Containerized freight, and trailers were handled by the LETROPORTER 2682 CH in the Fairbanks yard. These three photos show the machine in operation about 1990 working just west or railroad south of the engine house. Incoming loads were just set off adjacent to the flat car, and private truck tractors would pick them up right in the yard. Outgoing containers and trailers were parked adjacent to the track on the opposite side and the Porter made as few moves as possible in a rather confined space.
Modelers Note: The scene offers good modeling possibilities as you could have one or two tracks on a shelf along one wall with the yard lights on poles right against the backdrop of birch trees and rolling hills in the distance. This scene was before the Johansen expressway was built along the north side of the railyard.
Photos and commentary by Pat Durand
Also known as piggy packers
Here is a little "inside" information from an Alaska Railroad employee [Feb. 2002], "We have two van loaders here at Anchorage and two of them up at Fairbanks. One of them here is a two wheel drive model while the other is the four wheel drive model. I was talking to one of the fellas who run them out in the yard yesterday and he said he liked the two wheel drive model better. They always have chains on the front wheels of the two wheel drive model, and don't use chains on the four wheel drive. He said that on the four wheel drive model, the rear likes to get "squirrelly" on it. Another carman who works out there stopped by to talk to me. They were loading vans on the track behind me while I was working. I heard an extremely loud crashing sound, and felt the ground rumble, got my attention very fast! They had dropped a 40 foot container from full height! As I turned around, it was just rolling on its side. It rolled about three times before it came to a stop. Thank goodness no one was near it when it fell! The carmen there with me called up on the radio right away and found out that everyone was okay. Our next question was, "I wonder what was in there?" I joked with the carmen there that they'd better hope that it was full of Tupperware. We found out later it was a delivery for a department store and it was Rubber Maid items. They got lucky!"
to view a 652K Quicktime movie of a piggy packer loading a van.
Page created 10/6/04 and last updated 11/23/13