Sadly, nothing is new as far as trains are concerned. The year is almost over, and anyone who buys their train ticket from Covilhã to Guarda (60 km) online at www.cp.pt has to go through Entroncamento and Coimbra B, making a detour of more than 500 km, only because, since 2009, there is a bridge in Belmonte that is at risk of collapse. Better to ride a bike. Are there no workers at the CP (Portuguese National Railway) who can repair a bridge so that the train can be brought back into service? Although it was announced ten years ago, there is also a 60km stretch of line which will still not be ready early in 2019. In the CP there is a lot that could work better. They could also make the CO₂ emissions calculator available again on their website. Or they could reopen two more connections to Spain (Évora and Beja). It is unbelievable that there is only one railway line on which you can travel outside Portugal, and even on this line, only once a day, that is, at 9.25 pm from Santa Apolónia. And this night train takes 13 hours to get to Madrid.
We kept thinking that everything would remain at a standstill. But we ended up receiving good news. The first three electric buses of Aveiro Municipal Transport will come into circulation. Transdev took advantage of a good slice of funding available in Brussels and invested good money in Caetano. This way, at least the money stays in the country. Each of the buses carries up to 60 passengers and has batteries with a power of 170 kW. They were not able to tell us how long it can keep running for in a day, nor if the buses were to be charged with solar or wind power. But the day will come when the news that solar power is a free resource will have spread everywhere. Because even electricity doesn’t just come from the sockets.