Developing One of the World’s Largest Countries
THE LARGEST BRITISH-
THE vast area covered by the United States of Brazil has provided extremely difficult problems for railway engineers of various nationalities. Brazil is larger than the continent of Australia, as it comprises nearly 3,300,000 square miles; it occupies nearly one-
It became an empire in 1822 under Pedro I. His son, Pedro II, was dethroned in 1889, when Brazil became a republic. There are twenty States, one federal territory and one federal district.
Railway development has been concentrated in the coastal regions, and the total mileage is 24,630. There is no unified system linking all parts of the country, and the ownership and operation of the railways are complicated. Large areas are without railways. The Amazon and other rivers provide over 30,000 miles of navigable waterways, and fifteen of the twenty States are on the coast. Railways have developed chiefly in the south-
Rio de Janeiro has a population of 1,800,000, and is the chief railway centre. At one time the city was fever-
The Leopoldina Railway, the headquarters of which are in Rio de Janeiro, is one of the most interesting lines in South America. It operates 1,918 miles of metre-
The only parts of the system lying in fairly level country are those round the Bay of Rio de Janeiro, and a length of 200 miles on the main line from Rio de Janeiro to the seaport of Victoria. Even on this line the gradients are heavy for the remaining 196 miles to Victoria. The principal terminus of the railway is the Barao de Mana Station at Rio de Janeiro, which was completed in 1926, having been built to replace an older station which traffic had outgrown. So great is the suburban passenger traffic from the terminus to Penha and to Merity, a distance of twelve and a half miles, that the track for this section is quadruplicate, the daily service being 128 trains of ten coaches hauled by tank locomotives. The total number of trains dealt with at the terminus is 154. The largest signal-
Running north and north-
Rack Locomotives Employed
On the route to Raul Scares, the Serra has to be climbed, rack locomotives being employed. The night mail averages twenty-
As with the São Paulo Railway the Leopoldina Railway has to overcome the abrupt rise of the precipice-
The Leopoldina Railway Company inherited a system so complicated that it would be wearisome to describe in detail, and so variegated in rolling-
The oldest of the lines incorporated in the Leopoldina Railways is that from Mauá, on the Bay of Rio de Janeiro, to the foot of the precipitous Petropolis Serra, a distance of ten miles. This line was opened in 1854. It is said to be the oldest railway in America south of the equator. The line from which the company takes its name, the Companhia de Estrada de Ferro Leopoldina, received a concession to build a railway to link a terminal of the Estrada de Ferro Dom Pedro II at Porto Novo do Cunha with the town of Leopoldina, authorization being granted in 1872. This metre-
When the British company took the system over, the lines were in poor condition, because they had in the first place been built as cheaply as possible; and then, because of the financial plight of the various concerns, they had not been properly maintained. Most of the bridges and culverts were of timber, and these had to be replaced by steel and masonry structures; sections of line in hilly country, where wash-
RAILWAY DEVELOPMENT IN BRAZIL, as this map shows, has been chiefly in the eastern coastal regions. The total railway mileage is 24,630. The lines are worked by private companies, the various States, or by the central Government.
One of the three main lines leads north from Rio de Janeiro through Petropolis, Entre Rios -
The first two of the three main lines have to conquer the Serra that lies inland from the city of Rio de Janeiro. Except for that section which traverses the coastal plain, the Victoria line has to negotiate hilly country; gradients as steep as 1 in 33 and sharp curves are encountered. This line is operated by ordinary locomotives. On the two other main lines special methods have to be employed to deal with the Serra.
On the main line to Entre Rios and the north is a climb known as the Petropolis Serra, the foot of which is thirty miles from the Rio de Janeiro terminus. In a distance of three and three-
Practice has enabled the operation of these trains, which may be as long as fourteen coaches, to be as nearly perfect as possible. On reaching the foot of the climb each train is split up into sections of two coaches, each section being hauled up by one rack locomotive. Before the train arrives, rack locomotives are waiting on spur lines to pick up their two coaches. Only five minutes are allowed for the work of splitting up the train and getting the coaches on the move.
The rack engines on the Petropolis Serra include some built by the Société Suisse of Winterthur, which are super-
The second stiff gradient is that of the Friburgo Serra, on the second main line between Bocca do Matto and Theodoro de Oliveira. This gradient is less severe than the other, being 1 in 11, and is now operated by adhesion, although a central rail is used as a brake by descending trains. It is one of the most interesting examples of adhesion working in the world.
