One of the Ipala Loops. When the International Railways of Central America (IRCA) built a line to connect Guatemala to El Salvador in the 1920's, it kept the grade over the mountains to about 2 percent by a series of loops. From the top you can see six levels of track below you. The completion of this line in 1929 allowed the intrepid rail traveler to go from Churchill on Hudson Bay to the Bay of Fonseca (a short ferry ride from Nicaragua). But it was as far as the dream of a "Pan American" railway from North to South America ever got.