All in a Day's Work

Portraying the various types of work and special challenges that occur along the rails of the Alaska Railroad


After a long week of working the snowfleet, we were headed back to Anchorage for the weekend. As we approached a bridge (Sheep Creek I believe), we saw a momma and baby moose running down the tracks. Because we only had two locomotives and the spreader we were able to quickly slow down. As we eased up on them and they got closer to the bridge, everyone in the spreader was urging them to get off of the tracks as walking across the bridge can be perilous for a moose. Having a large moose stuck in the bridge was the last thing we wanted being so close to home. Our pleadings were not heeded however as first momma, then baby, started out across the bridge. After slipping down between the ties a couple of times and only getting halfway across, momma turned around and looked at us. What happened next took us all by complete surprise. After turning and looking at us, momma looked to the side and jumped straight off of the bridge! At this point we all thought she had just committed suicide as it was at least a 15' fall to the snow covered river! After the cloud of snow settled however, momma wriggled up and then started walking upstream. Baby moose then continued across the bridge and made to within 5' of the end of the bridge until first one, then another and then the last two legs fell down between the ties. As the photo shows however, the snowfleet crew decided to help baby out of its predicament. The story does have a happy ending as baby moose was extricated from the bridge and was last seen running up the river after momma.