Welcome to the Alaska Railroad Picture of the Week archives. A photograph is truly worth a thousand words. The Picture of the Week page began on February 16, 1998 with Jeff Child's photo of the Alaska Railroad's first locomotive, number 1. Since that time, professional photographers, railfans, Alaska Railroad employees, historians and passengers have sent a multitude of prints, slides, scanned images and digital photographs. Unfortunately, I can only post a fraction of what I receive due to lack of time. Sit back, relax and enjoy!
Picture of the Week Archives: 1998 | 1999 | 2000 | 2001 | 2002 | 2003 | 2004 | 2005 | 2006 | 2007 | 2008 | 2009 | 2010 | 2011 | 2012 | 2013 | 2014 | 2015
|01/05||Dave Blazejewski||This was the annual Colony Christmas train which took passengers from Anchorage to downtown Palmer for the holiday craft fair held right in the historic (1935) former ARR depot. Alas, this was the last train to ever traverse the outer reaches of the branch and the 70 pound rails lay silent in the weeds. Today, the farthest you can ride is the modern South Palmer depot beside the state fairgrounds 1.7 miles to the south. A few years after this final passenger train the Alaska Railroad canceled freight service to Palmer deciding it was cheaper to transload the last customer's freight in Anchorage and truck it here. This day it was biting cold with temperatures dipping to -11 and the snow covered peaks of the Talkeetna Mountains can be seen beyond rising to heights above 5000 feet. 12/13/08|
|01/11||Frank Keller||Alaska Railroad spreader 9 has the left wing out and is sculpting the snow banks along the main at Hurricane. A powerful winter storm the day before Thanksgiving had trapped a train north of Talkeetna and after freeing the southbound freight the snow fleet set about clearing the main and sidings along the railroad. 11/29/16|
|01/18||Jonathan Fischer||Here’s a shot of the 1500 leading a southbound Aurora through Cantwell in May of 1985. Note the section house was still standing at the time of the photo.|
|01/25||Eric Schneider||"I love the light this time of year. Photos (on cell phone) capture recently shined rails on the curve north (railroad west/south...) of the refinery siding in North Pole, AK, Dec. 12, 2015."|
|02/01||Frank Keller||If one were to peruse my collection of photos on railpictures.net they would see that over the years I have shot numerous trains here. Mostly passenger trains in the Summer and Fall with an occasional work train in the Spring. This however is the first time I have managed a Winter shot as well as a freight train on the trestle. With the short hours of Winter and regular nocturnal hours of the freights it is a rare occurrence to see let alone photograph. This photo was taken at 3:05 PM and sun was already behind the mountains. 11/29/15|
|02/08||Mike Gerenday||GP40 numbers 3005 and 3002 taking a break on Talkeetna Siding. 08/01/2015.|
These photos (1, 2) were taken in Seward, as we were breaking up the coal train. It was to be the last coal train for a while, so the plan was to store most of the hoppers in the Seward yard, where they would be out of the way. As I recall, we only brought back about 20 hoppers, and a handful of empty flat cars. We had also brought the flat cars down the day before, loaded of course, for the freight dock. All six locomotives came back to Anchorage with us. Eventually the hoppers we brought north went up to Fairbanks for the north end coal service.
In that photo, I was opening an angle cock after making a hook on some cars. We were switching by color, so to speak. Some of the aluminum hoppers are former Detroit Edison cars, and have orange ends, but the ones the ARR bought new have blue ends (pictured). I don't remember which were going back to Anchorage at this point, but we were separating the orange ones from the blue ones, and one group was staying in Seward, while the other group was going north. I do not remember exactly when this was, but I was to say late June 2015. -- James Ogden
Mike Gerenday captured these photos from a public road, near Seward Airport, which parallels the top end of the yard.
