Headquartered in Pinhão, in the municipality of Alijó, district of Vila Real, the association has been at the forefront of the defense of the Douro railway line and its reactivation to Spain.

“This delay is unacceptable and is starting to take on very strange contours, the region deserves more respect and the country deserves an explanation for so many delays,” said Luís Almeida, president of the board of Vale d’Ouro, quoted in a statement.

The organisation said that, in recent days, several orders have been published authorising investment expenses by Infraestruturas de Portugal (IP) “without the electrification of the Douro Line between Marco de Canaveses and Régua having been contemplated”.

Real rail needs

And he recalled that this investment was planned within the scope of Ferrovia 2020, a program that he considered that “has been marked by successive delays, poor planning and a poor response to the country’s real rail transport needs”.

The association said that, at the end of last year, during the municipal elections, it was known that the “electrification of the Douro Line between Marco and Régua was removed from this investment framework”.

“With Portugal 2030 already underway, the expectation is that this work can be framed in the new community framework, however, to date this situation has not yet been confirmed and in the recent presentation made by IP, at an event of the National Railway Platform, there was no reference”, highlighted Vale d'Ouro.

Luís Almeida wants to know “what is the reason for this delay and why its execution takes so long”.

“We are talking about public investment and if the company under supervision does not understand this dynamic, it is required that political leaders come to clarify the citizens”, he said.

The Douro Line was electrified up to Marco de Canaveses and, in May 2021, a working group was formalised to study and define the model for reopening the 28-kilometre rail section between Pocinho and Barca d'Alva that was closed in 1988, and the conclusions are expected to be presented in 14 months.