The crown jewel of Portugal’s railway, the Presidential Train, property of Museu Nacional Ferroviário, has hosted Kings, Presidents, Heads of State and Popes for over a century. Built in 1890, it served the court of King D. Luis I as the Portuguese Royal Train, transporting dignitaries like Queen Elizabeth II and Pope Paul VI. Renamed The Presidential Train at the turn of the century, it proudly transported Portugal’s Heads of State until 1970, when it was officially retired.
The Presidential Train was composed by five luxury carriages: the Hall of the Head of State, the Hall of Ministers, the Comity and Security carriage, the Restaurant hall and the Journalists carriage.
There was also a wagon that was used for accommodation of goods, baggage and mail. The Presidential Brigade - so called at the time - was the crew that accompanied the train during its presidential trips and was constituted by 15 employees of great category, competence and seriousness. An inspector, a locksmith, an electrician, two carriage drivers, a ticket inspector, a material inspector, a machinist, and two traction inspectors. Still two cooks, two kitchen helpers and four table attendants. Also aboard was a great deal of silverware, crystals and of course, delicate conversations!