Wednesday, 14 March 2012

Panama Canal Railway

Another train postcard from the Americas :D This arrived through a swap last year. I just love the colours here!

The Panama Canal Railway Company is a railway line that links the Atlantic Ocean to the Pacific Ocean across Panama in Central America. It is jointly owned by the Kansas City Southern Railway and Mi-Jack Products. The route stretches 76.6 km across the Isthmus of Panama from Aspinwall (now called Colón) to Panama City (by way of Gatun lake, Bujio, Barbacoas, Matachin, and Summit).

The infrastructure of this still functioning railroad (formerly the Panama Railway or Panama Rail Road) was of vital importance for construction of the Panama Canal over a parallel route half a century later. The principal incentive for the building of the rail line was the vast increase in traffic to California owing to the 1849 California Gold Rush. Construction on the Panama Railroad began in 1850 and the first revenue train ran over the full length on January 28, 1855. Referred to as being an inter-oceanic railroad when it opened, it was later also described by some as representing a "transcontinental" railroad despite only transversing the narrow isthmus connecting the North and South American continents.

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