Posted by: ramblinmanjimj | September 19, 2008

An historic railroad bridge

This railroad bridge across the Chagres River washed out many times during the Panama Canal construction.

From my book…”06/17- (Day 168) At Panama City. 6 AM temperature was 80 degrees. At 10 AM, Bruce, Maria, Bud, Julie, and I took off in the Bronco while Bob stayed and cleaned his rig. We went along the eastern shore road of the Panama Canal, to the last remaining town from the building of the canal, called Gamboa. This is where the Chagres River, which originates in the mountains, meets the canal. Many times, the Chagres washed out the Panama Canal railroad bridge during the construction of the canal. All the other construction towns disappeared under Gatun Lake, once the Chagres River was dammed. The Chagres River and the Continental Divide were the two major engineering obstacles faced by the builders of the canal. Gamboa today, is the place where the dredging operations are located. Dredging is the process of keeping the canal free of dirt and silt, so that the ships may pass. While at Gamboa, we stopped at the Gamboa Rainforest Resort Marina along the shore of the Chagres River, where we had an enjoyable lunch. While we were there, we threw pieces of bread into the river at an alligator, a herd of turtles, peacock bass fish, and beautifully colored birds. On the way back, we stopped and took pictures of the beautiful new Bridge of the Americas, currently under construction. Then we went over to Ancon Hill, where many buildings remain from the hospital complex. This is where they overcame malaria and yellow fever during the construction of the canal. Then we went on to Mis Pueblitos, where there are replicas of three different and very interesting villages, representing Colonial, Afro-Antillean and the Indigenous Indian. A pleasant happy two hours at the Balboa Yacht Club topped off our day.”

All material Copyright – Jim Jaillet 2008
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  1. For your information, this railraod bridge did NOT wash out during the construction of the Panama Canal… on the original PRR line there were cases when bridges over the Chagres River did indeed wash out, but this one….nevah happen…. Bob Karrer

    • Bob, thanks for your comment. I simply reported what was in the guidebook.

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