The Paranaguá to Curitiba line of the Paraná Railway in Brazil was constructed between 1880 and 1884. The work was divided into three parts: Paranaguá−Morretes, Morretes−Roça Nova, and Roça Nova−Curitiba. The construction team was headed by the engineer João Teixeira Soares. The construction marked a milestone in Brazilian engineering, as it involved crossing the coastal Serra do Mar. A British writer gave this description of the line in 1917: “The summit is reached at 3122 feet [952 meters] after a 40-km. rise…. The track of 1-metre gauge winds cleverly up a series of foothills and side spurs, finishing with a tight-rope performance along the upper Serra cliffs on viaducts which stick out over sheer drops of 1000 feet [305 meters]. The line has hardly 50 metres of track without a curve, and the views seaward are particularly fine.” The line was extended as far as Ponta Grossa in 1890, and it remains in operation to the present. Marc Ferrez (1843–1923), a Brazilian artist of French heritage who documented the development of Brazil as a nation, photographed construction work on the Paranaguá to Curitiba line in the early 1880s. Shown here is one of 33 photographs by Ferrez contained in an album that is part of the Thereza Christina Maria Collection at the National Library of Brazil. The collection is composed of 21,742 photos assembled by Emperor Pedro II throughout his life and donated by him to the national library. The collection covers a wide variety of subjects. It documents the achievements of Brazil and Brazilians in the 19th century and also includes many photographs of Europe, Africa, and North America.
Type of Item
1 photograph : collodion, black and white ; 17.9 x 25.5 centimeters
- W.S. Barclay, “The Geography of South American Railways,” Geographical Journal 49, no. 3 (March 1917).
Last updated: January 8, 2018