September 2012


9 kilometers along the Transpraia in Portugal

Transpraia Depot

Transpraia Depot

Sheldon Cooper, PhD would be proud of me today – today was a train day.

I’m continuing to have a fantastic vacation, although I cut today’s beach adventure short because I’m going to have dinner with a friend tonight and I didn’t want to get trapped at the beach fighting impossible traffic.

So I took the opportunity to do something I’ve been thinking about doing for a very long time, but could never be bothered to do before, which is to take the Transpraia along the Costa da Caparica.

The Transpraia, or the Minicomboio da Caparica, is a narrow-gage railroad that travels south along the Costa da Capraria and its beaches for 9 kilometers, stopping at places like “Golfinho”, “Borda d’Água”, and “Praia 19” – places where you can get off the train, with your beach equipment, and set up home on the Atlantic Ocean, watching waves and getting burned – oh wait, I mean tanned.

Train, northbound

Northbound toward Costa da Caparica

I’ve never taken it before because I was usually starting in Lisbon, but on this trip I’m startin in Costa da Capriria, and taking the train seemed like something fun to do, especially considering my passive interest in things related to transportation – it’s not quite like collecting new airlines and new airports, but taking a narrow-gage train in Portugal is an unusual experience and, apparently, one that may not be around for too much longer.

Passing Point for the Transpraia

Passing the southbound train.

Apparently the train is suffering from a lack of ridership – people prefer to drive to the beach, thus letting them come and go whenever they want.

Of course the main reason the train is lacking riders, in my humble opinion, is the price: 7.50€ for a round trip ticket on the train!

Train approaching Casa da Praia

People walk along the tracks to reach the remote parts of the beach.

I might note that while I say it is 9 kilometers long, as I understand it, the first kilometer was cut off in 2007 when the Costa da Caparica waterfront was fixed-up (or something), so it’s actually more like 8 kilometers long, making it cost about 1€ a kilometer, assuming you ride it the entire length, which, of course, not everybody does.

Transpraia, Engine Rotation

Engines are turned around at the north end of the line. I don’t recall seeing it happen at the south end of the line.

After spending about 3 hours on the beach, I caught the train heading north, back to Costa da Caparica, and wandered back to my hotel.

Stop 17: Casa da Praia

Stop 17: Casa da Praia — where I got on going back north…

The perfect vacation continues….

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