BRAZIL: Dutra's Depot

Thirty stories above the street, the world's largest clock told the time. In the huge, marbled lobbies of South America's tallest and finest railway station, loudspeakers poured out sambas. But the Government-operated Central do Brasil's new Dom Pedro II Station in Rio was incomplete behind its majestic façade. Train sheds had still to be roofed. At rush hour 150,000 commuters and fellow travelers jammed narrow platforms, were squirted on & off trains like toothpaste. The grandeur of Dom Pedro II Station could not mask the rickety state of Brazil's railways.

Derailments frequently make thousands late for work. Equipment is...

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