Rail used in the first 50 years of the Panama Railroad

Inverted U-Rail
70 Pound Wrought Iron Rail
First Steel Rail
At the time of its abandonment very little of the original road except the alignment remained. When the American canal-builders arrived on the isthmus they found as the transportation agency of the great task before them a railway that in every important respect was a quarter of a century behind the times. Its rails were too light to sustain the weight of modern locomotives and spoil cars, its culverts and bridges were in the same condition, and it had only a single track. They began at once to convert it into a double-track system, with heavy modern rails, to strengthen or rebuild its bridges and culverts, to equip it with modern locomotives and cars, and to supply it with an up-to-date personnel.