Corgo Line - Upwards through vineyards

The railway Line of Corgo between Régua and Chaves, was the first narrow track built and operated by the Portuguese State. The route between Régua and Vila Real overcomes a slope of 370 meters, winding along the valley of the Corgo river, where the train moves slowly. Although the train has reached Régua in 1878, only much later it could travel through the slopes of vines towards the highlands of Trás-os-Montes. The construction of the Corgo Line was phased. The first leg, between Régua and Vila Real, was inaugurated on May 12, 1906 by King Carlos, followed by Vila Real / Pedras Salgadas in 1907, Pedras Salgadas / Vidago in 1910 Vidago / Tâmega in 1919, and finally Tâmega / Chaves in 1921, this meaning a total length of 97.6 km. In January 1990, was suspended all service north of Vila Real. Travel between Régua and Vila Real is done today in a 2000 LRV (Light Rail Vehicle, or a light rail vehicle), and lasts about an hour. When taking the train in Régua, try to arrive early and sit on the left, to better see the landscape, since the journey is to commence to the east, upstream of the river Douro. After the Corgo bridge, the train runs along the left bank of this river. Here we begin to climb the slope. The view over the terraced vineyards is magnificent. On the opposite side, you can see the houses of the Port Wine Farms and the river will start to sink into the valley. After Alvações, one of the small villages that give life to this line (the others are Cruzeiro, Carrazedo, Corgo, Povoação and Tanha), you can see the terraces of vineyards that have been abandoned since the nineteenth century, due to phylloxera, and to the north the imposing Marão mountains. From here to Cruzeiro, the route is overwhelming. The train winds along the edge of the abyss on a winding route and the Corgo river down there follows the road to Vila Real. There are famous stories related to the "U" of Carrazedo at the time of steam locomotives. With the reduced speed of the train, men and boys ventured out of it to go and catch some grapes and return to it later on. On the plateau the landscape changes, the adventure ends and the train glides smoothly towards Vila Real. Arrived at the station, at the exit, an old locomotive from 1908 recalls the history of this remarkable railway line and its entire route north, which unfortunately has been deactivated. However, in the near future, we will be able to go through it, on foot or bicycle, for its remaining route is currently being transformed into a cycleway, with some sections already open to the public.

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