/ Joinville




Santa Catarina is the state with the largest German population in Brazil and towns in the Itajaí River valley&emdash; Blumenau, Brusque, Rio do Sul&emdash;have Bavarian architecture and street signs ending in Straße. The Teutonic tradition did not spread to tramways, however: only two towns had them, neither electric.

Florianópolis, the capital, located on Santa Catarina Island a few kilometers off the Atlantic coast, was called Destêrro until 1895 and had two separate tram periods. The Companhia de Carris Urbanos inaugurated a short line in the center of the city on 6 November 1880, which continued until 1885. Over two decades later, the Companhia Carris Urbanos e Suburbanos dedicated a new mule tramway, on 5 June 1909. The IBGE report for 1912 shows 87 mules (!) pulling ten passenger cars and six freight cars on an 8.7 km network serving Pedras Altas, Tranqueira and the Estação Agronômica. An electric tramway was proposed in July 1913 but, like many such projects in Brazil at that time, was squelched by World War I. Florianópolis, which was never reached by railroad, kept mulecar service until the 1930s. Its 1980 population was 150,000.




Joinville, 180 km north of the capital, had 200,000 inhabitants in 1980, more than the capital, but had even less luck with trams. A 7 km mule tramway, operated by the Empresa Ferro Carril Joinvillense, ran only six years, from 29 January 1911 until 10 April 1917. Joinville is served by a branch of the former Brazil Railway.