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International Railroad Discussion > Panama Canal Help


Date: 03/21/19 16:47
Panama Canal Help
Author: erielackawanna

Looking for advice from folks who have railfanned Panama.

I am going to have a very long lay-over in Panama City and am hiring a driver to take me around (and have already booked someone who has taken railfans around before). My plane lands at 8:30AM and I take off again at 4PM. 

My original plan had been to drive around in the Panama City area, never going farther than Pedro Miguel, but looking at the schedules and ops I'm wondering would it be smarter (although much more expensive) to go up to Colon from the airport, shoot the passenger train at the station, and then down to Gamboa to hopefully catch the first freight (I think I'd know if it was a southbound from what I saw at Colon, so I could set up and the bridge for the right direction). Then down to Pedro Miguel or maybe all the way to Panama City to catch the next freight?

Anyone who's done it have any advice?

Thanks in advance.

 



Date: 03/22/19 13:26
Re: Panama Canal Help
Author: utwazoo

If I were you I'd skip the trains and visit the Miraflores locks visitor center;  then go to the new canal overlook.  There are very few good places to photo the train, even if you find one.  The passenger train at Colon station is totally covered by the shed, etc. and there's not much of a shot possible.



Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 03/22/19 13:30 by utwazoo.



Date: 03/23/19 10:02
Re: Panama Canal Help
Author: Lackawanna484

My recollection is there's a good sized freight yard just past the Panama City station, with good mornng lighting / views of power in the yard.

There are few points where the passenger trains crosses villages, trestles, etc but I don't think the effort of going to Colon is worth it. 

(Unless you're a fan of vividly painted buses, with roof top decorations, crazy hood ornaments, etc.  In which case Colon is Nirvana...)



Date: 03/24/19 11:40
Re: Panama Canal Help
Author: nm2320

utwazoo Wrote:
-------------------------------------------------------
> If I were you I'd skip the trains and visit the
> Miraflores locks visitor center;  then go to the
> new canal overlook.  There are very few good
> places to photo the train, even if you find one. 
> The passenger train at Colon station is totally
> covered by the shed, etc. and there's not much of
> a shot possible.

I second that. Narration is provided in English and Spanish explaining how the locks work and you can watch the ships move into , then up or down, then out of the locks. Fascinating Operation. 



Date: 03/27/19 18:53
Re: Panama Canal Help
Author: gbmott

Lackawanna484 Wrote:
-------------------------------------------------------
> My recollection is there's a good sized freight
> yard just past the Panama City station, with good
> mornng lighting / views of power in the yard.

This photo is the freight yard to which Lackawanna484 refers.  Taken from a car driving to Colon on the main highway.  Very difficult, I think, to stop and get any kind of decent photos.  I agree with everyone else about going to the Miraflores Locks.

Gordon




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