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Rail News: Passenger Rail

Carnival to acquire Alaska's White Pass & Yukon railroad

The sale of the railroad is set to close July 31.
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TWC Enterprises Ltd. has entered an agreement to sell the White Pass & Yukon Route rail and port operations in Skagway, Alaska, to cruise ship operator Carnival Corp.

TWC said in a press release earlier this month that it entered into a purchase and sale agreement for $290 million, minus debt, taxes and liabilities of $70 million to $80 million. The sale is set to close July 31, according to a TWC press release.

"This asset represents a one of a kind experience and is an iconic name in the Alaskan cruise industry," said TWC Chairman Rai Sahi. "Carnival already has a strong presence in Alaska with its multiple brands and White Pass represents a very strategic acquisition for them."

In addition, Carnival's Holland America Alaska Tours executed a memorandum of understanding with Survey Point Holdings Inc. — an Alaskan company based in Ketchikan — to create a joint venture in which Survey manages the port, White Pass Scenic Railway and the retail operations that Carnival will acquire from TWC, Carnival officials said in their press release.

As part of the MOU and joint venture, the partners plan to expand docking facilities to accommodate new cruise ships. Survey Point will continue to manage the White Pass & Yukon's day-to-day terminal operations and customer relations.

"As the gateway to the legendary Klondike Gold Rush region, Skagway is beloved by our guests and crew for its warm hospitality and distinctively Alaskan array of sightseeing and recreational activities," said Stein Kruse, group CEO of Holland America Group and Carnival UK. "We are very committed to the continued development and success of the entire region as one of our most popular destinations."

Contact Progressive Railroading editorial staff.

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