2010 News Archive
(January - March)
 
Prominent Alaskans support bill to task railroad with in-state line - 3/27/10
ktuu.com
by Ted Land

JUNEAU, Alaska -- A chorus of prominent Alaskans is urging the state legislature to make in-state gas a reality, and now Gov. Sean Parnell is onboard.

[See story]

Fairbanks model train layout is theater on an HO scale - 3/27/10
Fairbanks Daily News-Miner
by Julie Stricker

FAIRBANKS - How do you make a mountain? First, eat a good breakfast. Cheerios and Wheaties are good choices. Save the boxes and cut them into strips, shape into a mountain and glue them together. Add plaster casting material and paint, then add trees, bushes, grass and a herd of inch-tall caribou looking down at the train running along the base.

[See story]

O'Leary to be interim chief at railroad - 3/27/10
Anchorage Daily News

ANCHORAGE -- Effective April 1, the Alaska Railroad Corp.'s interim chief executive will be Bill O'Leary, the railroad announced Thursday.

[See story]

Railroad may take on in-state gas pipeline construction - 3/23/10
Anchorage Daily News
By RICHARD MAUER

JUNEAU -- The bill putting a proposed in-state natural gas pipeline into the hands of the Alaska Railroad rolled through its first Senate committee Monday, after a chorus of legislators said that pipeline dreams going back more than 60 years need to give way to action.

[See story]

In-state gas line gets a boost - 3/19/10
Anchorage Daily News
By RICHARD MAUER

JUNEAU -- The drive to build an in-state gas pipeline, with public funds if necessary, got a boost Thursday with the enthusiastic testimony of two of Alaska's elder statesmen, Ted Stevens and Bill Sheffield, with Frank Murkowski offering more conditional support.

[See story]

Alaska Railroad chief Pat Gamble to head University of Alaska - 3/17/10
Fairbanks Daily News-Miner
by Christopher Eshleman

FAIRBANKS — Pat Gamble will be the next president of the state university system.

Gamble is president of the Alaska Railroad Corp. and a retired Air Force general. He has also developed various ties to academia and emerged Tuesday from the university Board of Regents’ short list as the coming replacement for outgoing president Mark Hamilton.

[See story]

Anchorage Daily News New UA president's track record sealed deal for regents - 3/17/10
Anchorage Daily News
By MEGAN HOLLAND

The University of Alaska Board of Regents has selected Alaska Railroad chief executive officer Pat Gamble to be the next university president.

"We took a look at where the university is and where it might be in five or eight years, and we saw in Pat Gamble someone who can really manage a large, complex organization and move it to a higher place," said Board Chair Cynthia Henry.

[See story]

New route approved for railroad tracks - 3/9/10
Anchorage Daily News
The Associated Press

FAIRBANKS -- An agreement has been reached on a new route for railroad tracks in Fairbanks, the latest step in the long process to reroute the railroad.

[See story]

Alaska legislators: Railroad aid must wait - 3/4/10
Fairbanks Daily News-Miner
by Christopher Eshleman

JUNEAU — Lawmakers from Fairbanks said it’s probably too late to address last week’s Borough Assembly request for help moving railroad track out of town.

The assembly’s resolution urges the Legislature to spend $10 million on pre-construction work needed for a possibly track reroute, which would itself cost hundreds of millions of dollars.

[See story]

Anchorage airport train depot echoes silence - 3/3/10
Anchorage Daily News
By ROSEMARY SHINOHARA

The Alaska Railroad depot at Anchorage's international airport, open for business since 2003, was envisioned as a bright and busy way station for travelers, among them rail commuters from the Valley and cruise ship passengers heading to or from the airport.

[See story]

MP15 status - 3/3/10
John Taubeneck
ARR locomotives 1551, 1552, 1553 & 1554 arrived in Seattle yesterday. They were still here as of 9 AM [today].
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UA regents announce finalists for president - 3/2/10
Associated Press

ANCHORAGE, Alaska (AP) - Three finalists to replace outgoing University of Alaska President Mark Hamilton have been announced by the UA Board of Regents. Two are Alaskans.

The list includes Pat Gamble, president and chief executive officer of the Alaska Railroad Corp. since 2001 and a retired four-star Air Force general.

Also named from Alaska was John Pugh, chancellor of the University of Alaska Southeast since 1999.

