The monopoly of the railroad transportation between São Paulo city and the Santos harbour belonged to the British-controlled São Paulo Railroad (E.F. Santos a Jundiaí) since 1867. E.F. Sorocabana first tried to build its own lines to Santos in the beginning of the XX century. However, the technical dificulties associated with this branch were extremely huge, as it has to comply with a steep height difference of 800 m between the sea level and São Paulo highlands, the Serra do Mar. The financial dificulties of Sorocabana at this time aborted this dream. However, in the late1920s this railroad, now under São Paulo State government administration, tried again to build this strategic branch. Perhaps due to the S.P.R. monopoly, still on duty, Sorocabana decided to build this link to the ocean not directly from São Paulo city, but rather from the Mayrink station, a place about 70 km west from the state capital. At this time the enterprise got success: the new line linking São Paulo highlands to the ocean, also known as the Mayrink-Santos branch, was inaugurated in 1938. This line, as a matter of fact, linked Mayrink to Samaritá, a small village in the Baixada Santista served by the former São Paulo Southern Railroad, which linked Santos to Juquiá and was took over by E.F. Sorocabana in 1926. Ao the trains from Mayrink firstly reached Samaritá and then could arrive to Santos or Juquiá using the former lines of São Paulo Southern Railroad. In 1948, after the takeover of the E.F. Santos a Jundiaí by the Brazilian government, E.F. Sorocabana started to build a branch from the Mayrink-Santos line direct to São Paulo city, via the Pinheiros river. This line was ready in 1956, ending definitely the monopoly of E.F. Santos a Jundiaí. The Mayrink-Santos branch of E.F. Sorocabana did not use rack or other special system to cross the Serra do Mar, the hilly country between the seaside and the highlands which are 800 m above. This concept, however, implied in a more lengthy line, but with an increased load capacity. The lines of E.F. Santos a Jundiaí in this hilly country used special systems of cables since its construction until 1974, when a new rack system was inaugurated.
In 1978 a line between Paraitinga, a station near Samaritá, and Piaçagüera, in the E.F. Santos a Jundiaí, was inaugurated in order to allow trains with limestone from the Sorocaba region to reach COSIPA steelworks. In the beginning of the 1990s the Mayrink-Santos line was completely refurbished, including the introduction of double gauge (1.00 m/1.60m) and its Serra do Mar section was duplicated. The Campinas-Mayrink line, from the former E.F. União Ytuana/E.F. Sorocabana, was also revamped at that time, which allowed that all trains from the São Paulo State countryside to Santos (and vice-versa) to use the route Campinas-Mayrink-Santos, avoiding the complicated and very busy São Paulo city commuter lines. This was a severe blow in the movement of the former lines of E.F. Santos a Jundiaí, now under control of M.R.S. Logística. Nowadays the Mayrink-Santos branch is operated by Ferrovias Bandeirantes S.A., one of the railroads that constitutes the holding company Brasil Ferrovias S.A.
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Scenes from the past...
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Last Update: 01 May 2005
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