Picture of the Week
Archives Section

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 | 2016

2017 Pictures of the Week
01/02 Jon Bentz A sad collection of Alaska F units at Union Pacific's Argo yard making the rail barge trip down from Alaska. The line-up is F7B #1517, F7A #1512, F7A #1506, F7A #1510, Power Car #P4, F7A #1508 and F7B #1505. 11/17/86. Some of these units were scrapped while others took on new lives with other railroads.
01/09 Austin Seely

A special for Norwegian Cruise Lines crosses the Trail River on its journey to Seward and an awaiting cruise ship. Crown Point. 8/29/16

Webmaster's note: Pay no attention to the fact that #3015 is my all time favorite locomotive.

01/16 Frank Keller The northbound winter Aurora crosses Riley Creek Trestle on a late winters day. I have always loved this particular location on the Alaska Railroad. 1/5/17
01/23 Dave Blazejewski

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. 11/23/16

01/30 Terry Douglas

Caboose no. 1093 sitting at Portage on a day chilly. 1/10/17

The Alaska Railroad owns three cabooses. Caboose 1092 is sitting on coach track 2 needing a wheel change. Number 1093 serves as a tool car for B&B #6. It has been sitting at Portage since September and will eventually head to Whittier. Number 1069 is now the ARR 901069 and is in use for Maintenance of Way. In 2015 the railroad also created a shoving platform. The Connaboose name comes from its foundation (an intermodal container) and its function (a caboose).

02/06 Frank Keller The morning sun has yet to clear the Chugach Mountains but is destined to do so. In the meantime the rising sun bathes Mt. Susitna in the pink hues if Alpenglow.
02/13 Mike Criss The northbound Aurora near Talkeetna taken by the DJI Mavic drone. If you are on Facebook click here to view his video. 2/4/17
02/20 Dave Blazejewski The 3:00 PM edition of the Valentine Special train in a cold, windy, but glorious Saturday afternoon along Turnagain Arm between Anchorage and Indian. These holiday type trains have been very popular on the Alaska Railroad with every train starting with the Halloween train being a sellout. 2/12/17
02/27 Mike Criss The Aurora, the Alaska Railroad's weekly wintertime train, crosses the Knik River on a brisk 28 degree morning. This wonderfully sublime photo was taken from Mike's DJI Mavic drone. 2/25/17
03/06 Bryan Saul A captivating photo taken inside the locomotive cab showing the silhouette of Ted Prudence as well as the end of his train. The empty TTX flats are heading to Seward to load Seaway trailers onto a double desk barge. To gain perspective of the actual landscape check out Lloyd Tesch's photo of a coal train in the same location. The Loop, Seward Division, late 1980s.
03/13 Mike Gerenday On a quiet cloudy Sunday evening near Sunshine Siding, the southbound AuRoRa lead by 4326, runs by at track speed kicking up the powdered sugar like snowfall that fell in the past morning. Even a place called Sunshine, can't escape the wintery days Alaska has to offer. 2/26/17
03/20 Curt Fortenberry Curt Fortenberry says of his photo, "All I had was my iPhone this afternoon [3/12/17], and happened to find a long string of flats on the North Pole siding.  Mostly Strykers I think.  A couple utility vehicles on one end.  Not sure what's going on." Click here for a supersize version.
03/20 Frank Keller Sometimes you get lucky. I was out looking for some wildlife to photograph and found a large Bull Moose along the boardwalk at Potter Marsh. As I took a few shots and followed along the boardwalk I turned back and saw this fantastic sunset. It was just about then that I heard this train blow for the nearby grade crossing. The end result being what you see here. 9/28/16
03/27 Ed Rosek Alaska Railroad train crossing Riley Creek as it arrives at Denali National Park.
04/03 Dave Blazejewski The Alaska Railroad dispatched a "snow fleet" work extra consisting of two GP40-2s pushing Harsco/Jordan Spreader 9 south to Portage to begin opening up the railroad to Seward. The southern end of the ARR's mainline had been out of service since the last coal train ran but was being prepped for some lumber trains from Seward later in the month. While there is no snow to move here, in about 15 miles they will be deep into it cleaning the mountain over Grandview Summit.
04/10 Frank Keller Although we do get a fair amount of snow in Anchorage it isn't often that a fresh snow fall coincides with a train movement. That wasn't the case yesterday when about a foot of snow fell overnight and continued to fall through the day. As luck would have it the earlier train was annulled and another was called for 1800, making it possible for me and my good friend David A Blazejewski to grab a few shots. It isn't often that things line up but over all I am happy with the results of the afternoon's photography. Weather wasn't great but in my opinion adds to the overall feel to the day. 3/30/17
04/17 Kevin Burkholder In what is now hands down my most extreme night photo ever, the Alaska Railroad SD70MAC 4003 leads northbound Anchorage to Fairbanks train 130N (13) over the Riley's Creek Trestle in Denali National Park. The shot was made possible through the assistance of David Blazejewski and Frank Keller, whom entertained my idiotic suggestion of snowshoeing in the wilds of Denali National Park in the middle of the night to go get this shot. What a snowshoe hike amid intermittent snowfall AND what a memorable time as we had less than 5 minutes to set up once we arrived. AGAIN - thanks to David and Frank as without their participation and equipment hauling, this would not have been possible. 3/14/17
04/24 Patrick Albert This photo was taken 4/15/17 along the Glenn Highway. The sky was just right and the light was such that the melting of the river ice afforded this beautiful reflection when you stand at the right spot.


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