The International Steam Pages
Railway Preservation in Brazil 1999
Jose Beraldo has sent this abstract of current news from the ABPF February 1999 newsletter: (updated 1st November 1999)
In the workshops at Carlos Gomes the rebuilding works of loco nr.1170 were completed, except for the painting which will be done during the next month. All members were satisfied to see the 2-8-0, built in 1912, in working condition and making the section between Carlos Gomes and Jaguary for a trial running on November 07. The loco is to be painted in the Central do Brasil color scheme.
Work on nr. 5 (2-6-2) is going ahead, with its balloon stack already rebuilt and the loco is scheduled to make trial runs in March. An inspection pit was completed at Carlos Gomes, helping to make the repairs more easily.
Loco nr. 604, a Baldwin 4-6-0, b/d 1895 of the former Paulista Rlw., actually stationed at Anhumas, will be completely rebuilt sponsored by NEC do Brasil. The loco will be trucked to Sorocaba were the works will be carried out and, when completed, this will be the oldest engine operating on VFCJ (Viação Férrea Campinas-Jaguariuna). Later news: It was steam tested on 31st October 1999 as shown below.
A new loco (added 1st November 1999) at Carlos Gomes is a Baldwin 4-6-2 of the former Noroeste do Brasil Railway:
At Cruzeiro (SP) the steam train is still operating on weekends, with loco 332, which is now making the trip up to kilometer 18, very near the state line between São Paulo and Minas Gerais, where is the famous tunnel of 1 km long. The state boundary is exactly some halfway within the tunnel. Also in Cruzeiro, efforts are being made to restore the Alco Mikado nr.522, which will be used to make the entire trip from Cruzeiro to São Lourenço, thanks to the the brave dedication of ABPF's member Mr. Jorge Luiz Sanches.
The Regional at Rio de Janeiro is operating the steam train in Guapimirim, pulled by loco nr. 1424, a Mikado of the former Central do Brasil. The Regional is also making efforts to build a spur in the Guapimirim yard to keep the locos and rolling stock and also to rebuild loco nr.327, a Pacific of the former Leopoldina Rlw.
The Curitiba Regional is restoring a MAN rail diesel car of 1938, with tests being carried out at the Curitiba's RDC workshops.
The Passa Quatro (MG) Regional has acquired a rail car from RFFSA, with a Chevrolet engine and capacity for 9 passengers. The vehicle was restored and is now making a short trip from Passa Quatro to Itanhandu, carrying tourists from the local hotels. The track between the two stations was cleaned out of grass and other debris, after years of abandonment.
At Rio Negrinho (SC) works are being carried out to restore the passenger cars used by the train now in operation. A diesel loco was donated by RFFSA and will be used to provide traction for the passenger train, when taking it to other cities where excursions are occasionally arranged. Incidentally, this will be the first diesel engine of ABPF and its preservation is also very important, as it was one of the first diesel locos to run in Brasil.
The Regional is operating its passenger train each second Saturday of every month, leaving Rio Negrinho at 9:30AM and reaching Rio Natal, which is in the famous Serra do Mar .
The Indaial (SC) branch of ABPF is still making efforts in the rebuilding of the Santa Catarina Rlw., with the help of Fundação TremTur, where in March the Matador station yard will start to be rebuilt. Meanwhile, the rebuilding of loco 232 is going ahead, with the boiler which is now ready and the mechanical part which was just started.
In São Paulo, the Regional is still operating the steam train on weekends, using the Pacific 353 of the former Central do Brasil and wooden cars of the former São Paulo Railway. The train runs on a small section of 800 meters of track, using an unnused section which served the Immigrations' building platform and the operation is sponsored by the Immigration Museum, which is located in the district of Brás. Recently, two additional ex-SPR cars arrived and another steam engine (ex-Central) was put in operation, as well as a former Santos' tram, which operates between the Museum and the near Brás station of the Metro.
Another restoration project now complete is Loco Nr. 5, a Baldwin 0-6-0 of the former Central do Brasil which works every weekend at the same site. In the background of the picture, the tender of the big Pacific Nr. 353 is barely visible, parked in the spare track.