The realization of the Panama Canal dream, a shortcut between two of the Earth’s mighty oceans, took several decades and cost many thousands of lives. Today, and for more than 100 years, huge ships take advantage of this 53 mile route between the Atlantic and Pacific Oceans.
150 years ago the canal could not have been built without railroad technology and today the ships would not get through the locks without locomotives. Tiny but mighty, electric locomotives, on a 5-foot broad gauge. Four to Eight of these specialized locomotives guide and prod ships between the oceans. Meet the Mules of the Panama Canal.
Our focus is on rail operations at the canal and on the adjacent Panama Canal Railway. The PCR is partially owned, and is operated by, the Kansas City Southern and trains are painted in the KCS Southern Belle paint scheme.
Maps and historical photos the bring this trip and the history of the isthmus, the canal and the Panama Canal Railway, to life. This is a multimodal adventure as we transit the canal aboard ship, then becoming landlubbers to get a great look at the mules in action. We wrap up the adventure taking a Panama Canal Railway train across Panama. The PCR even features a regularly scheduled passenger train!