Photographer's Note

For most of its history, communications from São Paulo to the outside world were slow and difficult. In 1856 the British-owned São Paulo Railway Company was awarded the concession to operate a rail line between Santos and Jundaí, 70km north of São Paulo city in what was then a developing coffee-growing region. The 139-kilometre line was completed in 1867, remaining under British control until 1947. Overcoming the near-vertical incline of the Serra do Mar that separates the interior of the state from the coast, the line was an engineering miracle and is slowly being restored today.

Paranapiacaba , 40km southeast of São Paulo and the last station before the rack railway plunges down the coastal escarpment, was the administrative and engineering centre for the rail line and at one time was home to four thousand workers, many of whom were British. Neatly laid out in the 1890s in a grid pattern, the village has remained largely unchanged over the years. All that remains of the original train station is the clock tower, said to be a replica of London's Big Ben, but the workers' cottages and locomotive sheds (one of which houses an old British steam engine) are in an excellent state of preservation, and some are open to the public.

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Additional Photos by Adilson Faltz (faltz) Silver Star Critiquer/Gold Note Writer [C: 21 W: 8 N: 93] (1184)
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