Photo of the Week
October 27, 2018

This week we have a valuable capture in time.  As usual, I found this photo organizing digital files.  This one really jumped out at me as there are many interesting things in this photo.  I would date this photo as being early 1920s as there is still construction day remnants still in place.  The swing pontoon bridge is still in place on both the East and West Banks.  The Paraiso railroad shops are still in place.  There is still earth to be removed on the East Bank in the lower left of the photo.  What is interesting with this remaining earth is the remnant of a dirt train ramp coming up from the cut (partially submerged) to join the actual railroad line in Pedro Miguel. There are many other structures and homes from the construction era that will be removed and room made for a new  Paraiso.  Dredging Division headquarters is located at Paraiso as is was closer to the cut for quick response to slides.  It appears that all the dredges are out working as they are not tied up to the shore like the big cranes are. The curious thing that caught my eye about the big cranes (Hercules & Ajax) is another large piece of equipment that looks like the Hercules or Ajax, but without a boom.  I am not sure what this large mystery floating equipment is and will have to do further research.

The other interesting thing in this photo is the rather long train which appears to have stopped.  If you notice, there is a lot of white in the windows and departing the first car behind the locomotive.  This is a sailor "Gobs"  tourist train that was common back in the construction days and shortly after.  The train would bring them to the locks and let them out to see the new Canal.  I have other photos showing these trains here at the CZ Images site.

June 1, 2003 might be the same train shown in this photo, but there were so many and both photos are undated, it is anyone's guess.

June 8, 2003 is a great colorized post card showing Gobs loading one of these trains at Cristobal.

I was scanning through the CZ Images website and see that I posted a much smaller version of the photo back in 2009.  At first I thought about not posting it again, but this is a much large photo for study.

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