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Alaska, Yukon study rail link

Building a 1,600-mile rail line linking Alaska and Canada’s Yukon territory would spur mining development and open a new trade route to Asia, but the project’s $10.5 billion price tag might be too difficult to swallow for public or private investors alone, according to a recent study.

Conducted and released by the Alaskan and Yukon governments, the study shows the line’s projected freight shipping revenues over 50 years would only cover about 75 percent of the project’s cost, requiring joint public and private funding.

The study examined the construction of a line from a Canadian National Railway Co. route in northern British Columbia, running through Yukon to an Alaska Railroad Corp. line and White Pass & Yukon Route Railway branch line.

In 2000, the U.S. Congress authorized $6 million to study the feasibility of a similar line.

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More News from 6/22/2007