Alaska Railroad Route Map And Points Of Interest. The Alaska Railroad is America's only full-service railroad, offering both freight and passenger service year-round. Alaska Railroad route, including branch lines and sidings, covers more than 500 miles.
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Alaska Train EngineThe Alaska Railroad is America's only full-service railroad, offering both freight and passenger service year-round. The Alaska Railroad route, including branch lines and sidings, covers more than 500 miles. The line runs from tidewater at Whittier and Seward to Anchorage, the state's largest city, and through the heart of Alaska to Fairbanks. The map below is a guide to some of the scenery and significant points you can see along your trip.

Mile 470.3 Fairbanks - Alaska's second largest city, Fairbanks began as a trading post and mining town in 1901. It is the northern terminus of the Alaska Railroad and southern terminus of the famous Haul Road to the North Slope oil fields.

Mile 467.1 College - Location of the world’s northernmost institution of higher education - the University of Alaska Fairbanks.

Mile 466.0 University Farm
- A working farm and experimental station on the University of Alaska Fairbanks campus, the facility produces dairy, meat and vegetable products.

Alaska Railroad MapMile 463.0 Happy - Once the beginning of a narrow-gauge railroad serving remote mining districts to the north, the line was abandoned as roads were built.

Mile 413.7 Mears Memorial Bridge - The 700-foot steel structure, one of the world's longest single-span bridges, marks the completion of the Alaska Railroad and was dedicated by President Warren G. Harding in 1923. Watch below for Athabascan fish wheels in the Tanana River.

Mile 411.7 Nenana - Originally an Athabascan village, Nenana is located on the south bank of the Tanana River at its confluence with the Nenana River. It was a railroad construction camp in the early 1900s and today serves as a hub for barge operations, serving communities up and down the Yukon River and connecting waterways for hundreds of miles.

Mile 392.9 Clear - Nearby is an air base and early warning radar site.

Mile 71.2 Ferry - This route across the Nenana River accesses historic gold fields to the east.

Mile 362.3 Usibell Tipple - The tipple is a covered loading facility with a railroad track running through the center for coal loading. The coal is mined across the river and transported to the tipple by conveyor.

Mile 358.1 Healy - Start of a 4-mile branch line serving nearby coal mines. Watch for dark coal seams in the exposed rocks to the east. The coal fuels electric power plants in the Interior and is exported to Korea.

Mile 347.7 Denali Park - Entrance to Denali National Park and Preserve. Riley Creek Bridge is the railroad's second highest.

Mile 342.7 Oliver - The site was named for former Railroad Roadmaster Thomas Oliver.

Mile 319.5 Cantwell - A small settlement and starting point of the Valdez Creek gold mining district.

Mile 312.5 Summit - The summit of the Continental Divide is at 2,363 feet and is the lowest rail pass in the Rocky Mountain chain. Summit Lake eventually drains both into the Pacific and the Bering Sea.

Alaska Railroad Work CrewMile 304.3 Broad Pass - Southern end of the broad, treeless pass that is the lowest traveled pass in the Rocky Mountain chain from Mexico to Alaska.

Mile 297.1 Colorado - Access route to once-closed gold mines that are becoming active again.

Mile 288.7 Honolulu - Halfway point between Anchorage and Fairbanks, the area has a very active beaver population and dams can be seen along the tracks.

Mile 284.2 Hurricane Gulch - One of the line's best photo vantage points, the bridge spans 918 feet, some 296 feet above the creek.

Mile 279.0 Scenic Viewpoint - Mount McKinley, otherwise known as "Denali" or "the Great One," is only 46 miles from this point.

Mile 248.5 Curry - Today a ghost town, Curry recalls a bygone era when a rail trip from Anchorage to Fairbanks involved two days of travel and an overnight stay in the now defunct hotel.

Alaska Railroad BridgeMile 226.7 Talkeetna - Base station for assaults on Mount McKinley, Talkeetna began as a trapping and mining outpost. Today it's a world-class destination for salmon fishing, rafting and boating excursions, and a wide variety of other Alaskan adventures.

Mile 224.3 Scenic Viewpoint - Mount McKinley, 20,320 feet; Mount Hunter, 14,960 feet; Mount Foraker, 17,000 feet; Mount Russell, 11,600 feet; and Mount Dall, 9,000 feet, all are visible from this panoramic vantage point. This is the confluence of three major rivers, the Talkeetna, Chulitna and Susitna.

