Cemitério de Máquinas a Vapor
THE ABANDONED TRAINS IN PORTUGAL
This is the ‘Cemitério de Máquinas a Vapor’, a train graveyard on the shunting yard of Estação das Devesas in Vila Nova de Gaia. The trains were stored here in 1993 and are covered in rust.
The six machines served almost all over the country hauling mixed, fast and freight trains. They were taken out of service in the 1970s. For 20 years they were kept at the Contumil depot, but in the 1990s they were moved to Gaia station.
Only three of the six steam engines that have been parked here for two decades will be saved. The other three will be demolished and sold for scrap. The intention is to move three locomotives to the National Railway Museum in Entroncamento. An operation that is not easy because these machines can no longer be moved or towed and the rail company has no wagons to carry them.
The locomotives awaiting demolition have the serial numbers 0184, 0190 and 072. The first two came to Portugal in the 1920s as war compensation from Germany. The third was built in Switzerland in 1916. The other locs, the 294, 282 and 701, are all of German origin, but with the characteristic that they were the first to be built according to the technical specifications of Portuguese engineers. Until then, the railway companies were limited to buying what was available on the market. I visited ‘Cemitério de Máquinas a Vapor’ in 2018.