The third finalist is Lisa A. Rossbacher, president of Southern Polytechnic State University in Marietta, Ga., since 1998. Rossbacher is also a professor of geology.

The finalists on Monday will begin a tour of the UA system's three largest campuses.
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Railroad plans include new restroom, dredging and undisclosed coal facility improvements - 3/1/10
Seward City News
By Heidi Zemach

The Alaska Railroad held an open house at the Breeze Inn in Seward Friday, Feb 19. Alaska Railroad Chief Engineer and Vice President of Engineering Tom Brooks gave an update of the railroad’s capital project program plans for the upcoming year at the Seward Chamber of Commerce, Conference and Visitor’s Bureau membership meeting luncheon.

[See story]

Latest equipment info - 2/25/10
by John Combs

Cafe car #300 and diner #400 are up for sale. I heard they were worn out and cost prohibitive to repair. So where will regular ARR passengers eat? I heard last season they ate in the Goldstar galleys. I haven't heard how this will be handled for the upcoming season.

What is the latest with the MP15s? They were sold to Broadway Rail who turned right around and sold them and they are waybilled to Progress Rail in Tacoma. Unfortunately, they were not equipped with alignment control couplers and hence were banned from transport by the Class 1s. The owner contracted with Bob's Services in Anchorage to modify them and the ARR hauled them up to Bob's on the APU spur where the work was completed. They set sail southbound on ARMS Voyage 1006S on February 21 around 6:30 PM.

And a little bit of bad news. The Museum of Alaska Transportation and Industry turned down the railroad's donation of the Russell plow. The railroad will probably send it to CEI on the APU spur for scrapping.
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Senator proposes Alaska Railroad oversee pipeline - 2/25/10
Juneau Empire

JUNEAU - An Alaska state senator said she wants an in-state natural gas pipeline but as quickly as possible and sees giving responsibility of it to the Alaska Railroad Corp. as the way to do that.

[See story]

Dueling bills would 'railroad' a gas line - 2/25/10
Alaska Dispatch
by Rena Delbridge

Losing faith in the administration's efforts to get natural gas to Alaskans and frustrated with the slow pace of progress on a huge pipeline to the Lower 48, two lawmakers are launching significant bills a third of the way through the legislative session that force an in-state natural gas pipeline project into the hands of the Alaska Railroad Corporation.

[See story]

Rerouting of Alaska Railroad in Fairbanks is on track - 2/21/10
Fairbanks Daily News-Miner
by Amanda Bohman

FAIRBANKS — The Alaska Railroad Corp. and a private railroad safety group agreed on a route to move railroad track south toward the Tanana River, a member of the rail safety group said Friday.

The Fairbanks North Star Borough Assembly will consider a resolution next week asking the Legislature for money to conduct an environmental impact study.

[See story]

Alaska construction spending expected to keep dropping - 2/14/10
Anchorage Daily News
By ELIZABETH BLUEMINK

Alaska's key construction industry is expecting less spending again this year, continuing a gradual decline that began before the national recession started.

Despite the predicted 3 percent decline in spending this year, the total value of construction activity is likely to total about $7 billion in roads, hospitals, schools, houses and other projects, according to a recent report from researchers at the Institute of Social and Economic Research at the University of Alaska Anchorage.

[See story]

Officials jump-start railroad project - 2/14/10
Fairbanks Daily News-Miner
by Amanda Bohman

FAIRBANKS – State transportation leaders met in Fairbanks on Friday to jump-start a long-sought project to move the Alaska Railroad closer to the Tanana River.

They meet again at 9 a.m. Thursday in the Borough Assembly chambers to plot a route.

[See story]

GP49 alumni spotted - 2/13/10
By Carl Buehler in East St. Louis

These three locomotives (nos. 2806, 2807, and 2803) are out near the entrance to the "yard" for the plant and difficult to get a clear view. This either means they have been refurbished and waiting for shipment, or newly arrived and waiting to be either refurbished, cannibalized, or outright scrapped. If they get moved to a better location for photography I will get some better shots. These are likely not the two loco's I saw several months ago. They had doors pulled and engines being pulled out, and likely GP40's of some model.

Photos 1, 2, 3
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Port MacKenzie rail extension could benefit Fairbanks industry - 2/13/10
Fairbanks Daily News-Miner
by Christopher Eshleman

JUNEAU — Business leaders in Fairbanks last year issued a show of support for a proposed railroad track extension that would occur hundreds of miles away.

