Photo of the Week
January 17, 1999

Pile_Driver.JPG (99415 bytes)

As the construction of the Canal was getting closer to it's completion, it was necessary to relocate the Panama Railroad.  The original railroad line mostly ran in areas that is  Gatun Lake today and would be underwater once the lake was flooded.  Then due to the elimination of the West Bank settlements in the cut area, the rail line needed to be relocated to the present track on the East Bank.  Due to the up and down topography along the new route, certain areas had to be built up to.  This called for high trestles for embankment fill.  The new line was built on a 95-foot (above sea-level) level and across the lowlands of Gatun Lake region a number of long and high trestles for embankment fills, some of them 90 feet high, had to be built.  The use of a pile driver was needed to drive these support pilings into the ground.  All the causeways in Gatun Lake that we all knew so well while riding the train from one terminus to the other were made this way.  The Amador Causeway was also made in this manner.

I found this photo very interesting and wanted to show some of what effort went into the relocation of the Panama Railroad.  This photo is from "America's Triumph at Panama", by Ralf E. Avery and William C. Haskins, Copyright 1913.

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