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The Alaska Railroad Corp. (ARRC) posted a net loss of $7.8 million on total revenue of $150.7 million in 2020 as the railroad confronted "tremendous challenges" caused by the COVID-19 pandemic.
In its annual report, the railroad reported total expenses of $158.5 million for 2020.
"The numbers tell only a fraction of the story," ARRC officials said in a press release. "Facing tremendous challenges posed by a global pandemic, the railroad sought to balance multiple expectations in terms of safety, service, mission and finances."
ARRC, which operates freight and passenger service, was hit hard by rapidly dwindling travel in 2020. Still, as part of the state's critical infrastructure, the railroad continued to provide essential services. Early on, operations were modified and protocols adopted based on public health recommendations and government mandates, ARRC officials said.
Although it is required by statute to be a self-sustaining enterprise, the railroad accepted short-term financial losses last year in order to maintain a workforce and assets that will be needed for recovery, they said.
"In a year of unimaginable challenge and change, the Alaska Railroad met demands on multiple fronts thanks to the perseverance and ingenuity of railroad employees," said ARRC President and Chief Executive Officer Bill O'Leary.
This year, the railroad will focus on recovery and rebuilding, he said.
ARRC's 2020 report can be read here.