Railway Study Trip of the FLB to Brazil 2003
In 2003, the FLB visited the Northeast of Brasil to gain a first-hand impression of the actual state of the railways of Brasil in this area.
The programme started in Belo Horizonte with a visit to the recently extended suburban railway to Vilarinho/Venda Nova. The following day, the group transferred to São João del Rei and visited the museum steam railway to Tiradentes featuring Baldwin locomotives on 760 mm gauge.
The next day, the group travelled from Belo Horizonte to Vitória on the Companhia do Rio do Vale Doce railway Estrada de Ferro Vitória a Minas. The metre gauge line extending on 664 km, mainly double track, features lively goods traffic. In one day, up to 20 trains are crossed.
After a flight to Salvador do Bahia, the targets were the elevators and funiculars (ascensores) from the lower to the upper part of the city. Then followed a visit to the suburban railway from Estação Calçada to Paripe which runs about every 45 minutes on weekdays. Along the track, there was also some older rolling stock. The construction sites of the new LRT lines were visited.
Next day, the group went via Santo Antônio de Jesus -Nazaré, with remainders of railway track, to Cachoeira/São Felix, to see the railway traffic of the Gargalo do Paraguaçú. All trains have to shunt heavily to pass the locations.
The following day there was a bus ride along one of the oldest railways of Brasil from Cachoira/São Felix to São Francisco/Alagoinhas with the 140 year old station building, and transfer to Maceió.The following day was the time for a ride on the suburban lin to Lourenço Albuquerque.
In Maceió, followed a ride with the suburban train to Lourenço Albuquerque, and after that a transfer to Cabo and a ride on the CBTU/CPT suburban line to Recife. Thereafter there was time for a visit to to Metrorec and its lines to Jaboatão and Camaragibe.
The group then transferred to João Pessoa and its CBTU line of 125 km and a day later to Natal, also with a long CBTU line.
On the busride to Fortaleza along the coast, the closed station Mossoró and other rarely used as f.ex. Natal - Macau were visited.
In Fortaleza, the suburban lines to Caucaia and Vila das Flores of Metrofor were visited, and on the following day a bus ride took the group to Parnaíba, visiting the railway line Fortaleza Cabral as well as the closed stations ov Camocim and Parnaíba. On the onwards trip via Atalaia and its closed stationm São Louis was reached.
Early the following day, the group traveled with the CVRD Carajas railway from São Luís Parauapebas to Marabá. The heavily trafficked line, mainly through the former Amazonas virgin forest, of 1600 mm gauge has a lot of goods traffic.
After a flight to Brasilia, attempts were made to ride the Metrõ de Brasilia which however was closed during the weekend, so the early hours of Monday had to be used for this purpose. Thereafter, the group transferred to Rio de Janeiro.
In Rio de Janeiro, the group visited the rack railway to the Corocovado and the historical bonde tramcars to Santa Teresa. This was followed by a visite to the bonde's workshop and the small tramway museum at the same location.
The last day of the tour was used to visit the SuperVia suburban railway, easily usable as far as Deodoro, and other suburban lines for the courageous.
The trip was planned by:
Comet Reisen AG, Zürich