Concessionária Estrada de Ferro Vitória a Minas SA (EFVM is a Brazilian railway company, owned by VALE) that links the Metropolitan Region of Vitória, in Espírito Santo, with Belo Horizonte, capital of the State of Minas Gerais. The railroad’s initial objective was transporting passengers between the two cities and carrying the coffee production from the coffee regions in the Rio Doce Valley and the state of Espiritu Santo. This focus was changed in 1908 when the railroad started transporting ore and iron from the newly discovered mines in the Itabira area to the seaport of Vitoria.
History of the Train from Vitoria to Belo Horizonte
The construction of the Vitória to Belo Horizonte Railway began in the late 19th century. The first railway section, connecting the cities of Vitória and Natividade, was inaugurated on May 13, 1904, with a total of 30 kilometers. When the railroad construction reached the small town of Naque, the British bought the railroad and changed the plan for the projected railway immediately. The British plan was to connect the railway to their newly acquired ore and iron mines in the 150km away Itabira region. World War I and the Spanish flu paralyzed the railroad construction. In the early 1920s, the railroad project resumed. The railroad reached Nova Era and Itabira between the 1930s and 1940s.
World War II also caused delays. In the 1940s, the British transferred Iron Mining Companies to the Brazilian Government represented by state-owned company VALE. Together with the mining sites, they also transferred the railway company. From the 1950s onward, VALE bought diesel locomotives, replacing the entire fleet of steam locomotives until the 1960s. Between 1971 and 1977, VALE built a branch line from Itabira to Nova Era were even more mining was going on. In 1994, the railway reached Belo Horizonte, the capital of Minas Gerais, becoming the only train in Brazil to supply passenger trains with daily departures over long distances.
Today traveling on the Train from Vitoria to Belo Horizonte
The Vitoria – Belo Horizonte Railway is one of the most modern and productive railroads in Brazil, being managed by Vale SA. It is one of the few Brazilian railways to maintain continuous passenger transport, transporting about 3 thousand passengers daily. The Vitoria – Belo Horizonte Railway is a metric-gauge railway (1,000 mm). It has a minimum curve radius of 195 meters and a maximum ramp of 1.5%, which allows a maximum speed of 67 kilometers per hour. At the moment, it is one of the last railroads to perform long distances passenger service in Brazil. Between Vitoria and Belo Horizonte are a total of 30 points of embarkation and disembarkation. The railroad from Vitoria to Belo Horizonte has a length of 664 kilometers.
The train crosses a region with a significant amount of mountains and rivers and whose typical vegetation alternates between the Atlantic Forest and the Cerrado (Savannah). During a large portion of the trip, the train follows the Rio Doce.
The train consists of 2 locomotives (G12 and G16), one generator set, one command car, one cafeteria car, four executive cars, and 13 economy class cars. Since August 2014, the train has wheelchair access and, it is fully air-conditioned.
We travel from Vitoria to Belo Horizonte by train on our new Rail Tour in Brazil.