Lustiânia Train To The Hotel. The dial of night, between Lisbon and Madrid, did not survive the pandemic

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It is not as legendary as the Orient Express, but it still has the aura that is associated with the railway hotel, built by the Wagons Lits into the middle of the XX. we are talking about the D Train to the Hotel, every evening, bound to Lisbon, and Madrid, until the closure of the borders, caused by the propagation of the COVID 19, he broke with the movement on the 17th of march.

The problem is that RENFE (the National Network of Train Espanoles), which is here a guarantee for the connection, in partnership with their counterparts in Portuguese, LISBON, have announced their intention not to return, when the movement of people between the two countries to return to a normal life. An attitude like that, if it is at odds with the international trend to place bets on the means of transport that is environmentally sustainable, it is not surprising to those who are really watching the decline of the North, is increasingly difficult and expensive as compared to the offer of a flight at a good price, and are able to connect on a 50-minute in the two capitals of the iberian.

On the train, the passenger would take a little less than that at the first regularly scheduled routes in the first decade of the 1940’s, when the trains were… in the steam for 10 and a half hours, with long stops at stations in between. With the abandonment of the announced project of a high-speed connection, and the future looked increasingly uncertain.

For those nostalgic of the long journey to and from the railway line, with its glamorous, almost cinematic (and who could ever forget the lure of Eve Marie Saint and Cary Grant, ” in International Intrigue aboard a train, a night?), this decision marks the sad end of an era. Because, despite all the accidents of the journey and all the twists and turns of the History of Portugal, of Spain and of the world (and there were many), and the North Shuttle will never stop since its inception in the second World War.

This story starts of course in the golden age of rail, when the Compagnie Internationale des Wagons Lits assure you, with supreme comfort and style, the routes such as the Orient Express. On board of their wagons, and the champagne flowed freely, and the passenger list included the is easily the crowned heads, the stars of Hollywood, the diplomats, the agents of the secret service, and even writers, as such, by Agatha Christie.

Wanting to extend the reach of its network in the Iberian Peninsula, the Wagons Lits had a meeting with the companies, the predecessor of the CP and RENFE (trains) and has established a protocol for the establishment of a train, the hotel is able to link the two cities in a single night, in circumstances worthy of a Ritz carlton. The year was 1937, and Spain was plunged into a Civil War. Only in 1943, it would be possible for the two countries to usher in the train of a dream, making the connection in the train between two of the capitas had been lost since 1895, when the Sud-Express Lisbon to Paris, began to use the Beira Alta Line.

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