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Alaska Railroad Glacier Discovery Page 5

Alaska Railroad Glacier Discovery Page 5

Story and Photographs copyright 2004 by Richard Elgenson

In Anchorage, the railroad is double tracking a portion to ease traffic congestion.  The track north from Anchorage towards Wasilla has undergone major reconstruction.  The railroad has turned its attention to south Anchorage where there is a gravel dumping facility receiving  2 trains per day during gravel hauling season (when things aren not frozen!).  From early May to early September add to that about 6 passenger trains from 7 am to 10:30 pm and it becomes apparent the reason for track construction.


The State of Alaska is moving a stretch of the Seward Highway and a portion of the Alaska Railroad onto reclaimed land in the Turnagain Arm.  This particular stretch has been prone to avalanches.  Parked on a siding was  the air dump train with a caboose on one end and a spreader on the other.  The material was excavated from above the highway,  loaded onto train dump cars, hauled to the site and dumped.  It was Sunday and that crew job day off.  Some of the above pictures show the area where the material is being dumped.    This new construction will yield a railroad with less curves and faster train speeds.



The above picture shows the mountain being moved to provide fill material for the railroad and road realignment which is slated to be finished by summer 2004.  The borrow area is being made into a parking lot for fisherman and other visitors to Indian, the location near the railroad bridge.  This location which is known for its Silver Salmon run in August attracts enough fisherman that some have parked unsafely and illegally in past years.


Official Alaska Railroad Website

Whittier Tunnel Link

John's Alaska Railroad Web Page

Varly's Swiftwater Seafood Cafe, Whittier Alaska,  907-472-2550

Operation Lifesaver

Richard Elgenson RailNews Site

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