The Panama Canal Railway is one of the most incredible train rides in the world! You will be part of history riding the first transcontinental railroad that helped build the Panama Canal! The railway line borders the Panama Canal taking you deep through the rainforest, along the Canal’s locks, through Corte Culebra or Gailard Cut (the most narrow part of the Canal) and over a slender causeway in the Gatun Lake.
Back in 1913, right before the Panama Canal was inaugurated (1914), the Panama Railroad transported 2,916,657 passengers and hauled 2,026,852 tons of freight across the Isthmus. At the time the railroad had the highest per-mile traffic of any railroad in the world. Nowadays, the Panama Canal Railway is used mostly by business men who travel for work to the Colon Free Trade Zone and for tourists who wish to take a trip back in time.
Ride the Panama Canal Railway in comfort in vintage passenger cars, with luxurious wood paneling, tables, carpeted floors, soft lamp lighting, wooden blinds, air conditioning, bathrooms, large windows to appreciate the picturesque journey and open-air viewing decks that allow passengers to step outside and “smell” the tropical rainforest. Panama Canal Railway passenger cars have snack service and a bar. There are five passenger cars operated at the moment and they are all named after a river of Panama.
Panama Canal Railway’s passenger train operates Monday through Friday between Panama City and Colon. It is recommended to make reservations to guarantee availability. The train departs Panama City at 7:15 am and departs Colon at 5:15 pm. Train ride takes one hour and it is recommended for passengers to be at the terminal 40 minutes prior to departure.
To enhance your train ride experience you can have a local guide accompany you to explain the history of the railroad and the Panama Canal, railroad operation and your surroundings.
To book your Panama Canal Railway passenger ticket or a tour guide contact Panama Travel Group
This post is also available in: Spanish