The Brazilian Association of Railroad Preservation – ABPF was established in 1977 by the Frenchman Patrick Henri Ferdinand Dollinger, and its mission is to preserve the Brazilian railroad history and historical equipment. Already passionate for steam locomotives and railroads, Patrick arrived in Brazil in 1966 and he started worrying about the abandonment of Brazilian railroad history during the steam to diesel locomotives transition period. He decided to create a preservation entity, in the molds of the existing ones in Europe and in the United States . To contact people with the same interest, he published in February of 1977 a small ad in the “O Estado de São Paulo” newspaper that said the following:
“Steam Locomotives: With the aim of founding an association with the purpose of preservating, restoring and operating steam engines and other railroad matters, I look for people interested in this hobby that is very popular in Europe and in the United States . Write to Patrick Dollinger CP 2778, CEP 01000, São Paulo, or telephone 32-0579 night 853-4728 “.
Only two people answered the ad: Sérgio José Romano and Juarez Spaletta. Then, these three started contacting people with the same interests. On September 4th of 1977, there was enough people (14 people exactly) to conduct the assembly of foundation of the Brazilian Association of Railroad Preservation (Associação Brasileira de Preservação Ferroviária – ABPF).
The first action taken by the ABPF was to institute a national campaign to stop the demolition of steam locomotives. This initiative convinced the Rede Ferroviária Federal-RFFSA board of directors about the importance of historical preservation and at that time RFFSA yielded 13 abandoned steam engines to ABPF.
The second action was to obtain a non-operational branch to place this recently received rolling stock. After a survey of abandoned branches in the State of São Paulo, Patrick chose to the old main line of the Cia. Mogiana, between Anhumas (Campinas-SP) and Jaguariúna-SP stations. Then in 1979, FEPASA – Ferrovias Paulistas S.A. took in consideration the ABPF appeals to preserve this abandoned line and yielded this stretch of 24km of tracks to ABPF. Our associates went through an arduous work of recovery of the stations, tracks, steam locomotives, passanger cars and wagons. Thus, in September of 1984, the ABPF created the first Railroad Dynamic Museum of Brazil, called Viação Férrea Campinas-Jaguariúna – VFCJ, operated by the Campinas-SP chapter. Unfortunately, Patrick Dollinger wasn’t able to see his dream carried through completely. On July 17th of 1986 he passed away due to injuries from an automobile accident.
The result of all Patrick’s efforts is the success of the activities of the VFCJ, which receives visitors from Brazil and every part of the world. Several people interested in railroad preservation have been joining ABPF (link para página de associação) to help the preservation of Brazilian railroad heritage. The ABPF headquarter is located in the city of Campinas-SP at Anhumas station. ABPF is composed of a Board of Directors (ABPF Nacional) and the Regionais (chapters) spread around the country.
Board of Directors (2014-2015)
President: Jorge Luiz Sanches
Vice-President: Marlon Ilg
Secretary Director: Bruno Crivelari Sanches
Director of Historical Affairs: Carlos Alberto Rollo
First Treasurer: Maurício Polli
Second Treasurer: James Ilg
Statutory audit committee: Hélio Gazetta Filho, Luiz Carlos Henkels, Otavio Georg Junior; and Ivo Arias (substitute).
The ABPF historical passenger trains are operated by its local chapters (Regionais). Below we have the list of ABPF chapters.