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A new age of steam?: the Tua Valley Line, Portugal: experience and examples from the technological heritage operations and preserved railways of Britain

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapter (peer-reviewed)peer-review

  • Dominic Fontana
The railways of Portugal are well known to a global community of steam enthusiasts, many of whom used to visit the country specifically to experience and photograph the last days of steam traction until as late as the 1980s. The narrow gauge lines north of the Douro River, and the Tua Valley line in particular, were considered as very special railways. Their outstanding combination of narrow gauge steam traction, relatively long runs of track and extraordinarily beautiful landscapes, made for a magical railway experience. In the 1980s steam was replaced with diesel traction and although there are now regular but infrequent steam hauled tourist trains on the Douro Valley line, there are currently very limited opportunities for people to recapture this experience. Portugal has several railway museums including the excellent National Railway Museum in Entroncamento, but these present static displays rather than “live” steam and many railway enthusiasts consider this to be a poor substitute for the “real” thing where steam locomotives are operating in steam, within a fully-fledged railway environment.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationRailroads in historical context: construction, costs and consequences. Vol. 2
EditorsA. McCants, E. Beira, J. Lopes Cordeiro, L. Lourenco
Place of PublicationFoz Tua, Portugal
Number of pages21
Publication statusPublished - 2012


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