Train Rides in Brazil Illuminate The Country's Past and Culture

There are 21 tourist and cultural trains functioning in Brazil

Marcelo Toledo
Morretes (PR)

For those who want to take a train ride, the country has 21 tourist and cultural trains in operation, carrying an average of 3 million passengers a year.

Onboard, tourists can enter the wild or immerse themselves in the culture of other states.

The most popular itineraries are in the South and Southeast.

One of them runs through Serra Gaucha, a grape and wine-producing region. There are 23 kilometers between Bento Gonçalves and Carlos Barbosa, passing by Garibaldi.

In the wagons, traditional Italian and gaucho songs, accompanied by dance performances, keep passengers entertained during the 90-minute journey. Wines, sparkling wines and juices produced in the region are also part of the package.

Another option is to board the Termas Train, which goes from Piratuba (SC) to Marcelino Ramos (RS). It is the only script that goes through two states.

The locomotive "old lady" in Guararema - Ana Luiza Tieghi/Folhapress

The highlight is the Uruguay River crossing, on a 495-meter long bridge. The route includes regional music and typical product tastings.

In the city of Apiúna (SC) is one of the shortest walks: only six kilometers. The difference from the others is that the railroad has been redone. In the past, the stretch was part of the Santa Catarina Railway.

A little further up in Paraná, the popular Serra do Mar-Train runs from Curitiba to Morretes, on a railway that is over 130 years old.

The main attraction of the 70 km ride is the natural landscapes. The line is in the largest continuous area of preserved Atlantic forest in the country.

Following Brazil above, Rio de Janeiro is home to another hit among train fans. The tour that goes through Corcovado towards Christ the Redeemer was inaugurated in 1884 by Dom Pedro 2º. It is by far the most sought after with over 600,000 passengers per year.

In the city of Passa Quatro, the Serra da Mantiqueira Train runs ten kilometers between the city's central station and Colonel Fulgencio's. The locomotive stops at Manacá station, where a fair with handicrafts and typical sweets operates.

In the Trem das Águas, which runs from São Lourenço to Soledade de Minas, there is a tasting of local products such as cheese, sweets, and cachaça.

Two locomotives manufactured in the 1920s run between São Lourenço and Soledade de Minas, carrying an average of 35,000 to 45,000 passengers per year. The revitalized Soledade station is from 1884.

Already the train between Ouro Preto and Mariana, a route that goes back to the imperial period, returned to work in June after three months stopped for maintenance. The operation is from Vale.

In the one-hour trip, mountains, tunnels, and waterfalls dominate the landscape.

Still in the Southeast, in São Paulo, a smoke-march runs the 24 kilometers of tracks between Campinas and Jaguariúna, inland, passing through five stations (four restored). Before departure, tourists are given a "class" on the operation of a steam locomotive. 

Translated by Kiratiana Freelon

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