Porto airport has had space reserved since 2000 to build a station for the high-speed train in front of the terminal. The TGV (the Portuguese AVE) was a project that had been on hold in Portugal since the beginning of its economic crisis at the beginning of the last decade, but even so, the management of Sá Carneiro never buried the idea of allowing the airport to be connected to the railway network when the infrastructure is built.
And now that both the government of Antonio Costa and the president, Marcelo Rebelo de Sousa, warn that the Oporto-Vigo fast train “cannot be reversed”, the project to take the AVE and passengers who take it in Galicia to Sá Carneiro is also being reactivated. Porto airport in the north of Portugal is considered a strategic infrastructure and this is also the opinion of the presidents of the chambers of the 17 municipalities that make up the Metropolitan Council of Porto, who are considering how to connect it with the future high-speed train.
The mayors have put on the table the proposal to run the AVE through the freight line of the port of Leixões. The newspaper Correio da Manha reports that this option will be launched today in the plenary session of the metropolitan body. The line is already electrified and in use for freight trains, it would only require some modernisation and a connection to the air terminal. The president of Valongo, one of the first to propose the use of the freight line to take the high-speed train to the second airport of the country, even maintains that the same route can be used for passenger transport in the port area.
Priority for Moreira
The Mayor of Oporto, Rui Moreira, has always defended that the AVE from Vigo has to reach the terminal, where 11% of its users are Galician. Since the beginning of his first term of office, and before that also as president of the traders, the councillor advocated prioritising even a station for the fast train in Sá Carneiro rather than its arrival in the city centre. “The TGV station in Porto must objectively be at Francisco Sá Carneiro airport, and if this were not the case, there would be no justification for a line to Vigo”, he went so far as to say. Moreira considers Oporto airport and the port of Leixões to have competitive advantages over Galicia, and believes that the north of the country should defend this circumstance, as well as estimating that if this were not the case, a TGV from his city to Lisbon could divert passengers from Sá Carneiro to the capital.
This same month of May, in a meeting held in Porto with the President of the Xunta de Galicia, Rui Moreira assured that he had already discussed with the Government of his country how the route of the fast train would be when passing through his city, and he took it for granted that it would reach the airport.