In this daily column from Monocle we read about how the super-fast trains that were scheduled to run in Spain and Portugal, have now been put on semi-permanent hiatus.


Monocolumn is Monocle's daily bulletin of news and opinion. Catch up with previous editions here.

Quality of Life Series – Lisbon’s Train Pain

As Portugal’s new prime minister Pedro Passos Coelho prepares to take over as the country’s chief of damage limitation, ambitious plans originally conceived by ex-PM José Sócrates to revamp Lisbon’s transport infrastructure are in danger of being scrapped.

A new bike-hire scheme and ambitious plans for charging stations for electric cars had been signed off, but the centrepiece was an €8.3bn high-speed rail network that would link the Portuguese capital to Porto in just over an hour and to Madrid in two hours 45 minutes. Siemens had signed a deal with a Lisbon science and technology taskforce to research applied aerodynamics at high speed “in anticipation of Portugal becoming a rail leader”.

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