Monday, September 18, 2017

The abandoned trains of an old British railway station in Brazil

A few miles outside Sao Paulo, sits the picturesque village of Paranapiacaba. It was established in the middle of the 19th century by the British-owned São Paulo Railway Company. Designed by Jeremy Bentham according to a prison model style, it was the operational headquarters of the British railway company.

The British had built the zig-zag railway line in the hilly terrain to export coffee beans from the area through the port Santos. For 30 years Paranapiacaba prospered and at one time about 4,000 workers, mostly British citizens, lived there. When automated machines replaced the funicular, the population declined and many buildings were abandoned. The last steam train was decommissioned in 1982. 

Even though only about 1,000 people live in Paranapiacaba today, the village's abandoned buildings have been well preserved as the government of Brazil has declared it a historic district and has promoted tourism.  


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