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Train Museum, Recife

On display in the courtyard of the Train Museum are a trailer, two steam-powered locomotives, and a diesel-powered locomotive.

Train Museum, Recife

Article available in: PT-BR

Last update: 27/03/2020

By: Semira Adler Vainsencher - Retired researcher at the Fundação Joaquim Nabuco

In 1972, in the old Central Station, today the Recife Metro (METROREC), the Train Museum was created. This was patronised by sociologist and anthropologist Gilberto Freyre, and was guided by the then Joaquim Nabuco Institute for Social Research, now the Joaquim Nabuco Foundation.

On display in the courtyard of the Train Museum are a trailer, two steam-powered locomotives, and a diesel-powered locomotive.

There, the visitor can appreciate the iconographic collection of the trains that ran through several states in Northeast Brazil. The collection shows the history of locomotives, the history of the tracks, photos of the first locomotive and other train stations, railway sections with locomotive wheels, as well as chairs, glass, windows and luggage racks belonging to first-class cars.

The museum offers visitors hundreds of objects, such as boilers, generators, batteries, lamps, bells, clocks, telegraphs, theodolites, scales, telephones, various objects (such as English porcelain), as well as a series of books, photos and documents on the subject.

Also present in the Museum are several paintings by Gilberto Freyre, hand-painted with crayons, as well as a plaque that was brought from the Cinco Pontas Station – which was demolished with the construction of the viaduct – which reads as follows.

From here on 8-2-1858 departed the first train from Recife to São Francisco (“Recife and S. Francisco Railway Company”), thus inaugurating the stretch between the capital and the then village of Cabo. (Memorial by the Pernambuco Historical, Architectural and Geographical Institute and of the Northeast Railway Network on the first centenary of the inauguration). Recife, 8-2-1928.

It is also possible to observe several items from the workstation of engineer Edgard Werneck (whose name was given to the station in Areias), such as a desk, typewriter, calculator, personal stamps, coin-holder, lamps and filters.

The Train Museum operates at the old Central Station on Praça Visconde de Mauá Square in the São José neighbourhood, Recife. It is free and is open to the public Monday to Friday, from 9am to noon and from 2pm to 5pm.



Recife, 24 May 2004.
Translated by Peter Leamy, November 2016.


sources consulted

FRANCA, Rubem. Monumentos do Recife: estátuas e bustos, igrejas e prédios, lápides, placas e inscrições históricas do Recife. Recife: Secretaria de Educação e Cultura, 1977.

ROCHA, Tadeu. Roteiros do Recife (Olinda e Guararapes). 3. ed. Recife: Gráfica Ipanema, 1967.

how to quote this text

Source: Gaspar, Lúcia. Museu do Trem, Recife. Pesquisa Escolar Online, Fundação Joaquim Nabuco, Recife. Disponível em: <>. Acesso em: dia  mês ano. Ex: 6 ago. 2009.