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“Denise and Neil Great Tour Guides” 5 of 5 stars
Review of Panama Canal Railway

Panama Canal Railway
Colon, Panama
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Ranked #7 of 15 attractions in Colon
Type: Other
Attraction Details
Panama City, Panama
1 review
7 helpful votes 7 helpful votes
“Denise and Neil Great Tour Guides”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed May 12, 2012

While in Panama my best friend and her husband from the US visited us. We had them picked up at the airport by Denise and Neil (PanamaRoadRunner.com) and they also took them back to the airport. While visiting we took 2 tours with them. We went to the Panama Canal, The Amador Causeway, and Olde Panama City. Denise was excellent and very knowledgeable. The next tour was a trip to Colon/Carribbean side of Panama. Neil took us and we went to Oyster Bay for a great lunch, then ride/tour on a boat to see the fort, island where the battles took place and the island where Captain Morgan was. Then went on the beautiful Train which was fanatastic. Saw lakes, wild animals, and the mahogany walls of the train were spectacular. These two are wonderful and great professional tour guides. Jack and Carol, Coronado Panama

Visited February 2012
Was this review helpful? Yes 7
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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46 reviews from our community

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English first
Senior Contributor
22 reviews 22 reviews
3 attraction reviews
Reviews in 12 cities Reviews in 12 cities
166 helpful votes 166 helpful votes
“Enjoyable and Educational Train Ride”
4 of 5 stars Reviewed March 1, 2012

While touring in Panama, we enjoyed the ride on the Panama Canal Railway, which links Colon with Panama City – the Caribbean to the Pacific. We elected to take this train ride as part of a small organized tour as we didn’t want to organize how to get back to our rental car if we took the train in only one direction as planned. We boarded the train in Colon and were able to be seated in the Dome car. The train and the station are newly refurbished and very pleasant and comfortable. Drink and snack service is available on the train. The ride in one direction takes approximately one hour and the cost is $22.00 for adults. The ride itself is not narrated. It would be a great plus if it was. Maybe this is something the rail operators would like to consider in the future.

The rails border the canal stretch at all times, but the canal is not always in sight. There are glimpses of the expansion project. Often, there is lush rainforest greenery surrounding the train, as in the area of Gamboa. One can view the immense expanse of man- made Gatun Lake which provides the water needed each time a ship passes through the canal, losing over 53,000,000 gallons of water to the sea each time a ship transits the canal. On occasion one is surrounded by water while riding the train. The locks of Pedro Miguel and Miraflores come into view, along with the Centennial Bridge. By the time the train reaches the station in Panama City, a clearer understanding is apparent of the land formations surrounding the Panama Canal.

Visited February 2012
Was this review helpful? Yes 29
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
london uk
Senior Contributor
28 reviews 28 reviews
Reviews in 28 cities Reviews in 28 cities
106 helpful votes 106 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed February 24, 2012

Don't bother taking the 0700 train from Panama to Colon - otherwise you'll have to fill in the day in a not overpleasant city waiting for the 1715 return. Just be adventurous, go to Albrook Bus Terminal, and take one of the regular buses to Colon. Takes about 1hr 30mins, and get off just as you see the train station on the left (just a tin roof).

The train ride is great: go to the carriages at the front of the train which the few commuters use (the ones for the tourist groups are towards the rear), and stand at the open platforms at the end of the carriage as the train trundles along - absolutely superb.

The train goes both slowly, and surprisingly fast on some sections, passing freights in the passing loops waiting to go the other way. There are great views of the canal and of the jungle, and it's altogether a very pleasant ride. Each carriage has a refreshment point, so you can get a drink. The price is $22 one way - not cheap, pay on the train (make sure you get a receipt, we didn't!).
The train only runs once a day, Mon-Fri,

Stay at the Toscana Hotel in Panama City - see separate review.

Visited February 2012
Was this review helpful? Yes 24
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Chicago, Illinois
3 reviews 3 reviews
Reviews in 3 cities Reviews in 3 cities
13 helpful votes 13 helpful votes
“One way to see more than just the canal.”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed February 22, 2012

I really enjoyed the ride. It was a very pleasant and relatively empty train when I took it. I have been told that when the cruise ships are in port the train can be rather full. My trip was perhaps 15 people on board in the tourist car. Other cars had locals using it as their daily transport to colon.
I found that it gave me a neat perspective on how the canal was actually built and what it was built thru. The construction of the railway itself must have been impressive. The train rambles along side the canal and over parts of it from time to time. It will give you some wide open views across Gutan Lake and other more jungle views.
In my opinion it is best to arrange for a taxi in Panama city have them drop you at the train station and then meet you at Colon station where you can spend the rest of your day going to Portobello and on to some of the very nice beaches that are in that area. With a trusted taxi you are able to leave your belongings or obviously with a taxi you can stop and go on your own schedule. Perhaps, have or pack a cooler for the days events.
No matter how you do it it’s a very nice 45 to 60 minute ride and a great way to start your day.

Visited February 2012
Was this review helpful? Yes 10
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Top Contributor
75 reviews 75 reviews
43 attraction reviews
Reviews in 16 cities Reviews in 16 cities
36 helpful votes 36 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed February 13, 2012

It is the best way to travel across the Panama Canal, in this panoramic travel, we had the opportunity to see the Pedro Miguel look and the Gatun Lake. Recommendation: It only works from Monday to Friday departing from Panama at 6Am and returning from Colon 5PM

Was this review helpful? Yes 10
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

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