Portugal: Last stop for nostalgia train

 

A Portuguese train with a spectacular route along the Douro River from Porto is headed for its last stop, at least in its present form with nostalgia cars from the 1950s.

The train, called Miradouro, has been running for the past two years using the classic cars, retired from Swiss railroads, and has been popular with visitors. But CP, the Portuguese national rail operator, says it's not making money on the ride even though the cars are filled.

Local officials are unhappy; the mayor of the inland city of Regua told reporters he had no advance notice and added "I regret the end of this service because it was more added value for tourism in the Douro. It is once again the interior of the country that is being penalised." The head of the Porto and North Tourism Board doubts CP's claim that the train isn't profitable.

Visitors who want to follow the scenic route can still do so, using regular trains. Ironically, they are probably more comfortable, with air conditioning and newer seating, but they lack the nostalgic atmosphere, and the narration.

The best part of every trip is realizing that it has upset your expectations

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