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NRHS 2013 Convention Anchorage to Seward Excursion 9/19/2013

by Chris Guenzler

The morning started with my usual early shower with chocolate donuts for a morning snack. I posted yesterday's stories on before packing for the trip today to Seward. Elizabeth and I met Chris Parker in the lobby then we walked to the Alaska Railroad train station where we had our safety meeting. After that we went through the Gold Star cars and then the Aurora car for a safety briefing there. We then went to our car doors to wait for our passengers. I was working Coach 209 that we would board couples only on this nearly sold out train. Once almost all my passengers were on my car I then went and got my new Canon camera and would take my first ever picture with it.

The Aurora Car on the train.

The front of our train. Our train had engines 4324 and 3013, Baggage 102, Gold Star 653, Gold Star 652, Coach 205, Dome 523 ex NP 525, Coach 523 and Aurora 2000. The last passengers just boarded.

We closed up the traps and the train left Anchorage for Seward at 8:00 AM.

The Kinik Inlet. We ran south towards Potter where we would meet a freight train from Whittier.

The inside of the Aurora Car.

On the way to Potter.

Scene from Potter as we waited. The freight train came with 64 cars and was 4800 feet long. Once the train had cleared, we went by the Potter section house and rotary snowplow on display there.

Running along the Turnagain Inlet.

The train running along the Turnagain Inlet. I went to the Gold Star Car to snag a few pictures.

The top level of the Gold Star car 653.

The view from the upper outside platform of Gold Star car 653.

Beluga whales were spotted as we headed south along the Turnagain Inlet.

Dead trees left from the 1964 Alaska Earthquake.

The train has reached Portage the junction with the Whittier Line.

The train crossed the valley to get to the approach to Moose Pass. We went into the siding at Spencer to meet a northbound coal train there. I walked back to the rear of the Aurora Car for quick pictures.

The view from the rear of the Aurora Car.

Elizabeth on the rear of the Aurora Car. We went into the siding at Spencer for the coal train.

The coal train at Spencer with 4012 leading seven engines

The Spencer station sign. We backed out of the siding. Now we would climb to Moose Pass.

The train climbed the grade by the Spencer Glacier.

The train went through the narrow canyon with the Placer River. We went through Tunnel MP 52.7 584 feet, Tunnel 52.5 197 feet, Tunnel 52.4 307 feet, Tunnel 52.1 955 feet and Tunnel 51.9 310 feet.

The train climbed the grade towards the Bartlett Glacier.

Views of the Bartlett Glacier.

The train and the Bartlett Glacier.

The train started around the Grandview Loops.

The Grandview Loops.

The train continued the climb to Grandview.

The train was getting closer to Grandview.

The train went by Trail Glacier. After that we finished the climb which took us to the summit at Grandview at 1,063 feet.

Later the train rolled by Upper Trail Lake before we came to Middle Trail Lake {pictured}. We would stop to do a photo runby at Moose Pass. I detrained to be a part of the photo line. We walked down by the lake and I stood for the back up move.

The back up move which took place in the rain.

The Photo Runby at Moose Lake. We then got everyone back on the train and we headed south to Seward.

Lower Trail Lake. The rains started and stopped before the sun showed for the first time today.

The Seward Airport.

The tracks we would return on after we wyed the train and the passengers did the photo runby.

Minutes later the wye we would turn the train on after the photo runby.

The train pulled into the Steward station and we unloaded the passengers for their photo runby in Seward.

Silver Salmon in the steam next to the train.

Once they got done and most of the passengers got back on the train. We wyed the train and backed out onto Cruise Train Dock.

The train backed around the wye at Seward.

The train ran to the end of track at the Cruise Ship Dock.

The rear of the train at the end of track in Seward.

The Cruise Train at Seward. I would relax the rest of the way back to Anchorage by talking to friends and my passengers. We got back to Anchorage just short of the crew dying on the hours of service law. That ended another excellent NRHS 2013 Convention Trip.

We walked back to the hotel then went to the Sizzlin Cafe for dinner. After dinner we stopped off at a gas station to get me more Coca-Cola for tomorrow. I finished the story then called it a night.

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