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Rio de Janeiro tram system reopens

Monday, July 27, 2015 - 01:18

A tram system in the Brazilian city of Rio de Janeiro partially reopens four years after a deadly accident on the line. Paul Chapman reports.

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Rio de Janeiro's residents and visitors have had a four year wait for the city's next tram to come along. The system known as the Bonde (pron: BON-jay) been closed that long after an accident in which six people died. Finally it's on the move again, at least partially. The state transport secretary says this time things are different. (SOUNDBITE)(Portuguese) RIO DE JANEIRO STATE TRANSPORT SECRETARY, CARLOS ROBERTO OSORIO, SAYING: "This new tram has four brake systems. The fourth is an emergency magnetic brake that can stop the trolley in any circumstances. It's like a magnet connecting the trolley to the tracks and this emergency brake is only to be used at the last minute." The accident which closed the system down in 2011 was blamed on brake failure due to lack of maintenance. For now the tram is undergoing tests with passengers travelling for free over a 900 metre stretch of track. Despite the past some tourists are delighted to get a chance to try it out. (SOUNDBITE)(English) BELGIAN TOURIST PHILIPPE BEGUINE SAYING: "We learned this morning that it was on, we came here and we're part of the second round so that's very exciting. This is really something that's really special in Rio and I'm very glad that we will be able, all together, to enjoy that again." Other stretches of the new 10-kilometre track are being tested without passengers while construction work continues to complete the system.

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Rio de Janeiro tram system reopens

Monday, July 27, 2015 - 01:18