Panama Railroad

Pacific Entrance of the Panama Canal Showing Also Train Yard at La Boca

This is one of a number of photographic postcards by I.L. Maduro Jr. in the PCM Collection. It features a nice view of the Canal in the distance, and like a great many other images from the Canal Zone area, some part of the railroad is visible in the frame.


We have a number of Maduro postcards and would like to know the approximate date this one was taken, along with anything else you might like to share.


Celebrating 160 Years of the Panama Railroad (1855-2015)


  • Malcolm Stone

    The waterway pictured here is does not display anything that is like the Panama Canal waterway in use these days. It could be something the French were using during there construction days. La Boca was a town for U.S citizens nearly under the east entrance to the Bridge of the Americas. Was there a waterway (a river?) with a French work- site named La Boca on a nearby river? The tidal level does show it is on the Pacific Coast of Panama.

  • Bob Dillon

    As near as I can tell, the dark hill at the top of the s-curve in the river, would be Cocoli Hill. The back of the photographer would be Sosa Hill. The river would be the Rio Grande, which curves to the right at the top of the “S” to the coastline at Diablo townsite, “The Spinning Club” and the backside of the old Diablo Elementary School planning field. Miraflores locks would be to the right of Cocoli Hill. The dark hills to the right of the picture, would be the hills behind Los Rios and the cemetery. If you zoom in, you can see the left side rise of the hill in Diablo Heights. In one plan, this all would be under Lake Sosa (or Lake Panama), but that was changed when the ground was determined to be too unstable for the required dams. La Boca was on the other side of Sosa Hill before the town was renamed “Balboa” as can be seen on old maps.

  • Robert Dillon

    The spot on the left side of the picture, where the railroad tracks run, became the Balboa Dry Dock (In fact, the eastern edge of it would probably be in this shot). The railroad yard was moved, to where we remember it alongside Diablo Road to replace this yard. The new railroad yard was built upon fill made from the spoils from the dry dock excavation, and also from material removed from Diablo Hill. When you see those very old pictures (construction era) of them cutting out the side of Diablo Hill, well, it went under the tracks.

  • Dave Smith

    When I lived in La Boca in from the 70’s to the 80’s there was just one set of tracks behind the printing plant just sitting there and were not being used. This really feels like the location behind the printing plant. You can vision this better looking at a color picture of it like here where these rip off people are trying to sell posters of this picture.

    The Canal in this picture now goes straight so, what people are saying is they dug it all out to make it straight. Imagine those curves dug out completely and totally widen in this area. That would of been a lot of digging there for sure.

    This is an amazing picture! Thanks for sharing it! I wish I could help with the date but, it was way before my time and I’ve never seen a picture where the Canal look so curvy in this location. I have seen a picture of the dry docks close by from around 1920 and the Canal looks the same as it does today. This picture was most likely taken before the Canal completely opened.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *