Tag Archives: slides

Culebra Cut – Part III

Images: Top: Early slide in Culebra
Middle: Another early slide covering train track
Bottom: Culebra Cut today


The totally unforeseen nature of the approximately 22 “
slides” that plagued the construction of the Panama Canal, and in particular the operations in Culebra Cut, was what made them such a deadly and thoroughly exacerbating feature of the canal’s creation. The slides were also the single most convincing factor in determining that a sea level canal would never be possible in Panama. Continue reading

Culebra Cut – Part II

A line of “powder men” carrying 50 lb. boxes of dynamite on their heads; all West Indian. 

Images: Top- a West Indian dynamite crew in Culebra Cut
Bottom- a dynamite “magazine” or storage unit.

The amount of dirt excavated at Panama has been calculated in many different ways. Some engineers have measured it by the number of dirt cars that carried the soil, rock and other debris out of the construction area. Generally, it has been said that an entire train of dirt cars would be able to circle the world four times at the Equator if we were to understand the massive excavation undertaking. Continue reading