Photo courtesy of Jerry W. Ware collection
Snow slides continue a constant threat on the line from Seward to Anchorage. These two views of a major slide zone along Turnagain Arm document the depth of the problem. The south facing view shows a passenger train from Seward backed as far into the snow cut as possible to allow passengers to detrain. The massive slide has buried the tracks far higher than the rotary snowplow can reach resulting is a trench where the track is located. Notice the passengers in street shoes each carrying their bags forward over the snow rubble in a steady rain of sleet. There are a number of folks watching up slope with some apprehension.
The view north shows a fresh slide has come down over the tracks filling the previously plowed trench. In the far distance you can make out the shadowy image of a train waiting out on the point which must be a mile away. Best guess places this around Bird Point in the late 1940's probably in late winter. Notice the heavy brash ice floating in Turnagain Arm. In those days before the railroad started using cats to plow out slides, it was common to put hundreds of men with shovels on top of the slide to bench the snow down to a level the rotary plow could handle. Photographer unknown, Jerry W. Ware Collection.
Jerry W. Ware retired from the Alaska Railroad and is well known as the ARR track welder who's office was known as the Doll Shop. His father, Wayne Ware was an Alaska Railroad engineer who had a modest collection of small 2"X 4" black and white photos. Jerry has offered these for inclusion in the roster section with credit to the Jerry W. Ware Collection. While these prints are small they are first generation and all provide excellent new views and details when enlarged on your computer screen. The commentary is by Pat Durand and subject to correction by anyone with more information.