The Tramways of

São Paulo state


Allen Morrison


Part 2: 1972-present

( Go to Part 1: 1879-1968 )


In 1969, a year after the abandonment of the Campinas streetcar system [see Part 1], a resident named Joaquim Bento Alves de Lima donated to the city his farm in the Taquaral district 5 km north of downtown [see maps]. Engineers reshaped a lagoon on the site and built a 3.5 km tramway around it, a power plant and depot for four trams, a gymnasium, swimming pool, café, picnic grounds, pirate ship and an amphitheater seating 2,000. Parque Taquaral and its tramway were inaugurated on 5 November 1972. The tramway still runs today, more than three decades later.
Four trams were rescued from the scrapheap and placed back in service: 129, 132 and 125 were renumbered 1, 3 and 4; car 2 was brought from the tramway system in nearby Piracicaba, which closed in October 1969. All are of the Brill type that ran in these cities in the first half of the 20th century [see Part 1]. Here is the ticket that the author purchased in 1976 for a ride on the "BONDINHO" (little tram) in Parque Taquaral [col. AM]:

The park was renamed Parque Portugal in 1980, but most residents still call it Parque Taquaral – or, sometimes, Lagoa do Taquaral, in memory of the old lagoon. The tramway operates every Saturday and Sunday afternoon year round. Passengers board at a platform in the northeast corner of the park, near the main entrance, café and picnic grounds [see maps] [AM]:

The photograph above was taken in 1976. Today that spot is surrounded by thick foliage and looks very different. The tram begins its clockwise tour around the lake [see maps]. Track gauge is meter, as on the original tramway in the city [AM]:

In the following view the tram is going alongside the automobile road on the east side of the park [see maps]. There are fisherboys everywhere [AM]:

What could be finer than a ride on an open tram around a lake in a park? [AM]

Here the camera is pointed east down the length of the lake [see maps]. The odd white structure on the other side of the water is the concha acústica (acoustic shell), the roof of the amphitheater called the Auditório Beethoven. The tram terminal is beyond the trees [AM]:

There are often a lot of crianças on board, learning from their parents what used to be [AM]:

At the west end of the lake, the tramway climbs a grade and enters a deeply wooded area [AM]:

Concertgoers headed for the Auditório Beethoven are warned "Careful! Tram!" [AM]:

The power house and tram depot are hidden nearby [Emídio Gardé]:

A plaque at the "TRAM STATION" honors Mayor Orestes Quércia who had the foresight to build the tramway in the park [AM]:

The line leaves the woods and runs alongside Av. Doutor Heitor Penteado on the north edge of the park [see maps]. If one arrives by taxi from the city, this is usually the first section of the tramway that one sees. It is a startling sight [AM]:

Finally the tram arrives back at the loading station near the park entrance. Car 3 has been summoned from the garage [AM]:

A model is displayed in a corner of the terminal [AM]:

The tramway was rebuilt in 1995, with new rails, ballast, posts and wire. It is one of the oldest tramways of its type in the world and arguably the most photogenic. The line is heavily patronized by local residents, but, strangely, almost unknown to other Brazilians – perhaps because of its remote location. There is no bus service. Except by automobile or on foot, the only way to reach the main entrance on the north side of the park is by taxi [see maps]. Finding transportation back to the city later can be a problem. The tramway is difficult to leave . . .


Go to Part 1: 1879-1968


(in order of publication)

Silva, Ayrton Camargo da. "Bondes em Campinas." Associação Brasileira de Preservação Ferroviária: Boletim, 4/1979, pp. 14-15. Description of the park tramway; origin of cars.

Associação Nacional de Preservação Ferroviária. Turismo Ferroviário page has a paragraph on the "Bonde do Parque Portugal (Antigo Taquaral) - Campinas - SP". Scroll down.

Guia Viagem. Government tourist office page on Campinas parks, including Parque Portugal. Nice description.


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Allen Morrison

This page was uploaded on
20 January 2005

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