LRT under construction
The Metro de Mondego is a project to realize a 40 km light rail system of the "Karlsruhe" style in/around the Portuguese city of Coimbra. The Mondego is the name of the river on which banks Coimbra is located. The second major city which is involved is Figueira da Foz, which is located where Mondego meets the Atlantic. The existing railways involved are the Lousa line, the branch line of Alfarelos included a short section of the Oeste line and a section of the Norte line. A technical problem is the gauge: in Portugal 1676 mm, which is far more than the standard of 1435 mm. Iberian broad gauge light-rail vehicles don't exist and it is not to be expected they will be developed because of the small potential market. The Metro de Mondego will probably use standard 1435 mm gauge. The Lousa line can be regauged: it is a branch line with regional trains only. But the other lines do have significant freight traffic and the Norte line (by far the most important line of Portugal connecting the cities of Lisbon and Porto) will also long distance trains.
Construction was due to begin in 2004. The current estimated completion date is 2010.
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