In March 2001 my family went on a trip to Spain and Portugal organized by one of my former English teachers at Thayer Academy. On the night of March 12-13 we rode an older-model Talgo sleeper train from Madrid to Lisbon. Talgo trainsets consist of short cars that share a single axle between each car. Supposedly we were riding first class, but with 4 people plus luggage in each small compartment I have to wonder. The ride was terrible and I stayed up for much of the night, watching the scenery pass by in the moonlight. I think much of the ride was behind a diesel-electric locomotive, and might have been on jointed rail as well. At any rate, we arrived in Lisbon, or Lisboa (pronounced "Lishboa") as it's known in Portuguese, without incident the next morning.
I had been informed ahead of time that Lisbon has a trolley system (operated by Carris, the city's transit agency), but I was surprised by the equipment it uses. Most of the trolleys (40) are 20-foot long, 2 axle single-ended cars that are from just before World War I (I have been unable to find an exact date for their construction) and were built by Brill (or so my notes claim). They have been modernized over the years, and nowadays have pretty modern electrical equipment. The cars feature both trolley poles and pantographs, the latter used only on Lines 15 and 18, which mostly follow the waterfront. The system also has 10 articulated vehicles built by Siemens. These cars are double-ended, low-floor models and are restricted to Line 15; all the other lines have curvature that is too sharp (in both the horizontal and vertical planes) for long articulated trolleys. All cars are based out of the St Amaro shops located on Line 15. The track is narrow gauge, something narrower than meter-gauge.
On March 13 and 14 I spent several hours riding and photographing the trolleys on several of the lines. Unlike my tour of the Hiro-Den system several years later, I was not able to ride the entire system.