The government of Brazil has announced the completion of the 2,260km Norte-Sul railway that will connect the north of the country to the south – work on the project first started in 1986.
The railway link, which was recently officially opened by President Lula da Silva, will connect the ports of Itaqui in Maranhão to Santos in São Paulo and allow farmers in three states to easily transport crops by the railway link to a port and thus international markets.
Work began in 1986, but failed to make much progress until the government intervened in 2007 as part of a general drive to grow the Brazilian economy. In 2019, Rumo, the largest logistics company in Latin America, started to operate the project’s 1,540km southern section, and invested approximately US$830 million in rolling stock and terminals at São Simão and Iturama, as well as Rio Verde.
In addition to the terminals, other infrastructure works were necessary to complete the railroad, such as the construction of four bridges between Goiás, São Paulo and Minas Gerais, hundreds of kilometres of tracks and numerous yards, such as the one that connects the Central Meshes and Paulista in the city of Estrela D’Oeste.
It is reported that the completion of the line is expected to stimulate further extension of the Brazilian rail network.