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Here is a photo of Jimmy lee Slover and the New Jersey at Miraflores Locks in the Canal Zone back when Jimmy Lee Slover was a Senior Control House Operator. The New Jersey is in the upper east chamber going south to the Pacific Ocean.  Pictures are 1983. This is about the last time the New Jersey navigated the Panama Canal under her own power.
If you will look in the center between the tracks you will see a rack gear which is about 8" wide. The Mules have a corresponding round gear centered between the drive wheels on both the forward drive wheels and the rear drive wheels. This gear is mounted on the shaft that drives the wheels and is also driven by the electric motors that drive the wheels. Although the Mule looks the same from either direction so either end is the front and either end is the rear. Your choice.

At any rate this rack and pinion system locks the mule to the track so it cannot slip forward or backward due to the load of the ship it is pulling. This is also what allows the mules to go up and down the incline between the locks when the lock height is different.

If you will look at the right hand rail in the picture you see a slot or opening between the rail and the concrete in the center between the rails. In the slot below the rails is a set of 3 copper bars about 1" thick by 3" wide. These copper bars carry the current and voltage to power the mules. A bar attached to the bottom of the mule has brushes attached to it that make contact with the 3 copper bars to pick up the current and voltage necessary to power the mules.

There are 4 sets of the bar and brush pickups on the bottom of each mule.
Another view of the gear rack centered between the rails for the mules.