Corcovado Rack Railway

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Corcovalo Rack Railway
Corcovado Bergbahn 2005-03-15.jpg
LocaleRio de Janeiro, Brazil
TerminiCosme Velho 22°56′27″S 43°11′55″W / 22.9408°S 43.1985°W / -22.9408; -43.1985
Corcovado 22°57′06″S 43°12′40″W / 22.9517°S 43.2112°W / -22.9517; -43.2112Coordinates: 22°57′06″S 43°12′40″W / 22.9517°S 43.2112°W / -22.9517; -43.2112
Stations4 active
1 closed
TypeRack railway
Opened10 July 1884; 136 years ago (1884-07-10)
Line length3.8 km (2.36 mi)
Rack systemRiggenbach
Track gauge1,000 mm (3 ft 3 38 in) metre gauge
Minimum radius100 m (330 ft)
ElectrificationTwo three-phase 800 V AC 60 Hz
overhead wires
Operating speed25 km/h (16 mph)
Highest elevation670 m (2,198 ft)
Route map

Cosme Velho
Morro do Inglês
opened 1884
closed 1966
Santa Teresa Tram
BSicon lNAT.svg
Cristo Redentor
BSicon ARCH.svg

The Corcovado Train (Portuguese: Trem do Corcovado) is a rack railway in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, from Cosme Velho to the summit of the Corcovado Mountain at an altitude of 710 m (2,329 ft). The summit is known for its statue of Christ the Redeemer and its views over the city and beaches of Rio.

The line is 3.8 km (2.4 mi) long. It is a 1,000 mm (3 ft 3 38 in) gauge rack railway using the Riggenbach rack system. The line was opened by Emperor Dom Pedro II on 9 October 1884. Initially steam hauled, the line was the first railway to be electrified in Brazil in 1910, and was re-equipped in 1980 with trains built by SLM of Winterthur in Switzerland. It is one of the few remaining railways using three-phase electric power with two overhead wires, at 800 V 60 Hz.

The trains and other equipment were replaced in 2019 by Swiss Stadler Rail. The new vehicles are capable of reaching a maximum speed of 25 kilometers per hour, compared to the previous maximum of 15 km/h, allowing the ascent to be made in approx 15 minutes. During the descent, energy is recovered by regenerative braking, which leads to a saving of 75% of the overall power consumption.[1]

Engineer's view

There are four trains, each of two cars. Three of them are used simultaneously. The trip takes approximately 20 minutes and departs every 20 minutes, giving a capacity of 540 passengers per hour. Due to this limited capacity the wait at the entry station can be several hours. The line operates from 08:30 to 18:30 (8:30 a.m. to 6:30 p.m.).

The line has been ridden by many famous people, including Pope Pius XII, Pope John Paul II, Alberto Santos-Dumont, Albert Einstein and Diana, Princess of Wales.


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