Sessão I

Novas Perspectivas sobre os Caminhos de Ferro Portugueses

Organizadores: Ana Cardoso de Matos (Universidade de Évora); Hugo Silva Pereira (Universidad Nova de Lisboa) y Magda Pinheiro (ISCTE-IUL)

Alexandre Ramos, CIDEHUS-UÉ (Portugal)
The last Passenger. Portuguese Colonial Railways and Cinema.

The «colonial issue» was not a Portuguese exclusive, its European counterparts were equally challenged with the growing international criticism of colonial sovereignty. However, for the democratic powers the management of the colonial dossier was more complex because, among other things, they were subject to greater scrutiny by the press and public opinion. The development of Colonial Railways and Cinema emerges in the post-war period as a powerful instrument for (counter) information. Portugal will be no exception. In fact, the use of cinema by the Portuguese authorities for colonial propaganda – in which railways were often the “theme” – is the subject of this article. With the following essay we aim to show how Portuguese Colonial Cinema is an important source of information to study African Railways.

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Hugo Silveira Pereira, Universidade Nova de Lisboa (Portugal)
Photography and Railways in the Portuguese colonies: “progress”, “civilization”, and technological landscape (1880s-1910s).

From the 1870s onward, Portugal transferred to its African and Asian colonies the Saint-Simonianist development programme it was implementing in the mainland since the 1850s (historically known as Fontismo). By the eve of the First World War, around 2,000 km of tracks had been laid down in Angola and Mozambique (Navarro 2018). The different actors engaged in this effort left a vast array of documentation (reports, debates, statistics), including photos of the construction and operation of railways. Photography was a common and relatively widespread activity in Portugal since 1870 and it accompanied Fontismo closely (Baptista 2014). As a product of science and technology itself, photography was given an alleged objectivity that paintings and drawings did not have. However, quite on the contrary, photographs are highly subjective – objects staged to convey a specific message and to contribute to the construction of more comprehensive myths (Barthes 1972). They are embedded in the culture/ideology in which they were produced, and they are linked with discursive forms that depend on the institutions and agents who took them (Daniels; Cosgrove 1988; Vicente 2015). In this paper, I analyse how photography was used to divulge that Portugal was doing its share in the European mission of civilizing Africa thus proving it was a modern, technologically prone, and imperial nation. Additionally, I claim that both railways and photography contributed to the definition of a technological landscape in Angola and Mozambique. To do so, I use a diverse set of images from different Portuguese and British sources taken in the context of railway construction and operation in Angola and Mozambique. I combine them with written documents of the same epoch, which are crucial to fully understand the messages behind the photos (Daniels; Cosgrove 1988; Vicente 2015).

Dirk Forschner, Technische Universität Berlin (Alemanha)
The contribution of progress in traction to Portuguese railways by German locomotive industry 1855-1931, some assorted cases.

Between 1855 and 1931 Germany repeatedly supplied Portuguese railways with rolling stock. The successful economic and technological cooperation was started when Egestorff in Hannover/Linden exported its first steam locomotive to Portugal in 1855 and was finished with the delivery of a high-power engine by Henschel in 1931 for the Beira Alta line. Among the German manufacturers were not only enterprises like Henschel and Hanomag, but others like Schwartzkopff, Borsig, Esslingen or Maffei in Munich.
In the presentation, the author aims to give a short survey of German locomotive production for Portugal and wil take four orders as a case study to analyse the technology imported to Portugal in these years.

Important questions guiding the analysis of the technology transfer in the presentation are: What did the Portuguese customer demand, how did the German manufacturer satisfy his customer? Was there a tendency for standardization of steam traction power in Portugal? Did the German manufacturer try to create a Portuguese locomotive design or were, finally, Maffei or Henschel designed engines operated in Portugal? Was ther a special preference for operation tasks – like freight or fast train locomotive -, the Portuguese customer decided to order locomotives from Germany?

Egestorff, the later HANOMAG (Hannoversche Maschinenbau Aktien Gesellschaft) started its Portugal business with a 2-4-0 engine with tender. Henschel then finished in 1931 with a high power 4-8-0 four – cylinder compound fast train locomotive. What did the German industry manufacture in-between?

The author will try to analyse by case studies the exported locomotives to Portugal according to the questions mentioned above. An additional approach will be length of the operation period of the German engines in Portugal

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