Somewhere over the rainbow
July 5, 1986, my last night as a resident of Alaska, I went down to the yard one last time. There I captured my favorite loco, the 1802 switching with a rainbow in the background. I also got a couple shots of the shops with the rainbow in the background. It was a memorable night.
|02/29||Casey Durand||Saturday afternoon, a warm 43 degrees with a break from rain and sleet makes for a good time to sandblast. The original commuter car was built in the mid to late 1950s. Once rebuilt by Colorado Rail Car (CRC) for the Florida Fun Train (FFT), this car and it's three sister cars (351, 352, 451, 452) were then rebuilt for the Alaska Railroad. Years of use and weather conditions have taken their toll on the body work. There is only so much Krylon can do! Alaska Industrial Paint, located in the old Chugach Electric Association (CEA) power plant on Ship Creek, utilizes the two coal car unloading tracks as work room and paint bay for its large projects like this. They previously repainted the GP40 #3012 and did minor touch up work on some of the 650 class GoldStar ultra domes.|
|03/07||Frank Keller||Got snow? Not Anchorage! So how can you pull off the eleven mile ceremonial start of the Iditarod through Anchorage without snow? First, you shorten the length of the run to three miles. Second, the Alaska Railroad volunteers to haul snow from Fairbanks hundreds of miles away. Yup, seven side-dump cars full of snow were added to the regularly scheduled freight train which arrived Thursday (1, 2). To keep the snow from melting before the start of the race workers pushed it into piles in areas shaded from the sun. It was then spread along the starting route. Now if I could just find out which locomotive was on the train that hauled the diphtheria antitoxin from Seward to Nenana in 1925.|
|03/14||Terry Douglas||Terry Douglas says of his photos, "I went into downtown Anchorage on Sunday afternoon, to have a look at what was happening during Fur Rondy. I watched some sled dog racing, and looked in on the "Great Train Show" (model Railroad display) at the the Alaska Railroad depot. While walking back to my car, I spotted poor old RDC 701, forlornly sitting on a siding near the ARRC General Office Building. It has seen better days. The last few years it has been used in MOW service, as essentially a large caboose. I'm afraid that being parked in this spot may not be good news. Bonus photo of some racing Sled Dogs attached."|
|03/14||Frozen Glass Photography||On March 10 McKeen car #83 "Cuyamaca" began making final preparations to leave the state of Alaska forever. The car was lifted onto a trailer and then moved (1, 2) to a shipyard where it will take steamship south to Seattle. A truck will then transport it to its new home in Ramona, California where it will be restored. The project is the brainchild of Madison Kirkman who states, "We need your help to continue the project, through donations, of both tools, materials, and funds, and possibly through volunteering, to bring this car back to her former glory." Get more information on Cuyamaca's journey through her Facebook page and help contribute funds to aid in her restoration.|
|03/21||James Ogden||James Ogden says of his photo, "Here are photos of the Anchorage yard, taken from the air. All of these were taken in the afternoon, on March 5, 2016. I have been taking flying lessons, and someone I know through that invited me to go with him on a helicopter trip. They were doing tours during Fur Rondy, so I tagged along for one of them. We took off from the roof of the Lofts Hotel (the old Howard Johnson), on Third Avenue. We went east, following Ship Creek, then flew around in the mountains a bit, before heading back along the same route, to the hotel roof to land. This photo is of the warehouse and shops. This one looks up into the yard from directly above the yard lead on the south end. The tour companies' facilities are in the center of the photo. The old power plant and yard office are visible in the distance on the right." Click here to see all of James's photos.|
|03/28||Jonathan Fischer||Now and Then: Here's a shot taken from the back of the southbound Coastal Classic through Moose Pass on the morning of August 18, 2015. Here's another shot of Moose Pass taken in November of 1984. Note the dog.|
|04/04||Dave Blazejewski||"It turns out you can get a train and the tank in a shot together!" proclaims an excited Dave Blazejewski. In the background is the winter Aurora while the foreground is dominated by the old Montana water tank. And across the street? A vintage pair of Alaska Railroad boxcars. This area is definitely a hard core ARR foamer's dream and is at the top of my next trip "to do" list. (1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7)|
|04/11||Frank Keller||The line between Anchorage and Seward isn't used very often during the winter except for the weekly trains to Whittier and the occasional train from Seward. Since the Port of Anchorage is frozen in the winter the direct barges will often call at Seward or Whittier. In this case an SBS Barge of lumber was unloaded in Seward and sent north to Anchorage and is seen here almost to Girdwood on a beautiful late evening in March. 5/17/14|
|04/18||Gerald Forsyth||Gerald Forsyth sent us 55 photos of the loading of the McKeen car on March 10, 2016. Below are five (1, 2, 3, 4, 5) of my favorites. Click here to view all photos. The McKeen car was moved to Ramona, California where the McKeen Motor Car Company Historical Society is working to restore it to running condition.|
|04/25||Robert Krol||School bus mania (1, 2): Robert Krol was sitting at the Whittier tunnel for an extra hour while this monster freight goes through. The freight was too long to fit between the rail crossing in Whittier and the green light for the tunnel so they had to back up, pick another track of cars, build up the air for the brakes and then go through the tunnel. This resulted in a one hour delay for car traffic. 4/16/16|
It's not often the Palmer branch hosts a passenger consist in April (in modern times). But today the "Who let the Girls Out" train visited the South Palmer (State Fairgrounds) Station. I was not present to see what the "Girls" got up to in Palmer, but I'm sure it was a "Retail" experience. I have a first hand report that the ride out was fairly rowdy.
