Estrada de Ferro Cantagalo

Inauguration of the Cantagalo Railway (Estrada de Ferro Cantagalo) in Brazil (Godefroy Durand, published at L'Illustration, Volume XXXV, nº 903, 16/06/1860.).

The Estrada de Ferro Cantagalo or Cantagalo Railway in Brazil operated from 1873 to 1965, and used the Fell mountain railway system, with equipment from the temporary Mont Cenis Pass Railway which closed in 1871. From 1883 the Fell rail was used for braking only. Cameron says that the line was 1,000 mm (3 ft 3 38 in) metre gauge to which the locomotives and rolling stock were converted (though another source says that the line was to the same 1,100 mm (3 ft 7 516 in) gauge as the Mont Cenis Pass Railway). The line was built by English engineers and capital.

The railway, from Niterói to Nova Friburgo, was Brazil's first mountain railway. The coastal plain was followed by a steep rise of 3,600 feet (1,100 m) to the inland plateau, starting at Cachoeiras de Macacu, and spread over 32 miles (51 km), with the steepest section of about 7 34 miles (12.5 km) between Boca do Mato and Theodoro de Olivera: 6 12 miles (10.5 km) was 1 in 12, and 1 14 miles (2.0 km) between 1 in 14 and 1 in 33 (7 % and 3 %). Curvature was severe, from 111 to 328 feet (34 to 100 metres) radius.

The locomotives initially were 0-4-0T tank engines of about 16 short tons (14.3 long tons; 14.5 t). Four new locomotives were purchased from Manning Wardle of England, plus 14 (probably) from the Mont Cenis Pass Line. These locos were of limited capacity and expensive to maintain, and possibly affected by the Brazilian climate. They were replaced in 1883 by new 44-ton adhesion-only locomotives from the Baldwin Locomotive Works, though the Fell centre rail was retained for braking. Two North British Locomotive Company engines were bought in 1929.[1]

The line became part of the Leopoldina Railway in 1911, and closed about 1965.

External links


  1. Railway Magazine October 1935 p. 287
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