World / China-Brazil

Chinese trains, ferries, education, part of Rio's daily life

(Xinhua) Updated: 2015-05-21 13:28

Chinese trains, ferries, education, part of Rio's daily life

Premier Li Keqiang takes a ride on the new subway Line 4 with Rio de Janeiro Governor Luiz Fernando de Souza in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, on May 20, 2015. The train is built by China's CNR Corp. [Photo/]

RIO DE JANEIRO - Although China and Brazil are two distant countries separated by a more than 20-hour plane ride, with languages as different as two worlds, their linkage is increasingly closer.

The subway that city residents ride every day is a Chinese underground system and the ferry boats that take passengers cross the Guanabara Bay are Chinese products.

At a local school named after Brazil's famous mathematician Joaquim Gomes de Sousa, students are taught both Chinese and Portuguese.

Nowadays, China's presence in Brazil has more to do with high-tech and culture than with traditional mass-produced low-cost items.


Boarding Metro Rio is not much different from taking the subway in Beijing, as the Chinese-made trains boast similar blue-and-steel grey exteriors and interior seating arrangements.

In addition to the Chinese trains running along two of the city's subway lines, the new Line 4, expected to be ready in time for the 2016 Rio Olympic Games, will also use Chinese trains.

The trains are set to cover more city areas as urban rail firm Supervia, whose trains connect downtown Rio with the blue-collar suburbs, has also purchased Chinese products.

Currently, a total of 19 trains built by China's CNR Changchun Railway Vehicle Company can transport up to 840,000 Rio residents per day. All the trains are equipped with electronic maps, LED lighting and security cameras.

Once past the entrance to the Cidade Nova station, passengers make their way onto the ultramodern cars under the catchword: "Your life begins here."

"The new trains are much more comfortable. Everyone knows Rio is always very hot, so a working air conditioner is very important," Melene, a local resident who takes the subway to work every day, told Xinhua.

Wang Huaifeng, commercial director at CNR's international division, told Xinhua the trains were tailor-made for Brazil, taking into account the average temperature, operating conditions and passenger capacity.

Pedro Augusto, director of the upcoming Line 4, said Metro Rio signed a deal with CNR in 2009, under which 19 trains were delivered and the first five of a second batch of 15 trains have also arrived.

Besides raising Metro Rio's transport capacity, "the Chinese trains are cheap, but modern and comfortable. We are very happy," he said.

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