In the News from Panama

New Progress Report on Panama Metro

Construction on the third line of Panama’s metro system is steadily moving forward, including plans to build a six-kilometer tunnel under the Panama Canal, according to a new update from government officials.

The line is 42% complete and testing has begun on the trains in Japan, Metro project director Carlos Cedeño told the media during a tour of the work sites. The first trains for the new monorail should begin arriving in the first quarter of 2024, he said.

Line 3 will connect Panama City with west Panama, covering 26 kilometers from Albrook station to Arraijan, Nuevo Chorrillo, and Ciudad del Futuro, including 14 stations. Not only should it relieve congestion, it will provide a new link to the fast-growing Panama Pacifico industrial zone and spur more activity in the western beach communities, one of Panama’s undeveloped jewels.

The metro is the largest public infrastructure project in Panama and the only one of its kind in the region. As much as anything, it is a symbol of the modern Panama City and its new place among the region’s important capital cities.

Metro officials say work is also moving forward on the most challenging and exciting part of the Line 3 expansion — the six-kilometer tunnel under the Panama Canal. Last week they announced That China Railway Tunnel Group (CRTG), which specializes in tunnels and subway engineering, will be in charge of building the underwater section.

Parts of the German-built boring machine that will be used to dig the tunnel are expected to arrive in Panama later this month. The machine will be assembled in Panama and is expected to be operational within a few months.

Metro officials say they expect Line 3 to be completed in 2026.