When I was a Class 50-mad kid taken to Portugal to experience their Iberian cousins by my Dad, I took in as much detail from my Portuguese crossing-off book (Fearless Publications’ excellent tome from 1991 – who else has that on their shelves?) as possible. One of the things that stuck out was the reference to both 1439 and 1961 having been written off in a horrific accident involving the Sud-Express.
In later life I learnt that this accident occurred between Nelas and Mangualde exactly 33 years ago this evening, on 11th September 1985, with the big Bombardier loco on the “Sud-Express” colliding head-on at speed with the EE/Sorefame machine which was on a regional train. The result indeed truly was horrific, with many of those who survived the impact killed by burning or asphyxiation in the resulting inferno.
On this worldwide day of remembrance, I’m also taking a minute to remember the 56 (officially, but estimated to be up to 150) people who perished in this accident. There are some truly shocking photos online of the accident, but instead I’m choosing to share this rare image of 1439 in happier days to accompany this little note.
I have previously posted about haulage opportunities for haulage by Spanish metre-gauge Alsthom no.1003 on the outskirts of Barcelona this summer here. However, one of the six such machines sold to Portugal in 1974 will also be working regularly for the next few months.
CP 9004 (ex-1025) will work each Saturday from 8th July to 30th September on a historical train on the Vouga metre-gauge line, situated approximately half an hour south of Porto.
The historical train will depart from Aveiro at 13:40, running approximately 90 minutes to Macinhata do Vouga. After just over an hour there, it returns to Aveiro – including a 75-minute break at Águeda – arriving back at Aveiro at 19:08.
The above is a link to a video uploaded to YouTube by user EDUARDO BALEIZÃO showing 9004 at work on the Vouga line in May.
The metre-gauge station is on the same site as the “main line” station at Aveiro, which is on the Porto to Lisboa route, the Intercity trains on which see haulage by class 5600 electric locos. The Porto area also sees sporadic haulage by English Electric class 1400 diesels (based effectively on BR class 20) on IR services to Valença, but is largely unpredictable.
A second Portuguese heritage train operates through the summer – on the Iberian gauge Douro route, between Régua and Tua, with steam loco no.0186 (built 1925 by Henschel in Kassel, Germany), and combined tickets for the two are available that apply a little bit of a discount.
Many thanks again to Charles Hinton for his help with this information.