The plan's backers list Fairbanks as one of the big potential beneficiaries. They say it would make Alaska's coal resources far more competitive on world markets, could turn Fairbanks into a major cement production center and would significantly improve the profitability of surrounding resource development.

[See story]

McKinley Explorer railcars - 2/13/10
By Matt Abbey, General Manager, Rio Grande Scenic Railroad

Of the new Bachmann HO scale McKinley Explorer railcars: "So…the new HALX cars are pretty cool, huh? I've been working [to facilitate] that for two years. They will make all A and B cars in time, 1050-1057."

Of the prototype McKinley Explorer railcars: "I have five of the old ones in my fleet, with two more coming in and out seasonally. There are two more (IPH owns nine) in Hood River, OR. The last four of the original 13 are up in Canon City CO at the Royal Gorge. They haven’t been painted from the old Westours scheme yet, but the plan is to get them done as time and dollars allow in the SLRG burgundy with three yellow speed stripes. Should be very very cool when done."

Visit the Rio Grande Scenic Railroad website.
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HO scale McKinley Explorer train set - 2/11/10
Bachmann Press Release
Via Dave VinZant

Treating passengers to breathtaking views of the Alaskan wilderness in special vista-dome cars is the McKinley Explorer. This updated version of the McKinley Explorer features models of the completely new bi-level dome dining-lounge cars that have recently come into service on the Explorer. At 18 feet 2 inches tall and 89 feet long, these cars manufactured by the Colorado Railcar Company are the largest dome cars ever built.

McKinley Explorer
an E-Z Track® HO Scale set with E-Z Mate® couplers
Item No. 00694 • Standard Pack: 3 • $180.00
This ready-to-run HO scale train set includes: • EMD GP40 diesel locomotive with operating headlight

• three all-new 89' Colorado Railcar full-dome passenger cars (the Knik, Kenai, and Kobuk, all named after Alaskan rivers)
• body-mounted E-Z Mate® couplers
• 63 x 45 oval of snap-fit E-Z Track® including 16 pieces of 22 radius curved track, 3 pieces of straight track, and 1 plug-in terminal rerailer
• power pack and speed controller
• illustrated instruction manual
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Open house offers preview of new railroad projects - 2/11/10
Alaska Journal of Commerce
By Sean Manget

The Alaska Railroad Corp. is proposing a bundle of new and continuous projects this year, and several were on display at a recent open house event at the Historic Ship Creek Depot in Anchorage.

Among projects displayed was the northern rail extension, a rail line that would connect North Pole, just southeast of Fairbanks, to Delta Junction, just north of Fort Greely, providing an alternative for passengers and freight to the usual route via the Richardson Highway.

[See story]

'Tubular goods' flow through port - 2/11/10
Anchorage Daily News
By WESLEY LOY

It was 5 o'clock on a Saturday morning, Aug. 8, down at the Port of Anchorage.

Steve Sautel, logistics coordinator for BP Alaska, was there to greet a cargo ship that had sailed across the North Pacific Ocean, bringing a vital commodity and a new style of doing business to the state.

[See story]

Status of ex-ARR 7249 - 2/7/10
From Robert Lehmuth via John Taubeneck

Ex-ARR GE 45-ton #7249 is alive and well in Utah:

Here's the info on the POTB/S&S. That unit has been around.

15713 45T D/E B-B Std 33” 300hp Cum HBI-600 (2) 7/28/1942 B-B-90/90-2GE733

US Army #7249, Cornhusker Ordnance Depot, Ovina, Neb Center cab
Alaska RR #7249
Chelatchie Prairie, Chelatchie, Wash
Samuels Steel #4501, Portland, Ore
Port of Tillamook Bay #4501, Tillamook Bay, Ore 2008
S & S Shortline #4501, Farmington, Utah 12-09
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Alaska Railroad revamps its engines for more efficient transportation - 2/1/10
Fairbanks Daily News-Miner
By Jeff Richardson

Fairbanks - The Alaska Railroad has spent the past decade working to add a bit of green to its blue-and-gold color scheme.

[See story]

Delta Junction applauds railroad extension - 1/24/10
Fairbanks Daily News-Miner
by Christopher Eshleman

FAIRBANKS — Delta Junction smiled on last week’s federal approval of a long-discussed railroad track extension between its city and the Railbelt.

