The Alaska Railroad has no physical connection to the rest of the North American rail network. But that doesn't prevent them from having a robust interchange. The ARR owns a service and interchanges weekly with the BNSF and UP in Seattle via barges owned and operated under contract by Alaska Marine Lines.

The barge pictured here is the Aqua Train (blt 1982) and is owned and operated by Foss Maritime under contract to CN. Whittier is the designated interchange point and once loaded on the barge this is a CN "train." Currently the AquaTtrain makes two round trips per month between Prince Rupert and Whittier.

This unique drones eye down on view shows the 8 track layout that tapers to 6 on one end with two switches on the deck. This is to accommodate the layout of the slip in Prince Rupert which does not allow the barge to move two four positions like they can here (the AML barges are 8 straight tracks and the barge is shifted side to side to line up with the two track slip). This barge is loaded completely to the gills with 45 cars of southbound interchange. Lashed to her bow on the port side is the 118.7 ft long Justine Foss, a 4300 hp tug built in 1976.

Photo courtesy of Dave Blazejewski