|05/09||Frank Keller||With the export coal market all but dead I was thankfully surprised to learn we would soon be running a few trains of export coal from Usibelli for a customer in Japan, I believe. In any event the first train to head north for loading was captured around MP 147 after just having crossed the Knik River with engineer Gordon Larson at the throttle. 4/18/16 [Webmaster note: It is great the railroad is hauling coal to Seward again!]|
Eric Schneider says of his photo, "I caught GV-4 near UAF tonight (5/11/16) on the southbound train. Train was going pretty fast by this point, but the light was good, and the photo came out well."
This is the Generator Van. We have 4 GV-1 through 4 and are used for the railroads KFF service, also known as Keep From Freezing. As Curt Fortenberry mentioned some of the ARR spine cars, those in 191 series, are wired for this service. Each GV unit can support so many 220 and 440 units so depending on many we get determines which unit we send. We are about ready to end our KFF service for the summer season. - Frank Keller
|05/23||Stefanie Jaz Coppock||
Engine 556 and her tender have rested on the Park Strip along 9th avenue for many years. For most of those years the cab was wide open so children and adults alike could climb up and imagine what it was like to run the rails in this machine.
The modern world is no place for such imagination and besides the homeless were making quite a mess of this once proud machine. There was talk of removing 556 but cooler heads got together and a year or so ago, asbestos was removed, new paint and a fence to protect the display.
|05/30||Nick McLean||The southbound Denali Star keeps to a cautious 15 MPH while navigating the winding ledge of Healy canyon, high above the Nenana River. The railroad follows the Nenana for over 80 miles from Windy to the town of Nenana where it flows into the Tanana River. 9/5/14|
Here's a photo of the innards of one of the 1800 series GP’s. Any help identifying the road number would be great. The photo date is November 1984.
Webmaster's note: If you can identify the road number then please drop me a line. Also, feel free to share any tidbits you spot.
From Robert Krol: I'd say your POTW is the 1807. Check out your pics. Oil leaks on fuel tank similar. Here's the other side. (1, 2, 3)
From Curt Fortenberry: I'm speculating that GP7 frame is 1807, it was wrecked during the winter of 83/84, and retired March 84. Story has it there was a hard couple in Fairbanks during one of the super cold days and the front was damaged (fell off is what I was told). Seeing that I don't see a front pilot on that image, I'm guessing that's pretty close. The shot is looking at the rear of the unit (look where the air tanks are).
Patrick Durand: The four stacks Identify this as one of the ARR GP7 units numbered 1801-1810. 1801, 3, 8, 9 were sold outside so this leave 2,4,5,6,10 for eliminations in the the hunt for the road number.
Jerry Peters: During the period that the 1800's were being rebuilt, it was decided that the last three units sent to Paducah (1807, 1808, and 1809), would be equipped to act as electrical power generators for operating the Rotary Snow Plow no. 3. At that time ALCO 1050 class B-units were being used for this service but were somewhat under powered for this duty.