Mile 180.7 Nancy - Nancy Lake State Recreation Area, a chain of lakes and streams, lies to the west.

Mile 159.8 Wasilla - The headquarters of the famed Iditarod Sled Dog Race.

Mile 150.7 Matanuska - Home of world-record vegetables and the center of agriculture for Southcentral Alaska, the Valley includes Palmer and surrounding communities. It was settled by "colonists" from the Lower 48 in the early 1930s.

Mile 141.8 Eklutna - Location of Alaska's earliest hydroelectric project and the source of fresh water for Anchorage. Named for the nearby Athabascan Indian village of Eklutna, the village is also the site of a traditional cemetery and a Russian Orthodox church.

Mile 119.1 Whitney - The rail line passes through Elmendorf Air Force Base where fighter jets can frequently be seen taking off or landing.

Mile 114.3 Anchorage - Perched on the Knik Arm of Cook Inlet and framed by the Chugach Mountain Range, Anchorage began as a railroad construction base and saw boom times through both World War I and II as a military staging city. Anchorage has grown into Alaska's center for finance and industry. It is the state's largest city, with more than 250,000 people.

Mile 100.6 Potter - The historic Potter section house and Potter Marsh Wildlife Viewing Area mark the junction of Cook Inlet and Turnagain Arm, so named when Captain Cook's search up the arm for the Northwest Passage ended when he had to "turn again." Watch for the bore tide, a six-foot wall of water that can rush into or out of the arm during the area's huge tide changes — which can range as much as 30 feet.

Mile 88.7 Indian - Home of local craftsmen and artisans, Indian offers a panoramic view of Turnagain Arm and the Kenai and Chugach mountains.

Mile 74.5 Girdwood - Alaska's finest ski resort, condominiums, chalets, first class accommodations and restaurants are located at the base of Mount Alyeska.

Whittier - A 12.4-mile branch line connects Portage and Whittier. The Anton Anderson Memorial Tunnel to Whittier is the longest highway tunnel in North America (13,300 feet or 2.5 miles). It is also the longest combined vehicle-railroad use tunnel in North America.

Mile 64.0 Portage - Devastated by the 1964 earthquake, the old town of Portage is all but gone. Dead trees stand in silent testimony to the power of the quake, which flooded the town and dropped the surrounding land 10 to 12 feet.

Mile 53.7 Spencer Glacier - This magnificent wall of ice is less than a mile from the tracks.

Mile 51.0 Tunnel - A section station today, this was once headquarters for the "Loop" an engineering marvel which allowed the tracks to cross over themselves on a wooden trestle as the trains wound through the canyon.

Mile 48.2 Bartlett Glacier - Named in 1907 for Frank Bartlett, Alaska Central Railroad civil engineer, the glacier is visible just 800 feet away from the tracks. Deadman Glacier rises above.

Mile 44.9 Grandview - Grandview is the staging area for special winter "ski trains" for cross-country skiing.

Alaska RailroadMile 44.3 Trail Glacier - Great views of Trail Glacier, Trail Creek and Trail Canyon.

Mile 25.9 Moose Pass
- This small settlement along Upper Trail Lake was once a railroad section station.

Mile 25.7 Lower Trail Lake - The last in a trio, the lower lake drains into Kenai Lake.

Mile 12.0 Divide - Summit of the first crossing of the Kenai Mountains.

Mile 3.0 Resurrection River

Mile 0.0 Seward - A year-round deep-water port, Seward is the gateway to Interior Alaska and is situated on Resurrection Bay's fertile salmon and halibut-filled waters. The town is named in honor of William H. Seward, who orchestrated the purchase of Alaska from the Russians in 1867.
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Railroad Related Links
Suggested Alaska Reading List
Kenai Fjords Historic Resource Study (online book) by Linda Cook and Frank Norris
Exploring Alaska's Kenai Fjords by David Miller
Kenai Fjords Park - Trails Illustrated Map
Alaska: A Novel by James A. Michener
Alaska: A History of the 49th State by Claus-M Naske and Herman E. Slotnick
Guide to the Birds of Alaska by Robert H. Armstrong
Wild Flowers of the Yukon, Alaska by John G. S. Trelawny
Coming into the Country by John McPhee
Travels in Alaska by John Muir
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Denali Mc McKinleyDid You Know?
Did you know that Denali or Mt. McKinley, located within Denali National Park and Preserve, is the highest mountain on the North American continent? Measured from the 2,000 foot lowlands to its snowy summit at 20,320 feet, the mountain’s vertical relief of 18,000 feet is greater than that of Mount Everest.

