when 1812 was revved up with an accompanying cloud of clag.

Much of the return journey was in darkness, one of the penalties of travelling this early in the year but overall it was an enjoyable day out with two rateable engines.

 Monday 2nd February
This morning was free time as CP had declined PTG's request to visit Guimarães at short notice and the only alternatives that had been arranged were a choice of escorted tours to the new Metro system, the local trams or on a service train to Guimarães. The reason given was a temporary ban on locomotives on the line until the relaid track had settled in. The line between Lousado and Guimarães had been narrow gauge until October 1998 and had gradually been converted to broad gauge and electrified, until the whole line finally reopened two weeks before the tour was booked to run. The tour was to have been the first locomotive hauled passenger train over the line, the normal service being operated by units.

As the line had been in various stages of rebuilding since before John and I started coming to Portugal, it was required track so we opted for the escorted tour on the service train to Guimarães. Some of our fellow travellers had covered the line when it was still narrow gauge and were bemoaning the loss of  a charming line full of character, but it was impressive what had been achieved even if the end result was somewhat of a concrete jungle.

Back at Porto's Campanhã station our train had yet another loco, Vulcan Foundry built 1404 from Porto's passenger sector fleet. Rumour had it that one of the English built 1401's (1401 to 1410 were built at Newton le Willows and shipped out, whereas the rest were built under license by Sorefame in Lisbon) had been requested to take us back south. This would be an exceptionally rare outing for any of the class, a run up the full length of the electrified Porto to Lisbon main line.

First of all there was the small matter of the other "rare" bit of track advertised, the freight only line to the Docks at Leixões. This line was covered on the first tour that I went on in Portugal, but only via the south curve - the North curve from Ermesinde was not in use at the time due to resignalling work.

The special departed Campanhã station taking an unusual route via the "dive under" at the north end in order to get across to the normal northbound tracks. As we ran round at Ermesinde, we were joined by a couple of the tour participants who had used the morning to have a trip to Régua with the local 1401's.

More new track for us when we set off to São Gemil via the north curve, that now means that we have cleared all the currently available broad gauge track in Portugal apart from a couple of bits that only amount to little more than long sidings.

Lunch finished just in time for our arrival at the terminus. The closed station was still standing but surrounded by containers and other freight facilities, this did not stop most of the train from bailing out to take phots and explore the area.

As Leixões is at sea level, there is a steep climb back up to the main line, so it was heads out of the window time as we forged up the gradient causing a few locals to stop and stare. Just as we thrashed away from São Gemil, the brakes went in and we came to a grinding halt. Somebody reckoned that we had hit something as debris was seen flying from the wheels, but fortunately it must have been something minor as we were soon on our way after a cursory inspection.

There was a short break at Campanhã station whilst an IC train departed south, we followed it some ten minutes later at a slightly lower speed. Progress was steady, but interrupted a couple of times to start with due to what appeared to be the Portuguese equivalent of TPWS making unsolicited brake applications.

All to soon it seemed, John and I had to depart at Alfarelos. We had already decided to return to Porto and spend some time there and the late arrival at Lisbon made it rather difficult to get back if we went any further south. There was enough time to walk alongside the main line for a short way and take a final photograph of the tour as it departed up the hill, before returning for our unlovely refurbished unit back to Coimbra.

In conclusion I have conclude that the tour was as enjoyable as usual despite the loss of 1805 at such an early stage. One thing that I could have done without was the lunchtime start on two of the days. It would have been preferable to try and go somewhere where our train was allowed to run, no matter how run of the mill or even start earlier in order to avoid the relatively late finishes.

Janet Cottrell

Timings (Booked & Actual)
(from Janet Cottrell)

Saturday 31st January:

Location Booked Actual
Lisboa St. Apolónia 12.02d 12.02
Entrecampos 12.12a ~ 12.14 12.14 ~ 12.16
Cacém 12.31a ~ 12.36d 12.33 ~ 12.36
Mafra 12/50 12.53a ~ 15.19d
Malveira 12/56 15.27a ~ 15.40d
Pero Negro 13.04a ~ 13.14 15.50 ~ 15.51
Outeiro 13/40 16/15
Bombarral 13.47a ~ 14.17d 16.21 ~ 16.22
Caldas da Rainha 14.30a ~ 14.40d 16.37 ~ 16.38
São Martino do Porto 14.49a ~ 14.51d 16/47
Valado 15/01 16/57
Martingança 15.12a 17.09a
Martingança ?? 17.15d
Maceira ?? 17.23a ~ 17.37d
Martingança 16.20d 17.57a ~ 18.08d
Leiria 16/31 18/19
Bif. Lares 17/27 18.56a ~ 18.57d
Fontela 17.33a 19.03
Figueira da Foz Docks ?? 19.36a ~ 19.38d
Fontela 18.18d 20.02a ~ 20.11d
Verride 18.34a ~ 18.36d 20.20 ~ 20.24
Alfarelos 18.45a ~ 18.47d 20.32 ~ 20.36
Coimbra B 19/02 20.54a ~ 21.03d
Aveiro 19.38a ~ 19.43d 21.41 ~ 21.42
Ovar 20.04a ~ 20.09d 22.06 ~ 22.07
Porto Campanhã 20.40a 22.37

