Brazil’s famous Pantanal train starts running again this month for the first time in over a decade.The train travels 188km (137 miles) through the massive Pantanal ecosystem, the world’s largest contiguous wetland and home to a spectacular array of wildlife.

The train will initially run from Campo Grande via Piraputanga and Aquidauana to Miranda on Saturdays, making the return journey on Sundays. The trip will take seven hours each way.

The service is due to be extended a further 271km (168 miles) to the city of Corumbá, near the Bolivian border, in 2010.The new service will be inaugurated on 8 May by Brazilian President Luiz Inácio Lula da Silva, with the first passenger service scheduled for 16 May.

The train was originally inaugurated in 1914 but was closed along with all other passenger trains west of Bauru in 1996.The new service can carry up to 400 passengers in three carriage classes: economy, tourist and executive.The train’s windows will allow glimpses of the massed ranks of bird life that inhabits the region.

UK specialist tour operator Journey Latin America is offering a four-night Pantanal Adventure itinerary, which includes a day trip on the train.