LISBON, Sept. 28 (Xinhua) -- Portugal will start building a new high-speed rail that will halve the travel time between its capital Lisbon and Porto and eventually link to Vigo in Spain, Prime Minister Antonio Costa said on Wednesday.
The first phase of the new rail project, between Lisbon and Porto, will start construction in 2024 and involve an investment of 2.95 billion euros (2.84 billion U.S. dollars), including 1 billion euros of European Union funds, said Costa.
Upon its completion by the end of 2028, travel time between the two cities will be cut to an hour and 15 minutes, compared to the present two hours and 49 minutes, according to a plan presented on Wednesday.
By then, 77 trains will circulate on the route daily, more than three times the current frequency.
The prime minister did not specify when the route will link to Spain, but expressed confidence that the project would serve as an "interface between the continent and the huge Atlantic world."
He also hailed the project as a "revolution" in national public transport as it will reduce travelers' dependence on cars and highways. (1 euro = 0.96 U.S. dollars) ■