Subways of the World Cup

Rio de Janeiro subway - Cinelandia station

Following our round up of the world’s biggest, greatest, most remarkable subway systems it seems appropriate to take a look at what Brazil offers. Because there is a big event happening over there right now… have you heard about it? Something to do with football…

Sao Paolo Metro

The largest subway network in Brazil is in Sao Paolo. With six different lines, it carries 4.5 million passengers a day – 888 million a year – over 258.4 km of track.

So it is busy. And a short recce online finds the evidence as to just how busy it can be. Think Buchanan Street on a Saturday afternoon times a billion.

The Sao Paolo metro is obviously a crucial transport link and has attracted major investment. And it has some pretty cool doors…

During the World Cup Sao Paolo played host to the home country’s tournament opener (Brazil beat Croatia 3-1) and this week’s crucial England v Uruguay match.

Which was fitting as the city was originally home to Charles William Miller, the Brazilian born son of a Scottish railway engineer, John Miller, who is credited with introducing Brazil to the “beautiful game”.

Rio de Janeiro

Rio is a vast city of six million people, the second largest in South America. Its Metro was opened as recently as 1979 with just five stations, but since then it has grown to 35 stations, over 41km of track and two separate lines. With 1.1 million passengers a day it is a sizable network – the fifth biggest on the continent – and is widely considered the cleanest, fastest public transport in the city.

An extension to the network is being built now, and is due to be opened in time for the Olympics in 2016. Incredible to think that just two years after hosting the FIFA World Cup, the city will play host to an even bigger sporting circus.

Rio played host to World Champions Spain’s demise at the hands of Chile this week – and the final on July 13. When the locals will no doubt be hoping a certain young man by the name of Neymar will be the star of the day.

They’ve won it before, of course… a few times…