Alaska Facts
  1. Alaska State: Flower Forget-me-not
  2. Alaska State Bird: Willow Ptarmigan
  3. Alaska State Tree: Sitka Spruce
  4. Alaska State Mineral: Gold
  5. Alaska State Gem: Jade
  6. Alaska State Mammal: Moose
  7. Alaska State Fish: King Salmon
  8. Alaska State Sport: Dog Mushing
  9. State Nickname: The Last Frontier
  10. State Motto: North To The Future
  11. State Song: Alaska's Flag
  12. Alaska State Holidays: Alaska Day, Oct.18th and Seward's Day March 27
  13. The United States purchased Alaska from Russia in 1867 for $7.2 million, about 2 cents an acre.
  14. 15 species of whales are found in Alaska waters.
  15. Alaska has more than 80 potentially active volcanoes.
  16. The flag of Alaska contains 8 gold stars representing the Big Dipper and the North Star on a field of blue.
  17. Longest Day: Barrow the sun rises on May 10th, it don't set for nearly 3 months.
  18. Shortest Day: Barrow when sun sets on November 18th, Barrow residents do not see the sun again for nearly two months.
  19. What maybe the oldest documented site of human habitation in North America, the Mesa Site found in 1993 lies 150 miles north of the Arctic Circle.
  20. There are more than 3,000 rivers in Alaska and over 3 million lakes.
  21. The name of Alaska probably comes from Unalaska, an Aleut word derived from agunalaksh which translates the shores where the sea breaks its back.
  22. The 90,000 Native people of Alaska make up roughly 15% of the state's population.
  23. Almost half of Alaska (175 million acres) is classified as wetlands.
  24. Highest Point: Mount McKinley, 20,320 ft
  25. 17 of the highest 20 mountains in the U.S. are in Alaska. It has 19 peaks over 14,000 feet.
  26. Of the total 365 million acres of land that make up Alaska, less than one-twentieth of 1% is settled.
  27. Alaska has numerous natural hot springs found across the state. Near Port Moller Hot Springs on the Alaska Peninsula, a village site has been occupied intermittently over the past 3000 years.
  28. The largest gold nugget found in Alaska was discovered near Nome in 1903. It weighed 155 troy ounces and was 2 inches thick, 4 inches wide and 7 inches long.
  29. It is estimated that there are 100,000 glaciers in Alaska covering 29,000 square miles or 5% of the state.
  30. The estimated tidal shoreline of Alaska including inlets, islands and shoreline to head of tidewater is 47,300 miles.
  31. The largest state in the union, Alaska is one-fifth the size of the Lower 48 and spans 2,400 miles east to west and 1,420 miles north to south.
  32. On average 1,000 earthquakes registering 3.5 or more on the Richter scale occur in Alaska each year.
  33. Most snowfall in 24 hours: 62 inches, at Thompson Pass near Valdez, Dec. 1955.
  34. Most monthly snowfall: 297.9 inches, at Thompson Pass near Valdez, Feb. 1953.
  35. Most snowfall in a season: 974.5 inches (over 81 feet), at Thompson Pass near Valdez, 1952-53.
  36. Most precipitation in 24 hours: 15.2 inches, in Angoon, Oct. 12, 1982.
  37. Most monthly precipitation: 70.99 inches at MacLeod Harbor (Montague Island), Nov. 1976.
  38. Most annual precipitation: 332.29 inches at MacLeod Harbor (Montague Island), 1976.
  39. Highest recorded temperature: 100¡F, at Ft. Yukon, June 27, 1915.
  40. Lowest recorded temperature: -80¡F, at Prospect Creek Camp, Jan. 23, 1971.
  41. Earthquakes: 9.2 on the Richter Scale on March 27th 1964 - the strongest ever recorded in North America
  42. 430 bird species have been sited in Alaska.
  43. Over 50 species of wild fruit is found in Alaska including Low and Highbush Cranberries, Blueberries, Salmonberries, wild rose and strawberries.
  44. Three species of bear are found in Alaska: the black, the brown/grizzly and the polar bear. Brown bears are the largest living omnivorous land mammals in the world.
  45. The Arctic Circle is the latitude where the sun does not set for one day at summer solstice and does not rise for one day at winter solstice


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