of Alaska Transportation and Industry
One of the stops on my June 2000 Alaska Railroad excursion was MATI, a museum of transportation and industrial remnants which tells "stories of the people and the machines that opened Alaska to exploration and growth." It is a 20-acre site located in Wasilla (50 miles north of Anchorage) and exits off the Parks Highway. The museum contains aircraft, construction equipment, mining exhibits, fishing boats and many tractors and farm implements. To be perfectly honest, my interest was strickly railroading and this is where the focus will be on these pages. Click on any of the photos for a larger view.
|Chitna Autorailer Railbus. Circa 1937 Chevrolet chassis, Autorailer rail equipment|
is Casey Durand at the entrance to MATI.
He gave me a wonderful, private tour!
|Alaska Railroad 1000, Alco RS-1 - The Alaska Railroad's first diesel locomotives were numbers 1000 and 1001 delivered in May of1944 for the use through the new tunnels on the Whittier branch. Builder numbers 71319 and 71320 were equipped with steam generators for passenger train use. Rated at 1000 HP they were both modified with chopped noses in 1967 and relegated to switcher status. 1001 was cut down to a slug in 1972 and later scrapped. 1000 was retired in 1973 and came to the museum in 1974.|
|The first Alaska Railroad F7's were built new for the railroad in December 1952. Under EMD order number 7021 three A units and 3 B units were delivered. The A's received even numbers #1500 / #1502 / #1504 and the B's odd numbers #1501 / #1503 / #1505 and this num- ber pattern continued in subsequent acquisitions. In 1980 several of the F units were refurbished & received the paint scheme worn by #1500 into retirement. For the last years of her life she gloried as the ceremonial "Princess" used on the special trains representing the ARRduring its transfer from federal to Alaska State ownership. Retired in 1986, she can claim to be "The First and Last F7A in Alaska Railroad Service".|