Wednesday, September 23, 2020


The railways were nationalised under RFFSA(Rede Ferroviaria Federal, Sociedade Anonima) in 1957. After 1999 RFFSA was broken up and in 2007 RFFSA dissolved and services are now operated by a variety of private and public operators. The 37,743 km network is predominantly freight-focused and includes major iron ore rail lines. The country's passenger rail services are mostly concentrated in urban and suburban areas. Eight Brazilian cities have metro systems, São Paulo Metro being the biggest among them. 

One of the main reasons for Brazilian rail freight’s second-class status is the crumbling state of many of the country’s lines. The country has built more than 37,000km of track since the late 1950s, but a third of those lines are reportedly now abandoned, and another third are operating well below capacity. Projects have languished, incomplete, for years, and the condition of many lines has deteriorated as decades of prioritising road over rail – especially by the military government that ruled from 1964 to 1985 – come back to bite. According to data from McKinsey, Brazil spends around 2.5% of its gross domestic product on infrastructure, proportionately less than a third of infrastructure spending in China and around half of what is spent in India.


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