Mapping out the Brazilian Railway system

Within the first year of Bolsonaro’s presidency in Brazil, it became apparent that he seeks to pursue a pro-resource and pro-industry course. This is reflected by increased investment plans in mining and agricultural usage of land in the amazon rainforest.

Creating large amounts of produce for export of course requires affordable capacity for transport. It is thus likely that projects such as the RENCA mining area in the northern Amazonas, commenced by Temer, will be pushed by Bolsonaro and will also inject significant investment in the rail infrastructure in the respective regions.

With the signing of an MoU by the Para state government to carry out a viability study for the Fepasa railway just this November 2019, construction however will not commence before 2021.

This project, like most others, are questioned from many different standpoints. From the broad environmental perspective to cut, or burn, down the rainforest to commence mining to the inclusion of the ingenious tribes as well as the world’s most diverse ecosystem.

For the railway supplier industry, they will eventually face the decision if the railway and other transport projects are not only commercially viable for them but if they meet their ecological and ethical standards.

In the meantime, here is a map that showcases the current state of the railway system and its planned further development. While I tried to include the most recent information I got, much of the basis of the map is already a few years old.


Regarding the different railway names, I envisaged that it helps most to distinguish them according to their (sometimes outdated) names despite the current congestionaires are changing.



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