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Panama Railway Project
Balboa to Colón, Panama
  • This $120 million international design-build project involved 50 miles of rail track from Balboa to Colón, Panama.


  • Bridgefarmer was responsible for the production of all construction documents for the entire project.



In 1998, the Kansas City Southern Railroad (KCSR) began to make investments in the Panama Canal Railway Company (PCRC).  The main rail line for this company at the time was a 50-mile line, constructed in 1855. This line was the first transcontinental railroad in the world. It ran from Balboa to Colón, Panama, connecting the Pacific and Atlantic Oceans. As traveling through the Panama Canal can take up to several days, depending on traffic and condition, this line acts as a transportation medium for getting boat freight and cargo from a ship on one coast to a different ship on the other in a reduced period of time.  KCSR had a vision of restoring and updating this rail line.  Today, the line not only provides freight transportation, but also passengers with a method to travel across Panama. 

Bridgefarmer produced construction documents for about 50 miles of freight rail line paralleling the Panama Canal Zone. The project encompassed the reconstruction of 50 miles of class IV track railroad as well as construction of three miles of new class IV track railroad and construction of three rail yards and adjoining port facilities. The construction management portion of this project included the procurement of supplies and contractors for the three separate projects. This included releasing and evaluating the bids, and supplying PCRC with a recommendation based upon the evaluation. Our team was also responsible for the design of several rail yards and other facilities along the rail track, including two intermodal terminals at either end of the project.  In addition, a dock to provide port to ships transporting materials needed for the project had to be designed and constructed.