The modification added an additional 27 pin jumper cable receptacle, painted red and stenciled as to what it was for, just below the normal one on the front of the engine only. A small receptacle was also added just below the red receptacle. This was the 74 VDC power supply to the Rotary as it didn't have batteries or a generator for that control voltage. Just inside the air brake train line valves on each side, two high voltage, 1000 amp (I think) single pole receptacles were installed to provide power to the two traction motors used to operate the snow thrower wheel on the front of the Rotary.
My shop (Electric Shop) started to install the necessary equipment in the Rotary 3 to make it work with the above mentioned engines, but was put to the side without much being accomplished. We never were able to complete this job as it was decided by the new management that we did not need to use the Rotary's anymore. The Milwaukee Rotary arrived a while after this but that is another interesting story.
I looked thru your 1800 picture section and found the "the sold GP-7's" line. It shows that the 1808 and the 1809 were sold off at that time (this was after I had retired from the RR.) That leaves only the 1807. I must say that it looks like the unit was involved in an accident as the electric cabinet is tipped somewhat toward the front, and the concrete ballast located forward of the cab, in the nose has been moved considerably from its intended location.
Did Frank Keller walk on water to get this photo of the first Coastal Classic as it rolled past the wye at Portage enroute to Seward? Although Frank does get some amazing photos my money is on a quadcopter UAV. Regardless, it was a gorgeous day along the rail belt and the crew and passengers surely had a great time. 5/9/16
|06/13||Robert Krol||Here is a bonus photo for you! Robert Krol snagged a shot of this interesting creature at the Port of Whittier. The ARRC maintains an extensive inventory of vehicles and this one is probably the cutest on the list. 6/5/16|
|06/20||Matt Leistico||Our bike rides here in the state of Ohio are typically full of trees, birds and bugs. In Anchorage bike rides can be a whole lot more exciting. Here are some photos from Matt Leistico's lunchtime bike ride on on June 3, 2016. (1, 2, 3, 4)|
|06/27||Stefanie Jaz Coppock||
Stefanie says of her photo, "I thought this might be of interest to your page, mostly because the only thing I like to photograph more than trains are things in nature that do not belong in nature. Nestled in the woods about 9 or 10 miles east of the Anchorage to Seward railroad mainline Indian creek comes cascading down one side of Power Line Pass. Over one of the stream crossings sits a riveted gondola car dating from the 1940’s. Number 13802 is still serving Alaskans and visitors alike as a gateway to Chugach State Park." June 2016
[Webmaster's note: I've just added this to my 2017 Alaska Railroad trip itinerary!]
|07/04||Frank Keller||Frank Keller says of his photo, "This shot is of the 181N, empty coal, returning to Anchorage. I was out for a drive and decided to take a shot of the mountain in the background and this train just happened to show up so I included it." April 2016|
Robert Krol reports the continuous welded rail (CWR) crew worked fast in Whittier and finished on Friday, July 8, 2016. Continuously welded rail reduces maintenance costs and improves passenger ride quality. Robert's photos show the equipment used (1, 2) to replace and install rail as well as shots of the old rail (3, 4) which date back to 1954 (5). All photos were taken with an Apple iPhone.
The Alaska Railroad is about 60% CWR. However, most of the line between Anchorage and Seward is still stick rail. Click here to learn how the Alaska Railroad installs CWR.
|07/18||Dave Blazejewski||Dave Blazejewski says of his photo, "Frank Keller and I went for a drive this evening to chase a 52 car 2x2 loaded export coal train. It turned out to be a great evening. While I truly hope it's not so, this may be the last export coal train for a long time...or perish the thought...possibly ever. Just in case we knew we had to go. Here is a drone shot of the head end at Portage."|
|07/25||Frank Keller||The southbound Denali Express has discharged her cruise passengers and is crossing Whittier Creek as they pull into the Whittier yard to await their deadhead move to Anchorage. But first they must wait for the arrival and departure of the Glacier Discovery as well as the McKinley Explorer. In the background is the Island Princess and the hotel on the right is the Inn at Whittier. 7/13/16|
|08/01||Frank Keller||Every time I turn around this Alaska Railroad drone photography is just dropping my jaw and popping out my eyes as it provides new and wonderful perspectives. Maybe we should hold a viewer voting competition between Frank Keller and David Blazejewski drone photos? King Drone Shutterbug! Anyway, Frank Keller says of his awesome photo, "The north freight, having departed Anchorage at 2010 the previous night, is crossing the Tanana River on the Mears Bridge at Nenana on a gloomy morning. It is not quite 0600 yet and this crew has about 90 minutes to make Fairbanks before the hours of service (HOS) expire." 6/18/16|
The Lynden group, including Alaska Marine Lines, have enjoyed a long relationship with the Alaska Railroad. Pictured here is Lynden company's truck number 72 a 1961 Chevy Viking 6000 series COE (cab over engine) truck. After a fresh eight week frame off restoration, this is the truck's first trip out of Anchorage with the BBQ trailer.
