Abandoned Lisboa: The Comboio Graveyard in Barreiro

Across the river from Lisbon in Barreiro, disused trains sit on overgrown tracks, rusting under the elements and awaiting whatever fate will befall them.

All photos by Lorena Velasco

Across the river from Lisbon, off of the Linha do Sado near Estação de Barreiro-A, disused trains sit on overgrown tracks, rusting under the elements and awaiting whatever fate will befall them. Machinery stands just as rusted, ready to destroy these relics of comboios past. At any time, there’s up to three trains waiting for disassembly or burial.

But how did this happen? We’ve pieced it together as best we can and sent Lorena Velasco through a hole in the fence to document what happens when a former bastion of production crumbles, and gets deemed an unofficial graveyard.

Because of its access to the sea and its close proximity to the Lisbon commercial markets, Barreiro was selected in 1854 by a group of industrialists to become an important southern railway terminal (then called the Southern Line, now part of the Alentejo Line) between Barreiro and Vendas Novas in Setúbal. The work was completed by 1857, and was opened to the public in 1861.

In the years that followed, factories for manufacturing cork products, metals, acids, oils, soaps, fabrics, and more sprang up all over the place. What was once an unimportant village of fishermen and millers became a modern industrial town where jobseekers and skilled laborers flocked for work and to raise their families.

Due to the influx of people, workers’ accommodations were quickly constructed and filled to the brim — until things started going sour. During the international crisis caused by the Second World War, social movements and strikes in and around 1943 caused the GNR to occupy Barreiro, installing its barracks inside the factories. The strikes continued, with the workers demanding wage increases and protesting against food shortages and rationing, and the shipment of goods off to Nazi Germany.

In the 1970s, the oil crisis was the final blow to this former bustling industrial town. Newer railway lines had made Barreiro less relevant, and  working families started steadily moving out. The long, single-family occupancy quarters for the workers are still more or less in use today, though many have been abandoned or caved in long ago. But all that’s left of the former Barreiro stop are the silent trains of former glory, and a fabulous station that you can still visit.

Up until recently, the only large company still in operation from the industrial age in Barreiro was EDP, the Portuguese utility giant. With the completion of the new modern building in Cais do Sodré, the town has been abandoned by industry.

To get to this forgotten station, get yourself to Barreiro and walk to R. da Estação do Barreiro-A (close to the Forum Barreiro). Once there, walk until the end of the station, ’til the old one starts to show up on the left. If you keep going  for a while, you don’t even have to jump the fence — there’ll be a big hole there. Keep in mind that a security guard makes the rounds from time to time.

The good news is that Barreiro is getting a second life. Vhils, Portugal’s most famous street artist, is using a former warehouse in Barreiro as his studio, breathing new life into this small town. Kind of romantic, isn’t it?

Sources:
http://www.lugaresesquecidos.com/forum/viewtopic.php?t=538&start=20
http://www.rostos.pt/inicio2.asp?cronica=111300
http://www.cm-barreiro.pt/pages/851
http://www.dn.pt/sociedade/interior/vhils-um-artista-do-mundo—que-regressou-as-origens-5663060.html

Share:

Facebook
Twitter
Pinterest
LinkedIn
WhatsApp
On Key

You May Also Like

Lisbon Balconies: A Little Nature in Your Nook

Want your balcony to be the envy of the neighborhood? What grows where depends on how much light and space you have, and how often you remember to water. To give you few tips to make your thumbs greener, Atlas is here to help.

A Walk Inside the Abandoned Trafaria Prison

Presídio da Trafaria was where opponents of the Salazar regime were tried, defended by crooked lawyers, beaten seven ways from Sunday, and then jailed and left to rot.

Abandoned Portugal: Beja Aquatica

The Beja Aquapark was in operation for only three years and has been closed for the last 25. What is left is easily accessible to curious road-trippers and ruin hunters alike.

Mouraria: A Filthy Bastion of Hope

Mouraria may be one of the last bastions of hope in what seems to be quickly becoming Brooklyn, Portugal. Mouraria’s filth, character, colorfulness, and diversity are the exact opposite of the

A Walk Through Avô and Piódão

Just a few hours north of Lisbon, these quaint villages offer the best of Portuguese hospitality. Plus some of the best cheese and honey in the country.

Art on the Tejo: Graffiti at the Port

There is a whole universe of characters residing on the docks between Santos and Cais do Sodré, each with its own (mostly deviant) personality.

Monsanto’s Hidden Past

Monsanto park — the lungs of Lisbon — has a surprising history, and if you were to go back just 100 years, it wouldn’t have been there at all.

Dia da Liberdade 2022 | A Look at Lisbon

This is the first time since the start of the pandemic that the remembrance took place without mask requirements, and people took full advantage, with singing, chanting, and cheering.

The Chap Behind the Chainmail: A Q&A With Jofre Correia

Jofre Correia and his team run some of the most successful — and, from personal experience, the most worthwhile — walking tours in Lisbon. Read what he has to say about tourist traps, employing the unemployed, and wearing chainmail.

The Waterworld of Lisboa

In Lisbon you can visit one of the many swimming pools in sports halls, gyms, and rooftops year-round to get more deeply in touch with its favorite of the four elements.

Share your thoughts!

Newsletter

Subscribe to
the Atlas Lisboa Newsletter

By continuing to use the site, you agree to the use of cookies. more information

The cookie settings on this website are set to "allow cookies" to give you the best browsing experience possible. If you continue to use this website without changing your cookie settings or you click "Accept" below then you are consenting to this.

Close