The International Steam Pages
The Piacaguera - Paranapiacaba Incline at Work
James Waite was here in 1977, and has sent a report of the railway and his visit. As it happens, long ago Peter Mosse sent me some slides of his own visit in 1980, they show the railway from the lineside and perfectly complement James' efforts.
Today the ABPF, the Brazilian enthusiasts society, runs a museum at Paranapiacaba - see http://www.abpfsp.com.br/museu_ferroviario_paranapiacaba.htm (Portuguese)
For a fuller history of the São Paulo Railway - see http://www.novomilenio.inf.br/santos/h0102n.htm (Portuguese)
The railway between São Paulo and Santos, its port, opened in 1867 and was built to
1600mm (5' 3") gauge. The escarpment between Piacaguera and Paranapiacaba presented by far the largest engineering challenge in the construction of the line. The original route up the escarpment quickly proved to be inadequate and was replaced in 1896 by a cable-worked incline in five separate stages. Each stage had its own stationary winding engine and trains had a small tram-type 0-4-0 tank loco attached at their lower end to move the train the short distance between each stage. The track used a common centre rail, opening out into a passing loop halfway up each stage. The depot for the steam locos was at Paranapiacaba.
These are James Waite's pictures:
17 getting ready at Paranapiacaba engine shed and starting the descent:
One of the passing loops and waiting to start the climb at Piacaguera
A pw trolley on the incline near Paranapiacaba during the lunch break. Public passenger trains used the new incline by 1977 but here is an old wooden coach used for staff transport getting ready in Paranapiacaba yard for a trip down the cable inclines.
Two foggy scenes at Paranapiacaba station. This was a magnificent wood and cast iron structure. Sadly it was destroyed in the 1981 fire.
These are Peter Mosse's pictures, note the trains crossing in the third picture, the new rack line is further down the hillside: