A ride on the Corcovado Train is arguably something that every Rio de Janeiro visitor should treat themselves to. There are several reasons for this recommendation. For starters, the views from the top of Corcovado Mountain are spectacular on clear days. The city of Rio de Janeiro unfolds below, and you can easily make out some of the city’s most famous attractions. One such attraction is nearby Sugarloaf Mountain.
The Corcovado Train, or the Corcovado Rack Railway, as it is officially known, has been transporting people to the upper reaches of Corcovado Mountain since it opened in 1884. Some of the past riders, you might be interested to know, are among the most famous names in recent history. Both Pope Pius XII and Pope John Paul II have ridden the renowned mountain railway, for example, and Albert Einstein is just one more example of a famous passenger from the past.
In the early days, the Corcovado Train was steam-powered. That changed in 1910 when the line was electrified. The train still runs on electric power to this day, and as always, it passes through the world’s largest urban forest while making its way to the summit of Corcovado Mountain. This forest is known as the Tijuca Forest and is part of the Tijuca National Park. It is interesting to note that some of the ticket revenue from the Corcovado Train goes towards the protection of Brazil’s natural environment.
The Corcovado Rack Railway employs four trains, each of which has two cars. The trains depart every 30 minutes or so, and they run between the hours of 8:30 am and 8 pm. The trip to the top of Corcovado Mountain takes about 20 minutes. Generally speaking, you should budget about two hours for a round-trip ride. That being said, the Corcovado Train can only accommodate 360 passengers per hour, and the limited capacity means that tourists sometimes get stuck waiting in line for an hour or more. As for where to board the Corcovado Train, the station is found in the Rio de Janeiro neighborhood of Cosme Velho.