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São Paulo By Rail – 3 Exciting Train Journeys

Written by Peter Lauffer
May 24, 2021
All “Expresso Turístico” trips have been canceled since March 15, 2021. CPTM asks for everyone’s understanding and collaboration in the temporary emergency measures to prevent contagion from COVID-19.

São Paulo by Train: There are three exciting train rides near São Paulo that are relatively easy to take when you stay in the city.

The largest city in South America, São Paulo has many famous must-see sites for visitors. 

For the adventurous who love traveling by rail, three trains leave from São Paulo’s Estação da Luz and carry travelers to nearby cities that are not typically visited on ordinary tours.

Each of the trains mentioned below runs only on weekends and public holidays. Some need a prior reservation.

Train to Paranapiacaba from Sao Paulo
Train to Paranapiacaba

Expreso Turistico Jundiaí

Jundiaí is just 60 km from São Paulo. One of its attractions is the Railway Museum, owned by Cia. Paulista de Estradas de Ferro, Avenida União dos Ferroviários, 1760, Jundiaí. 

The train journey usually takes place on Saturdays, departing at 8:30 a.m. from Estação da Luz in São Paulo and departing Estação Jundiaí at 4:30 p.m. for the return trip. The train is pulled by a locomotive from the ’50s, completely renovated.

The train travels a railroad built in 1867 by the old São Paulo Railway Company. The Jundiaí railroad was the first railway in the São Paulo area; its purpose was to bring the coffee produced in the Jundiaí region to the Port of Santos.

View from Pico do Urubu - Mogi das Cruzes, Brazil
View from Pico do Urubu - Mogi das Cruzes, Brazil

Train to Mogi Das Cruzes

From São Paulo, it is a 48-km train ride to the smaller city of Mogi das Cruzes, which is part of the Alto Tietê region, an area close to the source of the Tietê River. The city has about 370,000 inhabitants. Mogi has a significant Japanese presence and is considered one of the flower-producing centers of Brazil, especially for Orchids. 

One of the most relaxed activities in Mogi for those who like trails and beautiful scenery is the visit to Pico do Urubu. Very close to the train station, this site features a short and easy path leading to the top of a mountain. The destination is practically a center of extreme sports, with activities for runners, cyclists, trekkers, or just admirers of landscapes. The sunset at the site is incredible!

The train journey from São Paulo’s Estação da Luz to Mogi das Cruzes takes about one and a half hours. Be sure to check the departure dates because the train doesn’t run every weekend. Departure is usually at 8:30 a.m. from Estação da Luz, and the train leaves from Mogi das Cruzes at 4:30 p.m. for the return journey.

This train journey takes place on the rails of the old Central Railway of Brazil, a railroad that was inaugurated in 1877 to connect Rio de Janeiro to São Paulo. The last train that connected São Paulo with Rio de Janeiro operated until 1998.

Ruins of the old Funicular Paranapiacaba - Santos, Brazil
Ruins of the old Funicular Paranapiacaba - Santos, Brazil

Train to Paranapiacaba

The train journey to Paranapiacaba is probably the most scenic of those from São Paulo. Paranapiacaba is a charming village of English architecture located in the mountain range that separates São Paulo from the Atlantic Ocean. There are various cultural and ecological attractions near Paranapiacaba such as the Castelinho Museum, the Nascentes de Paranapiacaba Municipal Natural Park, and the Casa da Memória.

The train journey usually takes place on Sundays. The train leaves at 8:30 a.m. from Estação da Luz, and the return journey departs from Paranapiacaba at 4:30 p.m., with a stop at the Mayor Celso Daniel-Santo André Station.

The 48-km journey takes about one and a half hours. Among the highlights of the trip are the Ribeirão Pires and Rio Grande da Serra stations, both of which are considered part of the historical heritage of São Paulo. The British-owned São Paulo Railway Company built the railroad, which opened in 1867.

As an extra treat, in Paranapiacaba one can see in operation the second oldest locomotive in Brazil, which today is part of the collection of the Brazilian Railway Preservation Association (ABPF).

Sao Paulo is the end point of our tour "Grand Rail Tour of Brazil" 
Information about the departure of the "Expresso Turisticos" you at the CPTM Website
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