Oporto Funicular and Lift
Above: The Oporto funicular in summer 2004, picture courtesy of Tony Morehead.
Opened on 19 February 2004, the Funicular dos Guindais runs from the Oporto river side (Ribeira) next to the lower level of the Ponte D. Luís to the Batalha area. It replaced a nineteenth-century funicular which was closed after only a short period of operation. It runs for 281 metres and the journey takes almost three minutes. 90 metres of the route are in tunnel and the height climbed is 61 metres. Its two vehicles can carry up to 25 passengers each. The bottom station is called Vale (Avenida Gustavo Eiffel) and the top Montanha (Rua Augusto Rosa) and is operated by the Metro do Porto company.
In 2011, it operated every day, as follows:
In the first six months of 2011, the Funicular dos Guindais carried more than 225,000 people, a 15% rise over the same period in 2010.
Above: A view of the Rua Augusto Rosa, the top of the funicular, in summer 2005. To reach street level, a short lift journey carries passengers from the end of the funicular line, to emerge alongside the lines of the 22 tram route.
The upper terminus offers you a choice of stairs or a lift to street level. These bring you out adjacent to the stop for the route 22 tram service which operates a half-hourly circular journey via Carmo back to Batalha. On the journey up or down there are superb views of both the Ponte D. Luís and of the quayside at VN de Gaia. Journeys on the funicular are covered by the Andante Tour tickets (24hr or 72hr) available at STCP outlets (e.g. Trindade Station).
The original funicular opened on 4 June 1891 chiefly as a goods elevator. But because of an accident on 5 June 1893, the system was suspended - for more than a century! The new line opened in 2004 uses the bottom part of the original route but has a new tunnel section and new terminus near Batalha. The climb is uneven insofar as the bottom section is steeper than the upper stretch. By 2008 the service, operated by Metro do Porto, was being used by 400,000 passengers a year.
This panoramic elevator runs from the Largo da Lada, and is visible behind the buildings of the Ribeira, close to the Ponte D. Luís. It is part of the so-called "Conjunto da Lada" a redevelopment project carried out in the late 1980s and early 1990s. Access is via no.66 Cais de la Ribeira. Usage is free of cost. In 2011 it appeared to be out of use.