Sunday 1st February:

Location Booked Actual
Porto São Bento 09.50d 09.51
Porto Campanhã 09.55a ~ 09.56d 09.56 ~ 09.58
Ermesinde 10/05 10/08
Nine 10/36 10/47
Barcelos 10.45a ~ 10.50d 10.58 ~ 11.05
Viana do Castelo 11.24a ~ 11.54d 11.37 ~ 11.59
Caminha 12/16 12/20
Valença 12.34a ~ 12.36d 12.38 ~ 12.40
Tui 12.43a 12.45
Time changes to CET
Tui 14.15d 14.15
Redondela 14/43 ?
Vigo-Guixar 14.55a ~ 16.40d 14.58 ~ 16.43
Redondela 16/51 16/55
Tui 17.25a 17.23
Time changes to GMT
Tui 16.51d 16.55
Valença 16.57a ~ 17.07d 17.01 ~ 17.10
Viana do Castelo 17/59 17/59
Barcelos 18.40a ~ 19.04d 18.40 ~ 19.05
Nine 19.14a ~ 19.19d 19.16 ~ 19.21
Trofa 19/41 19/42
Ermesinde 19.54a ~ 19.59d 19.53 ~ 19.55
Porto Campanhã 20.09a ~ 20.10d 20.05 ~ 20.08
Porto São Bento 20.15a 20.14

Monday 2nd February:

Location Booked Actual
Porto Campanhã 12.30d 12.31
Ermesinde 12.43a ~ 12.58d 12.42 ~ 13.01
Leixões 13.46a ~ 14.20d 13.47 ~ 14.21
Porto Campanhã 14.52a ~ 15.15d 14.57 ~ 15.16
Espinho 15.36a ~ 15.41d 15.37 ~ 15.41
Aveiro 16.18a ~ 16.30d 16.19 ~ 16.30
Coimbra B 17/13 17/13
Alfarelos 17.31a ~ 17.44d 17.31 ~ 17.45
Pombal Resg 18.09a ~ 18.21d ?
Fungalvaz Resg 18.57a ~ 19.06d ?
Entroncamento 19/22 ?
Santarém 19/45 ?
Vila Franca da Xira 20/36 ?
Alverca 20/44 ?
Lisboa Oriente 20.55a ~ 21.06d ?
Lisboa St. Apolónia 21.13a ?

Kilometres (from Roj Fraser):

Saturday 31st January 2004 km

Loco train ID Train Km
1805 13851 12:02 Lisboa Santa Apolónia-Martingança 37.68
1465 13851 12:02 Lisboa Santa Apolónia-Martingança 111.42
1465 ? ??:?? Martingança-Maceira Cementos Liz 4.54
1465 ? ??:?? Maceira Cementos Liz-Martingança 4.54
1465 13853/13852 16:20 Martingança-Fontela 67.40
1465 ? ??:?? Fontela-Figueira da Foz (Docks) 2.99
1431 ? ??:?? Figueira da Foz (Docks)-Fontela 2.89
1431 13855 18:18 Fontela-Porto Campanha 157.27

Sunday 1st February 2004

Loco train ID Train Km
1962 13811 09:50 Porto São Bento-Tui 136.80
1812 36221 14:15 Tui-Vigo Guixar 38.48
1812 36220 16:40 Vigo Guixar-Tui 38.44
1962 13812 16:51 Tui-Porto São Bento 136.84

   Monday 2nd February 2004

Loco train ID Train Km
1404 13813 12:30 Porto Campanha-Leixões 26.89
1404 13814 14:20 Leixões-Lisboa Santa Apolónia 356.99

Loco Totals (km)
1404 : 383.88
1431 : 160.16
1465 : 190.89
1805 : 37.68
1962 : 273.64
1812 : 76.92

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