IMechE Annual Technical Tour to Portugal, Spain & France

Outside Ilsenburg Works
Vitoria / Gasteiz

Technical Tour Highlights

  • Explore the tram and metro systems of Porto, Lisbon, Bilbao and Vitoria Gasteiz
  • Visit the CAF’s works in Beasain
  • Visit the ‘Basque Y’ high-speed rail project
  • Explore Bordeaux’s APS system
  • 7 days from £780pp
BOOK NOWTailor this tour for independent travel

Tour Dates:
Saturday 4 November to Saturday 11 November 2017

Ffestiniog Travel is delighted once again to arrange the Annual Technical Tour of the Railway Division of the Institution of Mechanical Engineers (IMechE). The yearly tour provides an excellent opportunity to study the technologies and operations of railways outside the boundaries of the UK. This year the tour will visit Portugal, Spain and France to discover rail, tram and metro systems old and new. This tour is open to anyone who has an interest in urban transportation.

The price and itinerary below does not cover travel outbound or return. Options for travel from the UK to Porto and from Paris to London can be arranged at an additional cost by Ffestiniog Travel – please email This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.


Days 1 & 2 – The Tour begins in Porto

Having arrived in Porto northern Portugal independently you will meet with The Technical Tour 2017 group around lunch time at the Quality Inn Hotel. While in Porto there will be plenty of time to explore the city’s modern light metro network, its workshops and the control centre. There will also be an opportunity to visit the historic tram shed and the museum trams.

Day 3 – Alfa Pendular to Lisbon

Depart Porto and travel to Lisbon on an Alfa Pendular service. The day in Lisbon will be spent exploring its extensive 46km metro system. Late evening departure by Talgo Sleeper Train to Miranda de Ebro in northern Spain.

Days 4 to 6 – Miranda de Ebro

Miranda de Ebro is the tour base for the next 3 nights. Over the course of two days you will visit the Talgo train factory and the CAF works in Beasain, where you will witness the production of trains for UK’s TransPennine Express and ScotRail. We also visit the Basque Y high-speed rail network which has now entered the construction phase and should prove very interesting, given the difficult territory. We also have time to explore the (narrow gauge) metro and tram system of Bilbao and the modern tram network of Vitoria Gasteiz.

Day 7 – Bordeaux

The final stop on this tour is Bordeaux, where you can explore the city’s APS tram system – an overhead free electric tramway that works well and does not require batteries! Your journey home could include a ride on the new privately funded high-speed line to Paris.

PLEASE NOTE: The tour involves walks between train stations and hotels and visit sites. Participants will need comfortable shoes and, for the site visits, safety shoes, ideally ankle height.

Selected Hotels

Quality Inn, Porto

Hospederia el Convento, Miranda de Ebro

Ibis Bordeaux Centre Gare St Jean, Bordeaux

Please note - hotels can be subject to change

Price Includes

  • Standard class rail
  • Sleeper reservation on night train
  • Accommodation in good quality hotels on a bed and breakfast basis
  • Services of tour leaders Felix Schmid and Bridget Eickhoff

Price per person

Escorted holiday: £789
Single room supplement: £150
Deposit for this holiday: £100

Booking form

Download your tour booking form here.