Saturday, August 07, 2010

White Pass Railroad

More about Alaska. Eventually, I write enough posts to complete the series.

On our Fourth Day, we rode the White Pass & Yukon Route Railroad to Canada -- just barely to Canada.

When the Gold Rush came to the Yukon, miners would leave Skagway and have to make their way to the Yukon up the mountains. It was dangerous and terrible, but it was thought to be impossible to build a railroad. But it was built.

It climbs from sea level in Scagway up 3000 feet in 20 miles, with grades of 3.9% and 16 degree turns. It includes 2 tunnels and many bridges. The railroad itself is narrow gauge, demanded by the terrain.

It now operates as a tourist attraction. We road from Scagway to the boarder of Canada and back again -- a small portion of its 110 miles. It hangs on the cliffs and goes from the town, which was hot that day, up to the snow covered peaks of the Coastal Mountains.

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