The truck was bought new by the company in central Washington and in the late 1960s Brothers Jim and Vic Jansen drove this truck to Fairbanks on the then very rustic Alcan Highway. At just 16 and 18 years old this was the brothers first trip up the highway. Running on true grit and a 130 HP 235 straight 6 engine, a long adventure and many stories ensued.
Local motor heads Shane and Casey Durand, the sons of locomotive 557 Restoration Company president Pat Durand, found #72 and a sister truck in the bushes of an old homestead in Chugiak. After recovery and inspection by Alaska West Express president Scott Hicks, a decision was made for a frame off restoration. Mechanical and chassis overhaul was completed in-house at the Alaska West truck shop in Fairbanks under the guidance of Steve Nolan. The body work and final assembly was undertaken by Casey Durand at his Ice Monkey Garage shop in Anchorage.
Ol #72 now joins the historic fleet next to the museum truck and trailer Kenworth #27 and trailer #22b. No. 72 will be on parade duty when not towing the BBQ trailer.
The Jansen family and Lynden companies are currently a major supporter of the restoration of former ARR locomotive #557.
Pictured are Jim Jansen of Lynden and Casey Durand from Ice Monkey Garage at the Lynden BBQ during the presentation of the truck. 7/10/16
It is with great sadness that I report the legendary David "Jim" James of Railroad Alaska fame passed away at his home on August 10, 2016. His wife Nancy was at his side. Jim had been terminally ill with lung cancer.
Jim was born in Hattiesburg, Mississippi in 1947. He moved with his wife Nancy to Alaska in 1981 and they became offgriders in 1995. Jim loved to hunt and fish and also delighted in figuring out how to bring modern technology into his wilderness residence. Their cabin had a working refrigerator, electric lights and running water.
I meet Jim on the Hurricane Turn on June 13, 2014. Being a huge fan of the Discovery Channel's Railroad Alaska I was blown away to see Jim James onboard. Jim was talking to a fellow "neighbor" of his by the name of Dave Curry. I waited for a pause in the conversation and immediately struck up a conversation with Jim saying his television appearances had made him a rock star. The confusion on his face made me realized he probably didn't understand my analogy. I quickly recovered by explaining he now was famous. I saw the corners of his mouth turn upward slightly and knew he unadmittedly was enjoying this newfound status...to a degree. I also told him I loved the fox hat he wore from time to time on the show and he corrected me saying it was actually a coyote hat. Terry asked Jim if she could take a photo of the two of us together and he shrugged his shoulders in agreement. Jim's stop came soon thereafter and I took a photo of him as he faded into the brush line.
Jim and Nancy gained fame quickly due to the popularity of Railroad Alaska. He was not hesitant to mention the important lifeline that the rails were to he and his wife Nancy. As with many offgriders the railroad can literally be their lifeline. He will be missed by many friends, family and fans as well as the Alaska Railroad.
Jeff McCrea was stationed in Alaska from 1987 to 1992, but has always had strong feelings for the Alaska Railroad. Over the years he has contributed prototype photos as well as those of his creations (check out Big Blow Turbine). In July he was "back in paradise if only for a short while, up here for work." Fortunately, he was able to slip away for a brief respite to grab some photos (1, 2) of the Fairbanks to Anchorage freight. Now for a little game. Where do you think these two photos were taken? Once I get correct answers I will post the locations. Anyone who sends a smart aleck response such as "Alaska" will be promptly and efficiently ignored.
