Alaska Railroad Train #3 South is shown departing Anchorage for Whittier on March 11, 1957 in these photos by W. A. "Art" Gibson. Alco RS1 #1001 is equipped with an ice breaker to clear icicles from the inside of the two tunnels enroute to Whittier. This was the typical Whittier passenger train of the day with baggage car 65 and day coaches 89 and 38. The round-trip fare was $5.50 Anchorage to Whittier and $1.10 for the Portage to Whittier leg. There was no "Whittier Shuttle" in those days and any vehicles or large items like boats were handled as regular freight and not on the passenger trains. Most Whittier residents maintained a vehicle in the RR parking lot at Portage and it was common for more people to board the train in Portage than in Anchorage. The train ran daily and the baggage car handled mail and fresh produce as express shipments, in addition to all the personal gear of passengers.
Photo courtesy of W. A. Gibson Jr.
Commentary by Pat Durand