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.
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