ALCos, MLWs and Bombardiers in Portugal

Hugo Rego reports:
Today (1st January 2001), the last diagramed passenger train with an Alco 1500 (1512), left Faro heading special train to Barreiro n. 20874. 1510 was planned to leave dead atached behind one 1400 (now regulars) on 4702 (correio - mail). But the last passenger train left on Januar 2nd from Faro to Barreiro at 15:08 with another special train (public officials were given the day off and the regular trains were sold out). 1510 was leading a 6 car train. ALCO's just don't give up!

There are still a few ALCOs on track work trains. One 1320 was sold to Somafel contractor.

News from Jan 22nd: The Barreiro - Funcheira turn is still/again 1500/1520! That day 1501 worked the assignment.

Steve Williams from PTG tours (March 19th, 2001): The Portuguese 50+ year old Alcos are still soldiering on and will do so until at least June. There are currently 2 in regular use and a further two pressed into service as and when necessary.

1320 class Model DL535S bought secondhand from the Spanish RENFE
1500 class Classic RSC2 hood-units of 1948
1520 class Classic RSC3 hood units of 1951
1550 class Montreal Locomotive Works' MX620 lightweight units
1960 class Bombardier end cabs, model MXS 627
contractor's units ex RENFE World Locomotives on the CP system

Older reports, still interesting for historic reasons:

Andrew Donnelly (Oct 23, 1999):

The new timetable came into effect on 26 Sep and brought some unfortunate major changes to class 1501/1521 workings. The only services booked for the classes are the 1635 Barriero-Funcheira and 0510 return the following morning. Interestingly, it is diagrammed to have an English Electric class 1400 Dead in tow. The only other workings are the 2354 Barreiro-Vila Real Santo de Antonio and 2143 return, but these trains have been restricted to Fridays & Holidays only. This is unfortunate as since the May timetable change the 1501s were absolutely solid on these overnight turns. Lucky enough to see 1501 itself (52nd year of service!) on diagram in late July. CP have more spare locos on the southern region now that Multiple Units have taken over many suburban workings. I suspect the 1501s may still appear un-diagrammed on Barreiro to Beja and Faro InterRegional workings. The good news is that in the late summer 1525 in restored green/silver livery was out of traffic with bogie problems so 1505 was restored to traffic. 1525 is now back in service, and 1505 is still running too! Fleet in traffic now 1501/05/10/12/24/25. CP have been quoted as saying that the classes are not going to be withdrawn until 2004 when electricfication of the Algarve lines will be complete. Knowing Portugal, I do not believe this - they might go next week or the next millenium!

Diogo Castro (Mar 18th, 99):

With the recent creation inside of CP of the freight division, there were some major changes in the distribution of the locomotives. In fact, now the Alcos RSC-2 and RSC-3 are only supposed to do passenger trains; the Inter-regionais from Barreiro to Beja and Évora, the regional from Barreiro to Funcheira are the owns where they appear more often. Months ago, like you say on your site it appeared that they were replaced by the 1400 and 1930 in these services, but now I can guarantee you that they are secure in these trains, at least for the past three months that I have been visiting Barreiro frequently. The good news are that these two classes won't be retired from service before the end of the year, at least this is what one of the CP main director's for the passenger trains told me, so "they probably will live to see the year 2000". Finally, I've seen 1507, 1511 and 1522 still working, in the past few days, but as you know they are oficially out of order.
As for the 1960 and 1550 classes, in the begining of this month they were supposed to do only freight trains, therefore the passenger trains of the Beira Baixa line are now operated by the noisy and non-reliable 1930 class, the only train of the Oeste line that was operated by a 1550 locomotive (inter-regional Lisboa-Figueira da Foz), is now a 1400 class service. With this change the range of the 1550 class as increase considerable, they are now seen frequently in Porto, and I suppose in freight services on Minho and Douro lines. Although, is not yet impossible to see these two classes doing passenger services, but is now much more difficult that it used to.

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Last update 11.02.01