Sunday, June 2, 2013


My brother has been working in Brazil and he sent me a "railfan" photo taken near Mangaratiba, which is located on the coast about an hour and a half southwest of Rio.     The hoppers/gons in the photo looked to be carrying iron ore, and upon some investigation on Bing Maps, Birdseye view, I was able to locate these, the only tracks in the area and follow them to their nearby terminus - a huge iron ore export operation on a small island, connected to the mainland by a long railroad bridge over the Atlantic Ocean.    Two ore ships were being loaded, with another half dozen anchored, waiting their turn.   Some more research - the entire export is only a few years old.

Aerial view of the export pier thanks to Bing - check out the size of that ore ship, its a monster -  five tugs just to push it to the dock.   Notice the large loop for trains to reverse direction without disconnecting the locos.

I followed the tracks back toward Rio, with the hope of eventually finding the iron ore mines, but the tracks split hopelessly into five or more lines in Rio, and as you know the country is pretty large so I gave up.  But just as I was getting into Rio, I noticed this operation - It's a steel mill built by Thyssenkrupp about three or four years ago.  The coke works is on the far left, with the ore, mineral, and coal storage next,  two blast furnaces, a BOF, and a continuous caster.    They also have their own deep water port just off the photo to the left, presumably to import coal and maybe ore too.  The very long pier is equipped with an equally long conveyor belt that ends at the coke works and the mineral storage yards.    The plant produces steel slabs that are shipped to Thyssenkrupp plants in Alabama and Europe, for finishing.  .  

No comments: