1985, 11th September – The Alcafache railway accident
In the late afternoon of 11th September 1985, a terrible and remarkable event in the history of the Portuguese Railways took place on the Beira Alta line.
It would have been a communication error, via telephone, between the station chiefs of Nelas and Moimenta de Maceira Dão-Alcafache’s Station that put the involved trains on a collision course. On the line, from a single track, followed the regional train that had left the Guarda bound for Coimbra and in the opposite direction, the Sud-Express composition that had left the Porto to Vilar Formoso bound for Paris.
Among the 460 passengers travelling on the two trains, many were emigrants returning to France.
Around 6:37 p.m. the two trains collided head-on with such violence that they caused a series of explosions, causing many injuries and a few dozen deaths. This tragedy left victims unidentified and who, until today, have been reported missing.
CP-Comboios de Portugal took over the payment of funerals, the treatment of the injured and speeded up the process of compensation.
TL-TrainLogistic official website, “Acidente Ferroviário de Alcafache-1985” by Cláudio Amendoeira, September 2013