The train starts in the southern Brazilian metropolis of Curitiba. The train travels through the Serra do Mar, a densely overgrown coastal mountain range to Paranagua at the Atlantic Ocean. Since 2007, the tourist train Serra Verde Express travels on this railroad from Curitiba to the small picturesque town of Moretes, about 30 km land inward from Paranagua.
History of the Serra Verde Railroad
The almost 110 km long railway line from Curitiba to Paranagua is considered an engineering masterpiece of the late 19th century.
Ferdinand de Lesseps, who is better known as the builder of the Suez Canal, was the designer of the Curitiba to Paranagua railway. Up to 5000 people are said to have died of typhoid, malaria, and accidents within the five-year construction period of this railroad.
The narrow-gauge railway is single-track over a length of 110 km. The railroad starts in Curitiba at an altitude of 935m.a.s.l. and descends to sea level. It has 15 train stations and runs through 13 tunnels carved into the rock, crosses 41 steel viaducts imported from Belgium, and 32 bridges.
The Tourist Train Serra Verde Express
The Federal Government (RFFSA) inaugurated the Serra Verde Express in 1997. The idea was offering a unique way of transport for passengers on the century-old railroad between Curitiba and Paranaguá in Paraná State.
In just over eight years of operation, RFFSA managed to transform the Serra Verde Express into one of the leading tourist attractions in Paraná State, behind the city of Foz do Iguaçu. Currently, the Serra Verde Express transports more than two-hundred thousand people per year on the stretch from Curitiba to Morretes. There are no passenger trains between Moretes and the 38km away Paranagua at the moment. Since there are only a few passenger trains still running in Brazil, this trip is unique and famous for Brazilian Tourists. The route is truly spectacular when it winds through a completely untouched, rugged mountain landscape. The train crosses the 113 meters viaduct Sao Joao, and travels over the 80-meter Viaduto Carvalho. A very unique and famous part is the Devil’s curve, where the train spectacularly sticks to the wall.
We travel on the Serra Madre Express on our “Brazil by Train.”