The final tests on the second metro line of the Panamanian capital, under construction since 2015, began today with the aim that the new route could be partially inaugurated during the next World Youth Day (WYD) to be held from January 22 in the country.
"As of today we started the blank march without passengers. Tweaking the systems to start operations of the #Línea2 partially, with 5 operating stations during World Youth Day 2019," said the entity that manages the subway in its twitter account.
The five stations that will be open to facilitate the movements of the thousands of pilgrims who will arrive in Panama to meet with Pope Francis are Corredor Sur, Pedregal, San Antonio, Cincuentenario and San Miguelito.
Panama will host, between January 22 and 27, 2019, the WYD, one of the most important events of the Catholic Church, which every three years brings together thousands of young people from all over the world with the Pope.
The visit of Francis, who will arrive in Panama on January 23 and will leave on the 27th, has generated an immense interest not only in this country but throughout Central America, since the last pontiff who traveled to the region was John Paul II in 1983 and 1996.
The metro line, which will have 16 stops and will have a length of 21 kilometers of elevated track, is executed by the consortium formed by the Brazilian Odebrecht and the Spanish FCC, the same companies that built the Line 1, in operation since April 2014.
This new line, which initial investment exceeds 1,800 million dollars, will connect in about 35 minutes the eastern neighborhoods of Nuevo Tocumen and 24 de Diciembre with the northern district of San Miguelito, where it will link with Line 1.
Panama is the only country in Central America that has a metro and is scheduled to tender the construction of a third line, which will cross the Panama Canal.