The White Pass and Yukon Route and the Alaska Railroad

by Ken Humphreys

In August 2001, my wife and I took a Holland America cruise from Vancouver, British Columbia to Skagway, Alaska. At Skagway, we left the ship and took a land tour of the Yukon Territory and Alaska which included trips on the White Pass and Yukon Route and on the Alaska Railroad. This photo page shows some of what we saw on those two rail trips. The majority of the photos are from the exceptionally interesting WP&YR.

The White Pass & Yukon Route had its birth during the gold rush of 1898 to take miners over White Pass and into the Yukon Territory. The WP&YR still uses coaches from that period although the motive power is primarily more modern ALCO diesels. The Alaska Railroad pulls an eclectic mixture of coaches and a number of private cars, mostly owned by cruise lines, from Fairbanks to Denali and onward to Anchorage. We took the WP&YR to the summit of White Pass, a motor coach on to Fairbanks, then then the Alaska Railroad to Denali in the Talkeetna, a Budd lounge car owned by Holland America. The sequence below documents the journey.

Click on each image below to see its full sized version. Hit your back button to return and view the next photo. All images are copyrighted by Ken Humphreys, August 2001.

The White Pass & Yukon Route depot in Skagway, Alaska.
A WP&YR rotary snow plow #1.
WP&YR rotary snow plow #1 and caboose #909.
ALCO 251A locomotives pulling a WP&YR train at Skagway.
WP&YR ALCO 251D #106 at the Skagway yard.
WP&YRR Baldwin 2-8-0 Consolidation #40 under steam and ALCO 251B #93 at Skagway.
WP&YR Baldwin 2-8-0 Consolidation #40 in the Skagway yard.
Three WP&YR ALCO 251B locomotives pulling a train over White Pass crossing a trestle and about to enter a tunne.l
A WP&WR train of period coaches ascending to White Pass and passing over a trestle and into a tunnel.
Train ascending White Pass with three ALCO 251B locomotives.
Panoramic view of an abandoned trestle on the WP&YR.
A long distance view of the wooden trestle shown earlier in two photos.
Alaska Railroad passenger train southbound from Fairbanks to Denali. Note the Amtrak loco behind the Alaska Railroad loco.
Alaska Railroad coaches entering a tunnel between Fairbanks and Denali.
Dedication plate in Holland America's car, "Talkeetna", on the Alaska Railroad.

Prototype Images - Page 1
Prototype Images - Page 2
Prototype Images - Page 3
Prototype Images - Page 4
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