In the News from Panama

New Metro Line 50% Complete

The 25-kilometer third line of the Panama Metro, one of the biggest construction projects in Panama’s history, is 50% complete, officials said this week.

The new line will be a monorail and connect Albrook to Ciudad del Futuro, including a 6 km tunnel under the Panama Canal. All the stations are now under construction, with work moving forward 24 hours a day on 25 different sites, Panama Metro director general Héctor Ortega said at a press conference that included Panama President Laurentino Cortizo.

The current work is focused on the elevated section from Vista Alegre to the rolling stock depot at Ciudad del Futuro, where the first operating trials will take place, according to coverage in the International Railway Journal. The elevated monorail track is 90% complete, including the installation of 950 concrete beams, some of which rose more than 30 meters above ground level.

The big challenge ahead is the tunneling operation, which will be conducted with a 93-meter-long tunnel boring machine (TBM)being assembled at Farfán. The “launch chamber” to start the boring operation is 70% complete, officials said. Once completed, the 13.5-meter drill will be lowered into the chamber using a 1,000-ton crane.

The new line is expected to carry 160,000 passengers a day, linking Panama City with Panama Pacifico on the west side of the Canal. It will offer an end-to-end journey time of 45 minutes from Albrook to Ciudad del Futuro.