Corcovado Rack Railway

Corcovado Rack Railway (35)

This impressive century-old, two-car train is striking not only for its distinctive and cheerful red colour, but also because it was the first electric railway in Brazil. 

The route it takes is even older than the Christ who awaits you at the top of Corcovado and, during the ascent, you'll experience the most breathtaking scenery in the Atlantic Forest that many famous people have enjoyed before you: Pope John Paul II, Albert Einstein, Princess Diana, and kings, princes, artists and scientists. 

The Corcovado Rack Railway runs over 3800 metres up a steep incline, from Rua Cosme Velho to the top of the hill. Emperor Pedro II inaugurated the first steam train in 1884, and in 1910 the trains were replaced by electrical machines, making it the first electric railway in the whole of Brazil and helping turn Corcovado in one of the main viewpoints of the city, long before the image of Christ was established there. Between 1926 and 1931 its cars helped transport the large pieces that were needed to build Christ the Redeemer atop Corcovado Mountain. In 1979 the cars and machines were replaced by more modern and less polluting models imported from Switzerland to help protect the fabulous wildlife and vegetation of the Tijuca National Park it crosses.

The views offered by this 20-minute journey are the most impressive in Rio de Janeiro. Don't be surprised to spot the occasional monkey amongst all the greenery. 

Also, when choosing the train to access Corcovado, you're helping preserve the forest, since some of the proceeds go to the Brazilian Institute of the Environment (IBAMA). What's more, your ascent is sure to be accompanied by some lively music.

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