The 1,000-person city serves a larger 5,000-resident area. Leaders there view the proposed extension, which would rely heavily on the federal government for construction funding, as a way to expand trade prospects.

[See story]

Seward residents recall day quake and waves destroyed city - 1/24/10
Anchorage Daily News
BY NED ROZELL

Tammy Wisdom of Baker City, Ore., wrote and asked if any Alaska Science Forum readers knew of her grandfather, Alva "Al" Wisdom. Al Wisdom died in Seward in 1964 as a result of a wave generated by the Good Friday Earthquake.

[See story]

Alaska Railroad running smoothly after 25 years of state ownership - 1/17/10
Fairbanks Daily News-Miner
by Christopher Eshleman

FAIRBANKS — When the federal government handed the state ownership of the Alaska Railroad 25 years ago, the governor suggested the deal might become the best move "since William Seward bought Alaska from the Russians."

[See story]

Nenana artist is dreaming about spring - 1/9/10
Fairbanks Daily News-Miner
by Rebecca George

FAIRBANKS - Nenana artist Patricia Phillips wanted to capture the history of the Nenana Ice Classic in her painting that now decorates the 2010 poster.

[See story]

Alaska Railroad seeking submissions for annual art program - 1/9/10
Fairbanks Daily News-Miner

FAIRBANKS - The Alaska Railroad Corporation is soliciting submissions for its annual commemorative artwork program. The selected artist will be commissioned to create artwork for the 2011 Alaska Railroad official print, poster, lapel pin and other gifts and materials. The annual Alaska Railroad artwork has become a favorite among rail fans and Alaska art collectors.

[See story]

Progressive Era big government gave Alaska a railroad - 1/7/10
Anchorage Daily News
By Steve Haycox

These days, it's easy to forget that modern Alaska began in the midst of the Progressive Era, a massive reform movement characterized by intense anti-monopoly sentiment and a demand for government regulation and intervention in the nation's economic life. The Federal Reserve System was created in this period, and the Constitution amended to allow personal and corporate income taxes.

[See story]

Locomotive 557 purchased by Lynden President - 1/7/10
by John Combs

Several people have asked whatever became of steam locomotive number 557. As you may know it was formerly owned by Monte Holm in Moses Lake, Washington. Monte passed away on May 5, 2006 and his grandson now became responsible in finding it a new home. The locomotive was offered to the ARRC who turned it down. Eventually it was purchased by Jim Janssen, President and CEO of Lynden and his brother. These gentlemen are currently working plans for its final resting place. As soon as I hear something then I will be sure to pass it on to you.
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Alaska Railroad gets federal OK to extend tracks to Delta - 1/6/10
Fairbanks Daily News-Miner
by Christopher Eshleman

FAIRBANKS - A federal board has cleared the state railroad’s plan to extend track to Delta Junction.
The decision follows months of review by the Surface Transportation Board, which considered public testimony on the plan and a slate of potential environmental issues.

[See story]

Lawsuit filed over Seward coal dust problem - 1/6/10
KTUU.com
Associated Press

ANCHORAGE, Alaska (AP) - A lawsuit has been filed in federal court over the problem of coal dust dirtying the scenic town of Seward.

Residents have complained for years that coal stockpiled near the harbor for delivery to ships for export to Asia and Chile is polluting their town - a popular destination for summer tourists.

[See story]

No serious injuries as train hits SUV in Spenard - 1/5/10
Anchorage Daily News
By ROSEMARY SHINOHARA

An Alaska Railroad train collided with a small Honda SUV behind Spenard Builders Supply at Tudor Road and Lois Drive at 11:05 a.m. today, but the SUV's driver, 89-year-old Sven Persson of Anchorage, suffered only minor injuries, said Anchorage Police Department spokesman Dave Parker.

[See story]

Alaska Railroad marks 25 years of ownership by the state - 1/4/10
Anchorage Daily News
By LARRY D. WOOD

We are all familiar with the Alaska Railroad. We pass its bright blue and yellow engines along Turnagain Arm, Knik River, Broad Pass, and scores of other locations winding south to Seward and north to Fairbanks. Many of us have enjoyed Alaska's breathtaking scenery aboard an Alaska Railroad passenger train. A few of us have even hopped on and off a railroad local that took us to remote camping, fishing and skiing adventures.

[See story]


 
 

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Page created 2/1/10 and last updated 4/6/10