Panama Metro, Panama
Panama Metro is a rapid transit system that is under construction in the Panama City, Panama. It is the first metro system in Central America.
Construction of Line 1 of the Panama Metro started in February 2011 and was completed in time by February 2014. The line was officially inaugurated in April 2014. It runs from Albrook to Los Andes, and includes 12 train stations.
The metro system will address the increasing traffic congestion in the city and is expected to carry approximately 15,000 people an hour in 2014, which will rise to 40,000 people an hour by 2035.
The Secretariat of the Panama Metro (SMP) in collaboration with the Government of Panama operates the metro.
Details of the Panama metro
The SMP conducted feasibility and route design studies, collectively known as Red Master Panama Metro plan, for the metro project. The master plan includes the construction of four metro rail lines and a tram covering the city of Panama. It is expected to be fully operational by 2035.
Line 1 has been completed and Line 2 is expected to be completed by 2017. Feasibility studies for Line 3 are currently underway, while Line 4 is currently in the planning stage.
Panama Metro routes and construction details
Line 1, which runs from Albrook Bus Terminal to Los Andes Commercial Centre, is planned to be extended from Los Andes to San Isidro in the future.
Line 1 is 13.7km long with 12 stations, including seven underground stations and five elevated stations. The stations include 12 de Octubre, F. de Córdoba, Vía Argentina, Iglesia El Carmen, Marañon, Curundú, Plaza 5 de Mayo, Pan de Azúcar, San Miguelito, and Pueblo Nuevo.
Line 1 included the construction of 7.3km of tunnels, 1.5km of trenches and 4.9km of viaducts.
Closed completely in 1996, progress was being made with the return to use of the derelict 784km (497 mile) rail network of Guatemala. The government had taken over the previously private network in 1968, renaming the system Ferrocarriles de Guatemala (FEGUA).
Line 2 will also be built in two phases; Phase 1 will include the route from San Migulieto to La Dorba and Phase 2 will include the route from Albrook to San Migulieto.
Line 3 will be 21km long, running from Albrook to La Chorrera. It will pass through a new bridge constructed on the Pacific side of the Panama Canal. Line 4 will run from Albrook to Rana de Oro.
Features of the Panama Metro stations
The metro stations have air conditioning, video surveillance, passenger information systems, wheelchair accessibility (including lifts), fire-safety systems and electronic ticketing systems.
Rolling stock, signalling and control for the Panama Metro
The Panama Metro is initially operated with 19 trains containing three cars each (57 cars in total), supplied by Alstom. Each car has four doors and six windows. The trains are 52m long, 2.71m wide and 3.85m in height.
The trains, which were completely delivered by October 2013, are equipped with Alstom's Urbalis communication-based signalling and train control system (CBTC) to operate in automated mode (driver-less system). It features an automatic control system to prevent collision between trains.
Financing of the Panama metro
The metro project is jointly funded by a number of international partners.
The $1.8bn Line 1 received $270m from Compagnie Française d'Assurance pour le Commerce Extérieur (COFACE), $75m from CESCE, $450m from MGA Group and CITI Group, $100m from Inter-American Development Bank (IDB), $300m from European investment Bank (EU) and $500m from the Andean Development Confederation (CAF).
A technical co-operation agreement was signed between SMP and CAF in June 2013, under which CAF will provide a million dollar loan for the feasibility study of Line 2.
The Government of Japan will provide the funds required for the construction of Line 3 of the metro, as per a deal signed in July 2013.
Contractors involved with Panama Metro project
A consortium of Pöyry, Cal y Mayor and Geoconsult was selected to provide consultancy and design services for the line 1 of Panama Metro in January 2010.
A consortium of Odebrecht (55%), the Fomento de Construcciones y Contratas FCC (45%) and Alstom, known as Line One Consortium (Línea Uno Consortium) was selected by Secretariat of the Panama Metro (SMP) to build the Panama Metro line 1 in November 2010.
Alstom received a €200m ($254m) subcontract from Línea Uno Consortium in January 2012 to provide engineering, electromechanical and other support services for the metro. Alstom supplied 57 metro cars, traction substations and the CBTC train control system technology for the metro system, as part of the contract. The metro cars were manufactured at Alstom's factory in Santa Perpetua, Barcelona, Spain.
A consortium of TMB, Ayesa and Inelectra provided project management and technical assistance for Line 1 under a €21m ($26.7m) contract awarded in 2010.
Systra received a contract from the Línea Uno consortium to provide civil engineering and design services for Line 1 in January 2011.
Herrenknecht supplied two tunnel boring machines (TBM) for the Line 1 construction. Mageba group supplied 1,600 LASTO-BLOCK Type B bearings for the metro.