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Rail News: Short Lines & Regionals

Alaska Railroad to mark golden anniversary in 2023

The railroad plans to incorporate its Aurora Winter Train into the anniversary celebration.
Photo – Alaska Railroad Corp.


Next year, the Alaska Railroad Corp. (ARRC) will reach its 100th anniversary.

On July 15, 1923, President Warren G. Harding drove in a golden spike in Nenana, Alaska, to commemorate the completion of the railroad’s 470-mile mainline.

ARRC plans to celebrate the milestone throughout 2023, particularly with its winter passenger-rail service and a new travel package.

The railroad plans to debut a limited edition Centennial Special passenger-rail package next year. The 12-day package will include stops at a number of destinations and attractions along its historic mainline, including Fairbanks, Seward, Anchorage, the Spencer Glacier Whistle Stop, and Denali National Park and Preserve.

ARRC also will incorporate the Aurora Winter Train into the celebration. Operating now through mid-May 2023, the train connects passengers to Anchorage, Talkeetna, Fairbanks and other destinations. The service currently operates on weekends, with additional midweek departures to start in February.

Much of Alaska’s development can be attributed to the railroad, which connected various communities and towns, and carried goods and passengers between the state’s two largest cities, ARRC officials said in a press release.

“Many things have changed in the past 100 years. We’ve updated our equipment, the destinations have grown and … technology has made a more sustainable travel experience possible,” said Dale Wade, ARRC’s vice president of marketing and customer service. “But over the past century one thing has remained constant: our unwavering dedication to our passengers and to Alaska.”