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Sunday, September 20, 2015

The White Pass and Yukon Route...

I still have a few more posts to publish about our recent holiday even though we have been home for 3 weeks! This post is about the train trip we did from Skagway. We were booked on the afternoon train and I've previously written a post about our walk around the town of Skagway in the morning.

The White Pass Yukon Route is a narrow gauge railway which climbs from sea level at Skagway to almost 3000 ft at the Summit in just 20 miles; so that is quite a climb! The whole route was 110 miles of track. The line was begun in 1898 and completed in 1900. To say the building of this railway line was a challenge is an understatement!
The rolling stock consists of both diesel-electric and steam engines and restored and replica passenger coaches.
The train moved off through the town of Skagway and the outskirts...including passing behind the large Depot area where the rolling stock could be seen.
The line follows the fast flowing Skagway river for much of the  of the journey.
Our guide also pointed out waterfalls that tumbled near the line.



It's not long before the line starts to climb...

 I guess when the cruise ships come in to town, this railway is very busy! Every now and then we would catch a glimpse of another train which left before us. We knew that we too, would be travelling on that line on the edge of a cliff...and way up high!

At one point our tour guide on the train told us to look back...
A view of the fiord in the distance...
Just magnificent scenery...

And in a remote area we passed a North West Mounted Police Office/Station/Base? Yes, even though this train route starts in Skagway Alaska, the line does go into Canada. The building looks like a little log cabin.

At times the line came very close to the side of the cutting/cliff face...
A line travelling through such country needs both tunnels and bridges. There was one historic bridge which is no longer used...thank goodness!!! lol

These other bridges seemed to be in much better condition, thank goodness.



The trip back to Skagway was of course all down hill so it wasn't nearly as long. The staff got us to 'change sides' so that we got to see the scenery on the opposite of the train to what we saw coming up. 

4 comments:

allotmentadventureswithjean said...

WOW! Now that's what I call a rail journey. Beautiful scenery Maria.
How brave were those workers who laid that railway line. (and how brave were you to take the trip !)

Sue said...

I've been waiting for this post, Maria. This train journey was the highlight of our Alaskan cruise. There was a lot more snow about when we did it so it's nice to see what it's like in the summer months. It's certainly an amazing railway line. :-)

Dawn said...

Thanks for showing me the scenery from the railway. We did the Alaskan cruise last year but I opted for the dog sledding instead of the train. Now I can see what everyone else saw. Great trip xx

Marit Johanne said...

Beautiful sceneries! And it must have been exciting to "climb" up the hill by the train. There is a train line in Norway that is much like this one. It is called the Flåm Line. I have never traveled it, but I hope I will some day.