Patrick Durand guessed correctly on the second photo! Here is Jeff's information on the locations: "First pic is on Fireweed Road just before the Palmer division junction, second pic is at Pease Ave crossing on Elmendorf as the train is pulling into Anchorage yard."
Here are four Dave Blazejewski drone photos of the southbound CN freight to Whittier on August 25, 2016. The first is at Potter while the second is along Turnagain Arm. The third is at Bear Valley while the fourth is an extremely rare view looking east.
|08/29||Mike Criss||The fifth and final photo is a bonus. Although I typically don't post non-Alaska Railroad photos I just couldn't resist Mike Criss's eye popping photo. "This is one of the many glaciers we fly by in the Alaska Range. We were headed to Merrill Pass in a helicopter. The scale is almost unimaginable." Click here to see more of Mike's stunning photos.|
|09/05||Dave Blazejewski||At the end of August each year a twelve day state fair is held in Palmer. This years events featured various treats as Spirit- 'The 7th Fire of Alaska', Pat Benatar, amusement rides, monster trucks and cabbages and the Alaska Railroad. Folks traveling from Anchorage could ride the rails and "save on fuel, parking and headaches!" Dave Blazejewski managed to capture the beauty of the fireworks and the joyful elegance of the fair train.|
|09/12||Michael William Sullivan||
Somewhere under the rainbow you'll find some Alaska Railroad heritage. The 3001 is one of three GP40-2s remaining in their as-delivered scheme and is seen here on the approach to the Portage Wye to meet the "Glacier Discovery" before completing the journey from Anchorage, Alaska to Whittier, Alaska. ARR 125S at Mile Post 65, Portage, AK August 25, 2016
[Webmaster's note: I love the fact that his shadow is in the photo. Sully replied, "Think of it as my shadow-signature!"]
|09/19||Frank Keller||A shot I have long tried to capture finally came together as I followed a coal train south from Anchorage on a very nice summer's eve. It is bitter sweet however as this is likely to be the last export coal train, at least for the for seeable future, as the soft coal market as caused the Alaska Railroad to offer for sale their aluminum coal hoppers. Weather, reflection, planes and trains all come together at Moose Pass, AK on this night. 7/16/17|
Both Robert Krol and Timothy Sullivan identified the locations correctly. The first photo is Glacier Discovery at Portage stop, 8/30/16. The second photo is the Southbound Denali Star at the Denali Park depot, 9/1/16.
Well, over the past five years I've been going back to this spot. However, I've always longed to get the view from the west side alas it was just not possible...until now. Thanks to the miracle of drone technology and a very generous spouse who bought me a Phantom 4 at the start of the summer it finally became a reality.
On Monday the 19th of September 2016 the final Hurricane Turn of the season made it's trek north from Talkeetna to its namesake bridge to turn back for the last time until next May. The fall colors were spectacular so I made the long trip from Anchorage, hiked in my secret trail a mile off the highway, and then sent the drone another 3,000 feet out and up over the bridge. Here is just one of many of the shots it yielded. I've been shooting trains in Alaska for nine years and this shot is truly a dream come true! It just all came together this day.
Yesterday, Sunday, October 2, 2016, ARR 17102 (1, 2, 3) was spotted as part of the group of cars unloaded from this week’s southbound barge, seen here on Harbor Island in the late morning with some sort of military contraption. - Jonathan Fischer
Webmaster's note: Can anyone identify this military vehicle?
Answer so far:
1. Ammo wagon used to resupply mobile tracked Howitizers - C.D.
I also found this link.