When the Brazilian engineers laid the track from Nictheroy they paused at the foot of this incline and considered a way to surmount it. An exceptional opportunity presented itself about 1872, when the Mont Cenis Tunnel, connecting France and Italy, had been completed, and the construction railway, operating on the Fell system, which had been laid over the mountains, was put up for sale. The Brazilians made an offer which was accepted, and the Fell railway was dismantled and shipped to Brazil. For some years this second-
Except for the latest type of locomotive, the engines employed on this incline weigh about 44 or 46½ tons, and pull passenger trains weighing forty tons up the grade at an average speed of nine miles an hour. Goods trains of about the same weight as the engine are pulled up at a slightly lower speed. The total distance from Bocca do Matto to Theodoro de Oliveira is seven and a half miles, and the line has to climb from 787 ft to 3,543 ft. There are two stations on this incline, at Penna and at Registro. The most acute curve has a radius of 111½ ft, and curves of 131, 164, 197 and up to 328 ft are numerous. When the trains descend the load is ninety tons and the speed is nine miles an hour. A stop is made at Penna to change the engine central rail brake blocks, the wear of which is from one to one and three-
As the central brake gear was rigid with the frames, trouble due to fractures on sharp curves arose. A new locomotive was therefore designed by the company with a wheelbase of 9 ft 8-
In the interior about nine-
The trains from the terminus at Barao de Maua Station proceed first over the four-
Petropolis, a thriving residential and manufacturing town of more than 40,000 inhabitants, is reached in one hour forty minutes from the Rio terminus. Until 1931 Raul Soares was the northern terminus, the distance being 332 miles, but an extension of about sixty-
For the first six miles of the extension the line runs through forest and across a plain, and crosses the River Vermelho by a reinforced concrete bridge. It then begins to climb, a gradient of 1 in 66 increasing to 1 in 40. Earthworks are heavy in this section, banks and deep cuttings being numerous. The summit level of the extension, 1,886 ft above sea-
A number of rivers had to be crossed, and British steelwork was used for the bridges. The building of the extension was divided into six sections, and the work was contracted out, The task of bringing up materials in the hilly country provided many difficulties. Material was carted in ox-
Because of the variety of the lines which form the Leopoldina Railway, the rolling-
Imported freight vehicles include a bogie insulated wagon for milk traffic and a twenty tons all-
The Leopoldina Railway possesses about 300 steam locomotives, and the bulk of the traffic is hauled by three types, the “Mogul” (2-
The most powerful locomotives on the railway are two articulated “Beyer-
The wheel arrangement is 4-
Cylinders (4) .. .. .. .. .. .. .. .. 15½ x 22-
Coupled wheels, diameter .. .. 4 ft 2-
Boiler pressure, lb per sq in. .. 185
Heating surface, tubes .. .. .. . 1,546 sq ft.
firebox .. .. . 151 sq ft.
Total . .. .. .. 1,697 sq ft.
Superheater 335 sq ft.
Total . .. .. .. . 2,032 sq ft.
Grate area .. .. .. .. .. .. .. .. .. . 34 sq ft.
Water capacity .. .. .. .. .. .. .. . 3,500 gallons
Coal capacity .. .. .. .. .. .. .. .. . 4½ tons
Rigid wheelbase .. .. .. .. .. .. .. . 9 ft 6-
Total weight in working order .. 111½ tons
Tractive effort (75% boiler pressure) 29,330 lb.
Maximum axle load .. .. .. .. .. .. 10½ tons
The first 200 miles of the run from Nictheroy is through country which is low-
THE LINES OF LEOPOLDINA RAILWAY are indicated here. The company has its headquarters at Rio de Janeiro, and this railway handles especially heavy suburban traffic.
During 1933 the number of passenger journeys made on the Leopoldina Railway totalled 27,380,645. Most of this was for suburban traffic in the neighbourhood of Rio de Janeiro, this traffic amounting to 87·65 per cent. There are only two classes on the railway, the figures for the journeys being 8,787,235 first-
Goods traffic in 1933 amounted to 1,453,282 tons, the chief items of which were sugar-
Another important British-
A TERMINUS of one of the world’s most remote railways, the Madeira-
Recife (Pernambuco) is the chief city of Northern Brazil, and is an important railway centre. There are various radiating lines, the most extensive of which strikes inland to the west to Alagoa de Baixo. Recife, with nearly 440,000 inhabitants, is the most important city in northern Brazil, and is in three parts, the first being Recife (the Reef), on a peninsula; the second, São Antonio, on an island; and the third, Boa Vista, on the mainland. Recife, sometimes called the “Venice of Brazil”, has an individuality of its own, and is 1,120 sea miles from Rio de Janeiro -
Centred on Recife
Considering Recife as the hub of the Great Western of Brazil Railway, its extreme points are Natal, 262 miles north, and Maceió, 216 miles south. Another terminus is Cabedello, 145 miles north. In each section, the lines curve inland to tap the hinterland and do not follow the coast. Natal, with nearly 50,000 inhabitants, exports sugar, cotton and hides; Cabedello is the port of João Pessoa, a town of 95,000 inhabitants and the capital of the State of Parahyba. Maceió, 120 sea miles from Pernambuco, has a population of 120,000, and is a cotton and sugar port. In addition to the branches which shoot off from this connected system there is an isolated line about seventy miles long which runs from Piranhas, in the state of Alagóas, to Jatoba, in the State of Pernambuco. Both ends of this line are on the São Francisco River, which is one of the great rivers of Brazil. The line was built to avoid the Falls of Paulo Affonso, and is an auxiliary to the river route. Curious as this railway link may seem, there is another even more strange line tucked away in the west of this remarkable country, to which reference will be made later.
