Country Listing

Brazil Table of Contents



Railroads total at least 30,129 kilometers, of which 24,690 kilometers consist of 1.000-meter gauge, 5,120 kilometers consist of 1.600-meter gauge, 310 kilometers consist of mixed 1.600- to 1.000-meter gauge, 13 kilometers consist of 0.760-meter gauge, and 2,150 kilometers are electrified. Rail projects from mining areas to ports have accounted for the bulk of investment in the railroads since the mid-1980s. Mining companies operate several privately owned railroads. In 1987 the government announced controversial plans to build a 1,600-kilometer north-south railroad to link the city of Açailândia, in Maranhão State, with Brasília. The Federal Railroad System, Inc. (Rêde Ferroviária Federal S.A.--RFFSA) is responsible for suburban networks throughout Brazil. By 1994 the government had approved plans to privatize RFFSA. A new railroad running westward from Santos through agricultural lands, then north reaching near the Amazon's southwestern margin, is being built by a private entrepreneur's railroad company, Ferronorte.


Recife, Rio de Janeiro, and São Paulo have new urban subway systems. São Paulo's Metrô, the first in Brazil, began operating in 1975. It is clean, safe, cheap, and efficient. It has two main lines intersecting at Praça de Sé. One runs north-south from Santana to Jabaquara. Another runs east-west from Corinthians Itaquera to Barra Funda. A third line runs from Clinicas in the west, along Avenida Paulista, to Ana Rosa in the south, joining the Jabaquara line at Paraíso and Ana Rosa.

Rio de Janeiro also has a good, clean, and fast Metrô service. The nineteen-kilometer Line One operates between Tijuca and Botafogo, via the railway station and Glória. It is being extended one kilometer at the Tijuca end and seven kilometers on the new South Line from Botafogo to Ipanema and Leblon (Jardim do Allah) via Copacabana. Line Two runs past the Maracanã Stadium northward to Irajá and eventually will operate form Praça 15 de Novembro through the city center to Estácio.

Data as of April 1997