Alfa Pendular turns 25

Since their first commercial journey on 1 July 1999, Comboios de Portugal’s (CP) Alfa Pendular trains have travelled more than 65 million kilometres and carried almost 41 million passengers. In all, more than 162,000 services have been operated.

At the start of July, CP symbolically marked the 25th anniversary of the first commercial journey of the Alfa Pendular service.

To mark this historic moment, some of the professionals who were part of this experience, including the driver who drove the train on the first commercial journey between Lisbon and Porto – Eduardo Silva -, the ticket inspector who made the maiden voyage with the then minister João Cravinho – António Azevedo Pereira -, and two travel assistants at the time – Isabel Banhudo and Laura Bandeira -, set off on the Alfa Pendular 127, between Lisbon-Santa Apolónia and Porto-Campanhã, just as they did 25 years ago. The moment was marked by the sharing of memories and a promise: “In 25 years we’ll come back here to celebrate 50 years”.

“This is a milestone because this is one of CP’s most important services, our premium service, which is very important for the company’s sustainability,” according to the Chairman of CP’s Board of Directors, Pedro Moreira, who also took part in the commemorative trip.

Alfa Pendular trains have travelled more than 65 million kilometres

In these 25 years, the Alfa Pendular trains “have travelled more than 65 million kilometres, which is equivalent to more than 1,600 times round the planet, made more than 162,000 commercial services and carried around 41 million passengers,” he said.

The recent reactivation of two commercial services proved to be a winning bet. “In the first five months of the year, we had an increase of more than 26% in passengers on the Alfa Pendular and revenue increased by more than 36%, results that are largely due to the reactivation of two commercial services, something that was only achieved thanks to optimising the availability of this series of trains,” stressed Pedro Moreira, who guaranteed that CP’s goal is to maintain and stimulate this service. “Many trains are sold out and there is growing demand, which motivates us to continue to invest in this service,” he said.

The Secretary of State for Mobility, Cristina Pinto Dias, made a point of accompanying the start of this journey. “I couldn’t not be here. It’s a moment of celebration and I had to join the CP workers and congratulate them, because it was only through their work, dedication, commitment and innovative and transforming spirit that we were able to have this train that has lived and survived for generations, adapting and being a train of the present and absolutely up to date,” she said.

Cristina Pinto Dias also emphasised the fact that the Alfa Pendular is an electric mobility train. “That’s where the mobility of the future lies,” she emphasised. It’s also a safe, intelligent and sustainable train, “dimensions that will guide the government’s green mobility policy, which we want to focus on over the next four years,” she said.

“This is a moment of inspiration for the future to come. A company that lives and adapts with such ease, passing through generations and transformations, is clearly ready to take on the High Speed business, which is going to be another challenge. CP and its workers are the greatest asset and the guarantee that it will be possible and that we will have CP for another 168 years,” the Secretary of State said on board the Alfa Pendular.

About the Alfa Pendular

CP’s 4000 series electric trainsets, also known as Alfa Pendular trains, entered service with the Portuguese Railways in 1999. The acquisition of this rolling stock was part of CP’s strategy and objective to improve its services by increasing the comfort and speed of its trains.

In 1996, CP placed an order with the Italian manufacturer FIAT Ferroviaria for 10 electric active tilting trains, capable of travelling at a maximum speed of 220 km/h and made up of six carriages each, offering a total of 301 seats.

The Alfa Pendular commercial service was launched on 1 July 1999 on the Lisbon-Porto route.

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