3003 north

Here's an image of ARR 3003 north crossing Riley Creek trestle near McKinley Park station.  The date on the slide is July 1982.

While I wasn't quite sure of what I was getting myself into when I moved to Alaska in December 1981, one guy who thought this event was a bonanza was my father.  He thought it was the greatest thing because now he had a reason to take my mother to Alaska.

They drove the Alaska Highway in their Chevy Van from their home in Bellingham, WA to Anchorage, AK during the summer of 1982.  They picked me up in Anchorage and we drove the Parks Highway together to Fairbanks.  I had been working non stop since my arrival in Alaska, so this was the first time I'd ever been north on the Parks Highway.  We camped for a night at the campground at McKinley Park.  I walked from the campground to the tracks then forded the stream in the foreground to climb the small bluff on the west side of the Riley Creek Bridge.  After dropping me off in Anchorage they drove to Haines and caught the Alaska ferry back to Prince Rupert.  They then drove home from Rupert.

From the consist of the train, I'm thinking that this picture may have been taken on a weekend.  The train has a consist of passenger cars with a caboose on the end (not seen in the picture). My presumption is that this may well be a northbound mixed even though there was no freight attached to the standard set of passenger cars from that era.  I started watching trains during the start up years of Amtrak so I was used to seeing mixed consists such as these.

Interestingly both a head head brakeman (visible on the bottom step of the silver coach) and an unidentified employee (standing in the open door of the baggage car) are visible as this moving train crosses a bridge. It must have been a warm afternoon.

Photo courtesy of Jonathan Fischer