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  • Writer's pictureAdriana Travasso

The train has arrived TheVagar, choo-choo!

Someone called it the " mobility creator" and, in fact, the railway managed to mobilise the entire world's population and move all the earth's products.

Today I write to you, dear guest, to tell you about two of my greatest passions: trains and sustainability. Many are the Sundays that, bored at home, I pick up my son and there we go, partners in crime, to watch the train passing by TheVagar. Its structure and composition, the sound it emits, the smoke it emanates, the speed with which it moves and all its history, tradition and essence enchant me. I studied them during my academic career and, professionally, I am a fierce promoter of this form of transport. Ok, I know I'm a suspect, but it's not just a fascination. The train is a sustainable means of transport, a subject that must be on the table in these days and in the many that will follow.

It was in 1841, through the initiative of Thomas Cook, considered the Father of Tourism, who hired the first train for a congressmen's trip, turning it into a powerful means of transport. Subsequently, the first seaside resorts were developed, long-distance travel became popular and tourism began to be seen as an activity with economic potential.

This type of transport reached its peak between 1920 and 1930, a time when the car was a rarity and the plane was only accessible to the elite classes. However, and despite its potential, over time the train lost customers, partly due to the massification of the plane, among other factors. However, there is an effort in some countries, such as Portugal, to reverse this trend. There has been a strong commitment to modernising the sector and trying to make it more competitive in relation to other travel options.

Any railway line, almost anywhere in Portugal, provides unique landscapes, some inaccessible by any other means of transport. Proof of this were the "mystery trains", which existed in Portugal between 1930 and 1936. They were the biggest rage at the time, even making the front page of newspapers! The people who boarded them didn't know their destination until the moment they arrived. Until then, they enjoyed the pleasure that a train journey can provide, amusingly speculating about what awaited them.

Recovering the force of the train is, therefore, a question of taking advantage of and strengthening the existing infrastructures, promoting the use of a more sustainable means of transport and making the national territories known, since our lines ensure the passage of beautiful hidden places, with the railway being, therefore, an ally in the promotion and dynamisation of such regions.

The line that crosses the region where TheVagar is located, called the Beira Baixa line, was inaugurated on 6th September 1891, by King D. Carlos. It is probably, along with the Douro, one of the most beautiful in Portugal. Both lines follow, in part, the riverbeds of two of the largest rivers that cross our country. The Beira Baixa line could well, then, be called the Tagus line. But, with the construction of a motorway to the interior, the train lost passengers and, unfortunately, part of this line was closed. Here, within sight of TheVagar, the machinery, the sound, the dancing carriages have not given any sign of life since 2009. As a result of the struggle and investment in the railway, in May 2021, the Beira Baixa line was reborn from the ashes: trains with more timetables and stations recovered. The Caria station was one of those that were awarded, just 700 metres from TheVagar.

I share this secret with train lovers: from the balconies of our suites you can, from a distance, contemplate the passing of the train on this centenary line, which has existed for over 130 years!

But, besides the ease that the train brought to the people and the economy of the region, through the mobility and circulation of goods, the Beira Baixa line allows you to plan your trip to us in this means of transport. Be it from Lisbon, Oporto, or even across borders, there are several connections that you can consult here. You can't imagine the wonders you'll contemplate along the way! From the beautiful architecture of the railway stations, to the portentous Tagus River, which follows the line for over 60 kilometres, to the iron bridges that support it. And more, much more!

As TheVagar has sustainability implicit in everything it promotes, I would like to remind our dear guest that the train is an environmentally friendly form of transport, low on pollution, capable of carrying a large number of passengers and with zero impact on the landscape. The Beira Baixa line is fully electrified, and if you already know that at TheVagar we do everything we can to make sure your stay flows in harmony with nature, why not take the trip to us, already thinking of a more environmentally friendly world?


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