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Portugal Transportations


The Portuguese railways are almost entirely owned and operated by the nationalised Portuguese Railway Company. The railway system in 2006, which is adequate for Portugal's needs, totals 2,786 km of track, comprised mostly of wide gauge (1.67 m) single track, of which 1,351 km have been electrified.

The length of usable highways in 2004 was 78,470 km, of which 67,484 km were paved, including 2,002 km of expressways. The principal highways connect Lisbon and Porto with La Coruña in Spain, and Lisbon with Madrid via Badajoz. Bus service links all Portuguese cities, towns, and principal villages. In 2000 there were 4,750,000 motor vehicles registered in continental Portugal, including 3,443,000 passenger cars, and 1,307,000 trucks, buses and other commercial vehicles.

As of 2007, the Portuguese merchant fleet had 117 oceangoing vessels of over 1,000 gross tons, totalling 1,022,783 GRT. The main shipping firm is the Portuguese Maritime Transport Co, created after the private shipping companies were nationalised in 1975. It maintains scheduled services to the Azores, Madeira, Macao and the former overseas territories in Africa; there is regular service to Brazil and North America. The chief ports – Lisbon (the largest), Porto, Ponta Delgada, and Sines – are all fully equipped and have adequate warehousing facilities. Portugal has created a captive register of convenience on Madeira for Portuguese-owned ships, allowing for taxation and crewing benefits.

In 2007, Portugal had 66 airports, 44 with paved runways. Because of their geographical position, Lisbon's Portela Airport and Santa Maria in the Azores are of great importance in international aviation. Portela is one of the principal airports for overseas flights to North and South America and to western and central Africa; Santa Maria is a stopping point for trans-oceanic flights from Europe to North America. The most important aviation company in Portugal is Transportes Aereos Portugueses (TAP), which was nationalised in 1975. In 2001, 6,650,800 passengers were carried on domestic and international scheduled flights.


66 (2007)

Airports - with paved runways
total: 44
over 3,047 m: 5
2,438 to 3,047 m: 9
1,524 to 2,437 m: 5
914 to 1,523 m: 13
under 914 m: 12 (2007)

Airports - with unpaved runways
total: 22
914 to 1,523 m: 1
under 914 m: 21 (2007)

gas 1,099 km; oil 8 km; refined products 174 km (2006)

total: 2,786 km
broad gauge: 2,603 km 1.668-m gauge (1,351 km electrified)
narrow gauge: 183 km 1.000-m gauge (2006)

total: 78,470 km
paved: 67,484 km (includes 2,002 km of expressways)
unpaved: 10,986 km (2004)

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