PORTUGUESE transport operator Barraqueiro has established an open-access rail subsidiary, called B-Rail, with the aim of providing passenger train services along the Braga - Faro rail corridor. 

The new subsidiary has already applied for an operating licence and the necessary authorisation from the Portuguese Mobility and Transport Institute (IMT). Following the acquisition of all necessary authorisation from IMT, B-Rail will apply to the Mobility and Transport Authority (AMT) regulatory body for access to train paths on the Braga - Porto - Aveiro - Coimbra - Lisbon - Faro north-south route. 

B-Rail plans to operate 12 daily services on the route between Lisbon and Porto, two of which would run from Lisbon to Faro, and three from Porto to Braga. The service would offer a 2h 30min journey time between Lisbon Oriente and Porto Campanhã without intermediate stops.  

Barraqueiro plans to employ a fleet of 10 trains, but has not made any firm acquisitions. 

Before awarding train paths to B-Rail, AMT is required to verify whether the proposed services would undermine state operator Portuguese Trains (CP). However, Barraqueiro says B-Rail will not compete with CP in terms of infrastructure tariffs or slots, but will make use of paths which are already available. 

The new subsidiary is part of Barraqueiro’s plans to expand its rail operations. The company holds concessions to operate Fertagus suburban rail services in Lisbon and the Metro do Porto light rail network, and is a partner in the Metro Sul do Tejo concession. 

Barraqueiro plans to offer integrated multi-modal transport service with integrated ticketing and timetables. The establishment of B-Rail is expected to generate between 80 and 100 direct jobs.