Although this railway system does not operate in such rugged country as the systems farther south, some sections are in country that calls for a gradient as steep as 1 in 40. In 1933 two of the 161 locomotives were “Beyer-
The total tonnage of goods traffic hauled in 1933 was 1,134,466, and of this figure sugar-
The principal workshops are at Jabatao, ten miles from Recife, on the central line of the system, where the heavy repairs are concentrated. The locomotives and the rolling-
A railway was considered, and attempts were made by American engineers to build a line, but they were defeated by disease. The line had to be abandoned. The great obstacle was the mosquito. It is said that 10,000 men died to build five miles of line and that each sleeper represents the soul of a labourer. Material was brought up the lower Amazon and then up the Madeira as far as the town of São Antonio, where the rapids stopped further navigation. Various attempts were made, each to be defeated by the great loss of life until it seemed that no man could work at such a deadly task.
LOST FOR THIRTY YEARS. This locomotive was found abandoned in the jungle where it had been left by pioneers who had perished some thirty years earlier. Several thousand men are reported to have died during the construction of five miles of track in the fever-
In 1907, however, Mr. Percival Farquhar, an American, secured a concession which the Brazilian Government had granted the year before to another individual, and the Madeira-
The Central Brazil Railway (Estrada de Ferro Central do Brasil) is the most extensive of the systems owned and operated by the Federal Government, the total length of the lines being 1,903 miles. Of this mileage 1,134 miles are on the metre gauge, 780 miles being on the 5 ft 3-
Important Mining Areas
The line to São Paulo is broad gauge and connects the two chief cities of Brazil, for São Paulo has a population of about a million. It stands nearly 3,000 feet above sea-
The Central Railway has over 200 metre-
The Central Railway connects with another important railway, Rêde Mineira de Viacão, which is owned by the Federal Government, but is leased to the State of Minas Geraes, which it serves. The Rêde Mineira system, an amalgamation of several small lines, has a length of 2,350 miles, and is of the metre gauge except for 455 miles, which are 76 cm gauge, or 2 ft 6-
IN SERVICE after having been buried in the jungle for over thirty years. Since its recovery, the engine -
The Mogyana Railway Company is also part of this network of lines, as it touches the State of Minas Geraes and operates mainly in that of São Paulo. Except for fifty-
Another privately owned railway which connects with this is the Panlista Railway, which also connects with the São Paulo lines. This line is partly electrified. It is 938 miles in length, about half on the 5 ft 3-
The São Paulo-
The Sorocabana Railway Company, which is worked by the State of São Paulo, consists of 1,422 miles of metre-
The Rio Grande do Sul Railway, which is worked by the State of that name, but is owned by the Federal Government, extends from Porto Alegre, the capital of the State, at the head of the extensive Lagoa dos Patos, in a westerly direction to the border of Uruguay. Another line from Rio Grande do Sul, a town at the southern end of the Lagoa dos Patos, joins this first line at Santa Maria. There are 1,683 miles of metre-
The North Western of Brazil Railway, which is owned and operated by the Federal Government, links various lines in the State of São Paulo at Bauru and traverses Brazil in a westerly direction as far as Porto Esperança, on the River Paraguay and close to the frontier of Bolivia.
It thus links the Atlantic seaboard of the States of São Paulo, crosses part of Matto Grosso and readies a great waterway of central South America, for the town of Porto Esperança has a steamer service going upstream to Corumba, the most important commercial town in the State of Matto Grasso, while steamers go downstream to Buenos Aires, the capital of the Argentine Republic. The railway has in locomotives, sixty-
Serving Scattered Areas
On the north coast of Brazil, in the State of Ceará, the Ceará Railway (Federal Government) are lines which strike inland from the sea but are not connected laterally. One line extends from Fortaleza (also known as Ceará), which is the capital of the State, and has a population of 136,000, south to Aurora, near the border of Pernambuco State, throwing off branch lines. Away to the west of this railway another line from the port of Camocim leads south to Sobral and Oiticica. There are 842 miles of metre-
A larger system, which is operated by a French company for the Federal Government, is that of the Eastern Railways of Brazil, and totals 1,439 miles of metre-
In addition to the Brazilian railways mentioned in this chapter there are more than thirty minor railways. Indeed, the total number of lines which have separate names is about sixty; they range down to one company which owns two and a half miles of line. The number of railways will, however, indicate the variety and complexity of the great Republic of Brazil. It is not possible to treat such an area as uniform, or to think of railways in terms of standardization, which can be applied in comparatively small countries such as Great Britain, where conditions are settled. It has been estimated that three-
BOUND FOR RIO DE JANEIRO. A passenger train from Campos on the Leopoldina Railway. The railway owns some 300 locomotives, over 480 passenger coaches and about 2,240 goods wagons. The principal freights carried are coffee, sugar, cereals, and timber.