I would be interested to see the Madeira Levada photo as use of any track in building these waterways would have been very limited.
Have walked them many times and the only construction details I can find are descriptions of workers being dangled in wicker baskets against rock face to chip away at rock by hand.
Many levadas pass through tunnels and you can emerge from one in a concrete channel with sheer drops on either side before entering yet another tunnel.
I have had a Tour Guide check the Funchal museum and there is nothing recorded about track being used in Levada construction.
There have been two steam railways on Madeira:
One used in the Construction of Avenida do Mar in 1888.
The other on the Funchal Monte Rack Railway.
Monte was connected to Funchal by the railway, which used to carry passengers between Funchal and Monte and further up to Terreiro da Luta at 867 m above sea level. The railway was inaugurated in 1893 and operated until 1943. A boiler explosion occurred in 1939 killing 4 people resulting in a loss of confidence in the system.
Talk a few years back of restoring it however part is now a road and the more effective solution, a cable car, now operates twixt Funchal & Monte.