The Alaska Railroad, Summer 1968

by Hiroshi Nakanishi

I recently found some in my father’s photo file. I just wanted to add to my photo archive page. Please bear with me for a while. These photos cover the train ride from Fairbanks to McKinley Park in summer 1968. Some were uploaded before as father gave the slides to me long before: see "Photo Archive_ARR"

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Photo above is the by then still looks new station at Fairbanks. The building still exists in 2012, but left vacancy. Our taxi driver Sultan told us that it would house a museum. The inside of the station.
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The photo above shows the platform. The train attended by a Greyhound bus might be No.5 leaving at 9:00AM with 8 cars. The platform.
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At the end of the platform, the famous sign stood at the end of the track. At the other end of the platform, locomotive 1512, a FP7A and 1505, a F7B were ready for the departure.
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This photo shows the northern most location in this photo session, ALASKA RAILROAD's Fairbanks Station. My father took this photo of the train bound for Anchorage for me. The river created the deep canyon.
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The train goes up the Nenana River to the summit of the line. Twisting rail provided the photo looking back and forth of the train. According to the investigation through the loupe lens, today’s No. 5 has 8 passenger cars including 2 baggage cars and a diner, 5 boxcars including ARR, GN and UP, a flat car with a 20’ reefer container, 7 gondolas with SEALAND container, 3 empty bulkhead flats and a caboose.
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The Riley Creek Viaduct can be found just south of the station, beyond the park visitor center. Coming is the northbound counterpart.

The southbound train arrived at the McKinley Park (now Denali Park). The station building shown below was demolished in 1987. It seems that the station had wooden platform in those days. Park ranger might provide information there to those who left the train.

We can also see a sign plate of RAILROAD EXPRESS AGENCY in fine condition. However, the year 1968 was the last moment for REA. The plate shows the last gleam of its life.

This photo represents the southbound mixed train led by ARR 1500 with SEALAND containers on/in gons. The passenger car 32 was one of the 60 seat coaches converted from US Army troop hospital cars built in the 40s.  

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© 2012 Hiroshi Nakanishi