Turnagain Arm Wreck

Lets call this undated wreck along Turnagain Arm.   I find no reference in Prince but locos are both Ex Panama 200 class Moguls with slope back tenders and extension side boards on coal bunkers. They are  in U.S. lettering indicating date is prior to 1923 Transfer to Alaska Railroad from AEC.   While there is little detail of the LC crane showing #5 worked out of Anchorage at that time.

Photos 1-4 from top to bottom

1. The wind blown barren rock and brash ice in the water indicate Turnagain Arm anywhere from Beluga point to Potter.  The scene is facing Railroad North toward Anchorage.  This is very early probably during construction before line was connected to Seward.   Notice the hand hewn ties, or at least native timber slabbed on two sides which were probably the flat car loads.   The wrecking crane is on site with support cars setting back in the cut.  It appears that the wrecker may have already started pulling the tender up hill as it is not positioned the same as view #4.

2.  Locomotive at top is number 221 as noted on side of the cab.  Can’t tell if it is on a temporary track leading down the hill side but it looks as if it is derailed as well.

3.   The tender appears further up hill in the recovery.

4.  I would suggest this is the original position of the Locomotive and Tender askew at 90 degrees with the tender upright and the loco on it’s left side.  The remains of at least one Hart Convertible gondola followed the locomotive down hill along with all those ties from the flat car.  Notice the tide is rising and falling around the locomotive as the time lapses between photos.   Tide in this area can reach extremes of 30 feet and more at certain times of the year.  There is heavy brash floating and there is likely fixed ice shelves at the shore line.

- Patrick Durand


Click on a thumbnail view a larger image


Page created 9/14/16 and last updated 9/14/16