The Lagos Municipal Assembly unanimously approved a proposal for the commemoration of the centenary of the train’s arrival in Lagos – 1922-2022.
The proposal was approved at the first regular meeting in February / 2021, held on February 22.
Thus, following the decision, a Municipal Commission will be created for the Commemorations of the Centenary of the Arrival of the Train to Lagos, with the participation of the Municipality of Lagos and the Parish Councils of the municipality, together with the Permanent Commission of the Municipal Assembly.
There will soon be a first meeting to establish the calendar and schedule for the celebrations.
Lagos has a heritage attached to the National Railway Museum that rusts away .
A carriage and steam locomotives from the end of the 19th century are among the assets of the Núcleo Ferroviário de Lagos that could be of interest to the city and the region, and which have remained without an exhibition solution for years.
In 2022, we celebrate the 100th anniversary of the arrival of the first train in Lagos and the festivities that accompanied the inauguration of the Portimão-Lagos railway branch that completed the Algarve Line.
In the 19th century, the invention of the steam engine had given rise to the Industrial Revolution, where its application in railway locomotives had an important role, with effects that endure today.
The railway environment revolutionized the daily lives of the people, and the initial fear caused by those superb and noisy locomotives, was followed by the enormous fascination with their power and speed.
The train quickly took a place in the imagination of children and adults, replacing the carriages and horses of yore.
Wherever it came from, the train became part of peoples’ daily lives, greatly shortening distances and reducing the size of the world.
In Portugal it was no different, the railroad united the communities and brought progress to all districts in the country. For more than a century the train has assumed itself as the symbol of evolution and the railways as a paradigm of organization and mechanization . ”
In Portugal, the first train journey was in 1858, with the opening, lined with curious adventures, of the Lisbon-Carregado line.
A Law of 1883 foresaw the railway line to the Algarve and the Lagos branch project is from 1899, although the original project, dated 1882 and later abandoned, foresaw the construction of the Lagos station in Rossio de S. João on the right bank of Ribeira de Bensafrim, continuing with the railway line through Vila do Bispo, Aljezur, Odemira, with a branch to Sines.
In Lagos, there was perfect awareness of the development that the railway would allow and, in this sense, a meeting was held here in 1889 «of all classes of society» with representatives of the Municipalities of Vila do Bispo, Aljezur and Odemira, to create a commission to demand from the government the construction of the railway from Lagos to Odemira and a port of refuge in Lagos for the transport and export of products from all over that area.
In the same year, 1889, the train arrived in Faro and in 1897 King D. Carlos promised, in Faro and Lagos, the work of extending the train lines from the Algarve to VRSA and Lagos.
In 1902 the train arrived in Silves, in 1903 at Ferragudo which remained as a station at Vila Nova de Portimão, in 1906 at Vila Real de Santo António.
The interest in completing the Lagos branch line was considered so necessary for the economy of the Barlavento, that in 1912 Parliament had granted authorization, at the request of the Lagos City Council, to contract a loan of 500 contos to take over the construction of the branch since Portimão to Lagos, an intention that followed, with the transfer of the work to the company, then created, of the Portuguese Railways.
In 1915 the railway bridge over Arade was completed and the train arrived in Portimão.
It is worth remembering that in 1911, the Lagos City Council had proposed the creation of an itinerary of tourist interest, on a railway connecting Lagos to London through Vila Real de Santo António, Huelva, Seville, Madrid and Paris, before half a century that which was only realized from the 1950s / 60s, in the after World War II.
It was an idea that reflected well the progressive facet and the opening of dominant thought in the people of the young Portuguese Republic, which the monarchies refused to recognize until the intervention of the Algarve President of the Republic Teixeira Gomes, from Portimão.
In fact, this broad scale of thinking has been interrupted and hidden by the narrowness of views of the nearly 50 years of Salazar, who left deep marks that today afflict numerous citizens, still unable to look beyond the old inheritance of the parish dimension.
Only finally, on July 30, 1922, a special train made the direct connection from Barreiro to Lagos, with the President of the Ministry, the Minister of Labor and the Director of the Southern and Southeastern Railway, to which the Minister joined do Comércio, who was visiting the Barlavento counties, a delegation from Vila do Barreiro formed by the bands of the Democratic Society União Barreirense and the Society of Instruction and Recreation of Barreiro, representatives of the Grupo Dramático Herculano Marinho and the Futebol Clube Barreirense team .
All participated in the festivities in Lagos, where three days of official ceremonies and popular celebrations celebrated the arrival of the first train, widely reported and reported in the national and regional press.
The regional and national importance of the arrival of the first train in Lagos cannot be ignored during the passage of its centenary and the Municipality of Lagos must recognize it by paying special attention to it.