|10/17||Skip Nyegard||Soon after the Denali Star pulled away from the train depot at Denali National Park Skip Nyegard snapped this photo through the window of GoldStar #653. His wife Julie commented, "What I loved about the ride was that the leaves were just starting to change, along with all the beautiful pine, it was stunning!" Skip captured the photo on his Canon EOS 60D, 40mm focal length, ISO 250, exposure 1/160sec at f/14, at 8:26 PM on 9/8/16. Skip would love people to follow him on Flickr.|
|10/24||Nancy Stewart||I took this photo in March along the Seward highway between Anchorage and Girdwood. It was a perfect calm day and the water was like glass. It's not often the Turnagain Arm is calm due to the tides that come and go twice a day.|
|10/31||Dave Blazejewski||Freight is the Alaska Railroad’s bread-and-butter, generating about three-fifths of operating revenues. In 2015, the railroad hauled 4.29 million tons of freight.. Sometimes freight includes specialty movements of very large or oddly-shaped equipment and materials, as well as in-state shipments of cement, scrap metal, pipe and military equipment. Dave Blazejewski shares an example of the movement of military equipment (1, 2) with 192S crossing Fireweed just north of CP NSS Matanuska on August 8, 2016 at 4:45 PM.|
In 1955-1957 the Southern Pacific Railroad purchased a number of Pullman-Standard and American Car & Foundry bi-level cars as a way to increase ridership and cost-effectiveness. These cars lasted until new Nippon Sharyo equipment replaced them in 1985.
The Alaska Railroad purchased six of these used Southern Pacific bi-level commute coaches. The three ex-SP ACF bi-levels were repainted for Whittier train service and numbered 601-603 while the ex-SP commute coaches were rebuilt into the Princess Tours super dome cars. In time the Alaska Railroad retired their three ex-SP ACF bi-levels and sold them. Number 600 is currently owned by Jack Powers and resides in Seward at the Silver Derby Campground and RV Park. No 601 resided in Delta Junction for a few years, but is said to have disappeared.
Number 602 sold to Bryan Zak in Homer who planned on turning it into an espresso/art shop. Bryan's dreams never came to fruition and he put the car up for sale for $49,900. In June 2015 it sold to some folks who planned on converting it into a house.
Robert Krol's photos show that number 602 is again on the moved. (1, 2, 3) Robert says, "Number 602 was delivered in Soldotna. It couldn't make the bridge in Soldotna and had to go through Kenai. It is currently at Batir Construction." Robert says he will try to get more information for us in the coming week. Does anyone else have any knowledge they would like to share?
|11/14||Jonathan Fischer||Plagiarism is the highest form of complement. There’s a RR Illustrated/CTC Board article with this shot in it. This looks to be a risky photo to take and I asked the photographer how he got the shot. He explained and it was really quite easy. He copied what Dale Sanders had done. So I copied the shot as seen here on 6/8/12. It only looks like the picture is taken while standing on the tracks.|
Last Wednesday (11/2/16) at the 557 Engine house, we spotted an interesting piece of equipment on the mainline. It was a rail grinder. It worked on grinding over the grade crossing on Wasilla Shops Circle several times. (1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6)
|11/28||Aaron Pedersen||SD70MAC #4015 "The Spirit of North Pole" in the shop at Anchorage, for new shoes. 8/7/16|
|12/05||Dave Blazejewski||Oh my gosh! Check out this killer drone shot of the northbound Aurora at Talkeetna on November 26, 2016.|
|12/12||Frank Keller||On a beautiful night for photography the returning Coastal Classic with 12 cars, almost 600 hundred passengers, of happy travelers are about to cross Bird Creek en route back to Anchorage culminating in a fantastic Alaskan sunset. 7/8/16|
|12/19||Stefanie Jaz Coppock||Riding the Alaska Railroad is even better than photographing it from afar. SD70MAC with GP 40 #3014 leads the Coastal Classic through the Loop past Bartlett Glacier on the way to Seward. The second photo is looking out the back door as the train leaves the highway behind.|
|12/25||Dave Blazejewski||Beautiful wintry landscapes with pastel twilight skies, snow-covered nature, holiday lights and the rumble of 4300 HP SD70MACs (1, 2, 3, 4). The ARR ran all sold out Holiday Trains this winter. The 2 1/2 hour leisurely round trips afford guests the chance to ride the rails with Santa and his elves and enjoy some good holiday merriment amidst the backdrop of an Alaskan winter wonderland. 12/4/16. Merry Christmas, Happy Hanukkah and happy holidays from John's Alaska Railroad Web Page!|
Page created 1/1/16 and last updated 12/25/16
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