Panama Canal Railway Company

Panama Canal Railway Company

Panama Canal Railway Company
4.5
About
This tour on the newly restored Panama Canal Railway, the western hemisphere's first transcontinental railroad, follows the east bank of the canal that offers excellent views of the waterway and rainforests along its shoreline.
Duration: 2-3 hours
Suggest edits to improve what we show.
Improve this listing

Top ways to experience nearby attractions

Most Recent: Reviews ordered by most recent publish date in descending order.

Detailed Reviews: Reviews ordered by recency and descriptiveness of user-identified themes such as waiting time, length of visit, general tips, and location information.

Popular mentions

4.5
4.5 of 5 bubbles551 reviews
Excellent
285
Very good
173
Average
72
Poor
17
Terrible
4

SuzyQ
13 contributions
4.0 of 5 bubbles
Jul 2023
Panama Canal Railway has a nostalgic atmosphere. It's a great way to see various sights along the canal. A somewhat educational and enjoyable, especially for families. Narration is not provided so you may not know where the train is located exactly during the ride. But they provide a nice little snack box with a little map on top of the lid!
Written August 2, 2023
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

Aurora1234
Calgary, Canada22 contributions
3.0 of 5 bubbles
Mar 2023 • Couples
Excursion included on Viking Panama Canal and Central America cruise. Wouldn't recommend it as the sole source of your visit to the Panama Canal. Informative as to how the railway related to the canal.
Written March 5, 2023
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

Vickie D
Boring, OR22 contributions
3.0 of 5 bubbles
Dec 2022 • Couples
Seeing the old locks of the Canal was good. Dome seating was extremely tight and uncomfortable. Guide talked non stop about anything and everything. Took us on bus thru old area making us 2 hrs late and no shopping time. Barely made tender to get back on ship
Written December 27, 2022
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

Karina Hag
Durban, South Africa14 contributions
1.0 of 5 bubbles
Aug 2021 • Couples
It is closed. Nothing on the website unfortunately. Probably call them to find out if it's open in a month or so. We're writing this to let other people know. Take care!
Written August 24, 2021
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

Stephen S
London65 contributions
5.0 of 5 bubbles
Feb 2020
This is a interesting train ride in itself and a good way to see the Panama Canal, its surrounding forests and the Gatun Lake, either from the Observation Car or the open platforms at the end of some carriages. The ride is smooth compared to the local roads and this journey is a good complement to a transit of the canal.

The day I went, the train wasn't busy and everyone could use the Observation Car, although some preferred the historic coaches with picture windows or the open platforms. Most people bought walk-up tickets on the day, but it is possible to book at the rail company's offices and find out if there a large tour groups booked on a particular day, as they may have priority in the Observation Car. When I went to book, I found that two days in the week heavily booked, so chose another one. It should also be possible to phone them to check.. The train also only runs on weekdays, not weekends.

The train starts at 7.15am and boarding and ticket sales start around 6.30am: the advantage of pre-booking is there is no queuing for tickets and early boarding. Leaving a Central Panama hotel at 6am or soon after will get you to the Panama-end station well on time to buy tickets and board. Coffee and snacks are provided and there is a bar which has soft drinks as well as liquor, if you want it.

There is no doubt that Colon is unsavory and not a place to walk about in or hang around in for the afternoon return train. There is no real station at Colon, but taxis are available to the bus station back to Panama or the locks at the Atlantic end of the canal.

If you want to spend just a short time in Colon, you could ask the taxi to take you to the New Washington Hotel overlooking the Atlantic for a late breakfast or coffee. This hotel was new in 1913: externally it has a faded grandeur, a magnificent lobby inside and a terrace overlooking the Atlantic.

It's far better to make your own arrangements than pay for one of the expensive organised trips.
Written February 17, 2020
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

Linda I
Kilmarnock, UK193 contributions
5.0 of 5 bubbles
Feb 2020 • Couples
We had seen the original canal lock gates at the excellent centre on the Pacific side: Miraflores.
I wanted to see the new system and the only way to do this is to go to the Atlantic side. So we took the early train from Panama City. It is the original carriage and engine from the 19th century, a wonderful comfortable trip though the rainforest with views of the canal and lakes with complimentary coffee and breakfast.
It is interesting to note that the railroad existed before the canal.

A must entertaining trip and a bargain at $25. We were originally on a lower level carriage but the lovely guard found us a table in the domed upstairs section. Great views.

Also where else can you go from the Pacific to the Atlantic in an hour on land!!
Written February 12, 2020
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

April H
San Diego, CA40 contributions
4.0 of 5 bubbles
Jan 2020 • Couples
The railway existed before the canal so it’s fun to experience a hint of the atmosphere of days gone by. The price is right ($25) as the ticket gets you seats near a window (you can easily see out both sides of the train), a snack box, coffee, and access to a clean bathroom. This is NOT the best way to view the locks; half the time you are looking at water and half the time you have a close up view of the forest. You will pass by Miraflores and Gamboa, which you will recognize if you have already been there (no narration on the train.) It IS a more fun and unique way to cross the isthmus than driving on the highway. We took the 7:15 am train from Panama City to Colón and arranged for a driver/guide to meet us there. He took us over the Atlantic Bridge (which is beautiful) and out to San Lorenzo (ruins of a Spanish fort) and then ultimately brought us back to Panama City. That plan worked out well for us, since the return train is not until 5 pm and we did not have the stamina to spend all day in Colón.
Written January 24, 2020
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

cxb123
Laguna Vista, TX74 contributions
4.0 of 5 bubbles
Nov 2019
We went on the railway as part of a tour. Seats on the top level weren't available when we arrived as they were reserved for another tour. We waited for over an hour past the scheduled departure time before we headed out. No explanation was given as to why. This said, the views and experience are worth dealing with small frustrations. Once on our way, we were provided coffee and a small breakfast box.

Note that you probably don't want to be stuck in Colon for the day and there are tour companies that will pick you up and take you to see other sites on the way back to Panama City.
Written December 27, 2019
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

blkdolfin
Panama70 contributions
5.0 of 5 bubbles
Nov 2019
We took the train from Panama City to Colon and it was just a great trip. The view from an observation car allowed us to see the Canal like I have never done before. Strongly recommend.
Written November 18, 2019
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

scottandmaggi66
Asheville, NC15 contributions
4.0 of 5 bubbles
Oct 2019
The one hour train journey from Panama City to the Atlantic side station is pleasant and scenic. Pleasant being travel in a reconditioned and air conditioned rail car. Scenic being the relatively brief views of the Canal and lots of nearby jungle. Put it together with a visit to the Agua Clara Locks and you have a special day.
Written October 24, 2019
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

Showing results 1-10 of 337
Is this your Tripadvisor listing?
Own or manage this property? Claim your listing for free to respond to reviews, update your profile and much more.
Claim your listing

PANAMA CANAL RAILWAY COMPANY - All You Need to Know BEFORE You Go (with Photos)

Frequently Asked Questions about Panama Canal Railway Company