Viana do Castelo insists on rail link to seaport

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The only city in the country without rail access

The mayor of Viana do Castelo today defended the creation of a rail link to the seaport to complement the two infrastructures and “better serve citizens and businesses”.

Luís Nobre, who spoke in the early hours of this morning during the debate promoted by the Municipal Assembly on “The National Railway and its Impact on the Municipal Territory”, insisted that this connection to the seaport will create a “logistical platform at the rear to give coherence to the railway structure”.

“100 million euros have been invested between 2018 and now and it is necessary to take advantage of this investment to be at the service of our citizens and investors who have settled in the county because of the railroad and whom we cannot disappoint. The importance of the railroad cannot be separated from the importance of the seaport and its operability,” argued the socialist mayor, quoted in a note sent to news outlets today.

The Socialist municipality’s position comes days before the end of the public discussion on the government’s proposal for the National Railway Plan (NFP).

The public consultation on the NFP runs until Tuesday.

“It is essential to create a rear logistics platform to give coherence to the railway structure and it only needs a small connection to the two investments that have happened recently: the railway and the sea port”, defended Luís Nobre, highlighting the “need for an effective relationship of the new high speed track and to understand the role of the now modern Minho Line, in logistics and goods”, he emphasized.

The debate, promoted by the Municipal Assembly of Viana do Castelo, counted with the participation, via videoconference, of the Secretary of State for Infrastructure, Frederico Francisco.

According to the note sent by the local authority, the Governor agreed with the claim of the Mayor of Viana do Castelo “regarding the connections to ports and borders.

Frederico Francisco classified as a “gap” that in the plan under public discussion “there is no mention of a connection to the seaport, especially since it is only a few kilometers and the contributions are in this direction.

“The Minho Line will be the main corridor for goods leaving the country,” he added.

Frederico Francisco considered Viana do Castelo “an example” and stressed that the NFP “foresees a quality connection of the 28 urban centers of regional importance”.

“The goal is to connect Lisbon and Viana in less than three hours. The Minho Line is the highest priority” and where it will be possible to connect intercity and interregional trains on the Valença-Lisbon axis, allowing the frequency of hourly trains and interconnection at high speed,” he said, quoted in the note.

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