This morning we board the Panama Canal Railroad, the first transcontinental railway in the Americas. Built in the 1850’s this railway provided safe passage for those wishing to travel from the East Coast of the Americas to the West Coast and vice versa. At the time their was no contiguous railroad across North America so travelers would venture by ship to Panama, cross the Isthmus by train, and embark on another ship, sailing the Pacific to destinations North and South. During the gold rush this route was heavily used by the 49’ers who would pay $5.00 to WALK the route. Ironically, today our passage is the SAME cost as it was so many years ago!
Integral to the construction of the Panana Canal, the train tracks were shifted from place to place until it landed in its current location. Today, the railroad is used primarily to transport cargo and commuters living in Panama City who work in Colon’s, Duty Free Zone.
In 2007 after a nationwide vote, the expansion of the Panama Canal was approved and work began on widening and straightening the channel and constructing new locks to accommodate the MUCH larger vessels sailing the world these days, the Post Panamax. The canal’s century old locks, functioning almost exactly as they did upon the inauguration will still be used for smaller vessels while the new locks will fit ships approximately four times in size!
Certified Interpretive Guide, Tour Related Entrance Fees, Lunch, Train Ticket, Transportation
Duration: 8 hours
Northbound Departure Time from Hotel: 6:15 AM
Southbound Departure Time from Hotel: 09:00AM