Panama Canal Railway Company

The PCRC operational model aims to provide an efficient high-volume transshipment system between Panama's ports at the Atlantic and Pacific.  The trains use double-stack cars divided in seven groups, each group have 10 double stack cars.

Trains operate continuously between the intermodal terminals at the Atlantic and Pacific with a capacity of 10 trains in each direction (North and South) every 24 hours. Each trip takes about 1 hour and 15 minutes. The loading and unloading of a train at the terminals takes about 2 hours. The schedules vary depending on port operations and demand from shippers who use Panama as a liaison to other parts of the world.

PCRC also has a passenger service between the cities of Panama and Colon for senior executives and businessmen who travel to work between these two cities, and for tourists in general. This service has a fixed schedule Monday to Friday departing from Panama City to Colon at 7:45 am and returning to Panama City from Colon 5:15 pm.

General Description

Specifications
Length of railway76.59 km
Terminals
Panama Terminal (Pacific)8° 58' 37.27" N, 79° 34' 3.83" W
Colon Terminal (Atlantic)9° 10' 0" N, 80° 10' 0" W
Locomotives
F4010
GP101
SD402
SD605
Rail cars
Freight cars (double stack with reefer connections)72
Flat cars6
Bulk wagons10
Passenger cars6
Container connections on all cars
Cranes & Lifting Equipment
Mi-Jack 850P rubber-tyred gantry cranes6
Fantuzzi/Mi-Jack Model 450 top loader3
Taylor top loader model 9502
G One Komatsu top loader3
Operation
Approximate travel time between terminals1.5 hours
Current trains/day each direction10
Potential trains/day each direction32
Average containers per trip100
Current container handling capacity650,000 containers/year
Max container handling capacity2,000,000 containers/year
Transship containers in-bond
Passenger capacity per trip310

Location

Facilities

Intermodal Terminals

The railroad has two intermodal terminals. The Pacific Intermodal Terminal is located contiguous to the Port of Balboa and the Atlantic Intermodal Terminal is located next to the Port of Manzanillo International Terminal and the Colon Free Zone. Containers are allowed to be transshipped in-bond between ports on the Pacific and Atlantic and all of the rail cars have connections for refrigerated containers.

   

Pacific Intermodal Terminal

   

Atlantic Intermodal Terminal

Passenger Stations

Passenger stations at both sides allows people to travel on train through the Panamanian rainforest and next to the canal. The Corozal Passenger Station is located at the Pacific side, while the Atlantic Passenger Station is located at Monte Esperanza (Mount Hope) in the city of Colon, near the Port of Cristobal.

   

Corozal Passenger Station (Pacific) (left) and Atlantic Passenger Station (Atlantic) (right)